No. of pages: 7
To define exactly what an illness is creates much debate. Subsequently, the notion of defining health is an obvious correlation and must be considered when a patient and family are dealt a blow in the form of a diagnosis.
The impact of illness on a family and patient is considerable, as each individual is closely linked with others on a fundamentally emotional level in a network of relationships. The nature of the illness will undeniably dictate the intensity of the impact on the family unit. So too will the nature of the family setup play a pivotal role in the evolution of the illness. The issue of hospitalisation or institutionalisation uncovers yet another dimension for consideration.
To discuss these issues at length is merely to contribute to ever evolving theories regarding health and illness. Perhaps a worthwhile perspective of this area to consider is the Physical, Psychological, Psychosocial and Socioeconomic impact this would have on patient and carer in relation to mental illness. While covering just a fraction the magnitude of a change in the lifestyle of a person, these are however principal elements to be taken into account where health has been compromised.
“Is mental illness really an illness? Do people ‘catch’ a dose of schizophrenia?”
A question put forward by Senior M and Viveash B (1997 p224) when discussing the concept of mental illness. People catch the flu and it’s termed an illness, yet mental issues are termed an illness also! It poses a question of what people understand by health and illness. Hence the term can qualify several opinions depending on the background or situation of the illness. Senior and Viveash (1997) believe that “like health, illness is a subjective notion that depends on peoples own interpretation of their mental and physical condition and what symptoms they count as an illness”.
To define health and illness in a generalised sense is different than mental health and...