Managing Disease – Public Health
Health is a condition of full physical, emotional and social well being where infirmity and illness are absent. It may be viewed as the sum total of all the conditions, experiences and conditions of a person which are both negative and positive. Health involves the whole body, mind and spirit, which are interlinked and dependent on each other. When one does not have health, one cannot perform to the best of his ability in all circumstances and life. In the same way, when the body, mind and spirit are healthy, one can perform at his best in life and this is what we call health.
Mental health and physical health are closely related but they are not identical. The former pertains to the ability to function properly and the latter to one’s capacity to achieve goals in life. Mental health may also be termed as well-being. It is the quality of having one’s own identity, sense of worth, assertiveness, personal space, sense of accomplishment, acceptance, ability to interact constructively with others, ability to work productively, ability to experience pleasure, and even to understand or know how to use technology. Mental illness refers to the incapability to cope with things that affect one’s well-being, those that cause disabilities like abnormal thinking, violent behavior, lying, theft, suicidal thoughts, self-destructive behavior and a plethora of other activities like self-destructive eating and drug abuse.
Both health and illness have their own significance, though in different ways. Illness is essentially the absence of health while health refers to the presence of health. Illness in turn affects the whole of the individual, which includes his physical well-being, emotional well-being, social and personal well-being. Health, on the other hand, consists of the capacity to have full physical well-being and to achieve and practice adequate levels of mental health. The absence of health renders an individual unable to perform in the socially, emotionally, physically and mentally right manner.
Wellness, a mental well-being, emotional well-being, social as well-being, physical well-being and emotional health have their own significance. Illness, on the other hand, makes a person physically sick and renders him unable to perform all his activities and to participate in society. Illness is synonymous to disability. A sick individual is not a productive member of the community. On the other hand, healthy members of the community are productive members of the community if they are physically well and mentally fit.
What are the diseases that affect the presence of health? There are a lot of diseases and mental disorders that render an individual physically sick but it doesn’t end there. Just as absence makes the sick person mentally ill, so does the presence make the sick person physically sick. The absence of diseases or their cure leaves the community without the capacity to function as a community and having to defend itself from its enemies.
These days, we are hearing much more about the importance of public health. This involves maintaining health in a community at all times. For people who want to participate in the community’s life course, they need to be healthy. Managing disease, on the other hand, helps to maintain health in the community.