Health: Defining the Reference Values
“Heath,” according to the World Health Organization, is “the state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity.” A variety of cultural and religious definitions have been employed over the years. Some individuals consider it to be a spiritual gift or part of one’s heritage, while other people view it more as a matter of personal responsibility.
According to the third definition, health means “the absence of disease, injury, and death.” Disease, injury, and death are all related to physical environments that create stress, change the body’s normal function, and cause symptoms. When these symptoms interfere with the daily life of an individual, it has been determined that the individual is experiencing some form of unhealthy health. The definition also states that healthy health is “the absence of unnecessary pain, illness, impairment or disfigurement.”
In order for an individual to experience good health, a balance of mind and body must be maintained. A person’s mental state is affected by both his physical and mental health. When a person’s physical health is poor, he may become depressed and have negative thoughts and emotions. These negative thoughts and emotions can affect his ability to make wise decisions that will benefit him and those around him. In contrast, when a person’s mental health is good, he is less likely to have negative thoughts and emotions, and he is more able to make sound decisions based on sound scientific information.
Although all three definitions of well-being are important, they are not all necessarily true. Many people who believe in the power of drugs to maintain physical health are unaware that their own drug use can negatively affect their mental health as well. The lack of self-awareness about drug use and addiction makes it easier for individuals to continue using dangerous substances, which in turn can aggravate existing physical health problems. As well, individuals who are suffering from a mental illness may believe that drugs help them to cope with their disorder without serious consequences.
The definition of healthy lifestyle is, “A well-balanced mixture of mental, physical, and social resources that enhances a person’s potential for physical and psychological health.” The absence of unhealthy lifestyle habits such as tobacco use, excessive alcohol intake, and unprotected sex may contribute to good health. However, the presence of a healthy lifestyle can also be influenced by factors beyond a person’s control, such as his genes, nutrition, and environment. It is important to remember that lifestyle patterns and environments are dynamic, and one’s behavior and reactions to circumstances can vary over time, and so a person’s definition of healthy lifestyle may not be identical to another person’s. It is important to choose a lifestyle that is consistent with a healthy mind and body, and then to maintain this lifestyle over time to achieve optimal health.
When it comes to identifying diseases or disorders, two broad categories emerge: mental disorders and physical disorders. Both share some common symptoms, including abnormal thinking processes, changes in behavior, and altered physical attributes or conditions. For instance, when thinking becomes habituated, the result is called a thought disorder. Similarly, when habits of unhealthy eating and of self-starvation begin to set in, the results are called obesity. Similarly, when people start to turn to alcohol to ease emotional and physical discomfort, the result is alcoholism. People with these conditions do not all share the same reference values, but the similarities among different disorders is striking.