The Definition of Health and Well-Being
Health is a condition of emotional, physical and mental well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. Various definitions have been employed over the years for various purposes. These uses are as varied as the health care professionals who use them to provide treatment and care.
The main article of the definition of health as it relates to human beings is “the ability to benefit from the necessities of life”. The main article of the definition of mental health is “the capacity to function normally within the constraints of a normal range of psychological, physical and social experiences”. The main article of the definition of health as it relates to persons with mental illness is “the ability to experience happiness and the enjoyment of life despite occasional negative circumstances”. Persons with mental illness are said to have low levels of health if they experience “diseases or symptoms” such as the use of drugs or alcohol, “a marked personality change”, if the person experiences “shortness of breath”, if the person suffers from depression or other emotional disturbances, if the person suffers from serious thoughts of suicide attempts, if the person lacks interest in and attachment to hobbies and other activities and if the person lacks working capacity, memory, concentration and ability to learn new things.
All the preceding criteria define persons with mental illnesses to be unhealthy in some way. Nevertheless, persons with mental disorder, when subjected to some form of treatment, can live healthy lives even though their disease has made them physically undesirable. Treatment for mental illness may involve drug or alcohol abuse, therapy, group support and sometimes, hospitalization. Some people who were once happy but depressed can now smile without thinking about the past because of medications provided by their doctors. They are no longer sick but are happy with their new found well being and that is what counts in human health – being able to enjoy life despite suffering from a disease or disability.