Health is a condition where the body is in good condition and where illness and infirmity aren’t present. It also involves the capacity to survive and withstand environmental stresses that are life-threatening. The state of health can affect an individual for the whole of his/her life. The only way to maintain the optimal level of health is to keep it through proper diet, regular exercise, stress management, and medical monitoring.
With modern living habits, more people find themselves afflicted with a range of illnesses, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sleep disorders, and mental disorders like anxiety and depression. These ailments result in a host of complications. To make matters worse, health care practices these days are less focused on prevention and early detection of illness. Thus, health care disparities are widely reported.
Mental Health refers to the general condition in which one has learned to cope with daily challenges. It also covers the capacity to work productively and to live a responsible life. Mental illnesses can either be primary or secondary. A primary illness may lead to a secondary mental illness. When the physical body is affected, mental health gets affected as well.
Some physical conditions like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and joint diseases may lead to other ailments like anxiety, depression, and stress. Several diseases related to physical well-being and mental health make people more susceptible to illness and disease. These include heart diseases, cancer, asthma, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, digestive disorders, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, gastrointestinal problems, stroke, and many more. Obesity impairs the metabolic rate and causes the accumulation of fat deposits around the body, which may eventually lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Today’s health disparity is greater than ever before. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest reason is the tremendous increase in income disparity between the rich and poor. The bottom 90 percent of the population is now considered extremely poor compared to the health status of those in the upper class. This means that mental health is becoming a major concern because of the differences in physical well-being.
The difference between good health and poor health is often the result of either lifestyle and environmental factors or genetics and environment. A person with poor health usually lacks good eating habits and gets little exercise. As a result, he/she becomes overweight and obese. This weight gain is usually accompanied by a host of other health issues like increased cholesterol, abnormal blood sugar levels, decreased HDL levels, and increased blood pressure. Other physical symptoms associated with poor physical health include pain in the joints, weak muscles, lack of energy, and low memory.
Mental wellness begins with good mental health and vice versa. For this purpose, it is important to define health as having a complete physical and mental capacity to undertake all life activities. All people are at risk for developing illnesses both in childhood and at the age of diagnosis. Environmental factors such as poor nutrition, unsafe sex, and inadequate exposure to toxins can lead to long-term illness and disability.
The continuum model can also be used to measure the impact of past illness on current wellbeing. For example, if a parent had a major mental illness during their childhood, their likelihood of developing an illness is greater than a person who did not have such a history. It is important to remember that even very minor changes in circumstances can make a big difference to a person’s mental well-being and cause them to develop new illnesses. These factors are included in the continuum model of mental illness and should not be ignored when assessing a new mental illness’s possible onset.