Health And Illness Essay Sample

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Introduction Of Health And Illness

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It is considered that a body which is not merely free from diseases and is in sound condition in terms of both body and mind is considered as a healthy body on the other hand a body is which is acquired of diseases and facing issues due to the presence of outside elements indicates that the body is not healthy or ill-healthy (Patalay and Fitzsimons, 2018). The following essay will provide the idea about both the aspects of health and ill-health. The definitions, models, and different health and ill-health perspectives will be discussed in detail in the following essay. The themes which are provided in the case study will be considered in the following essay as the basis of this essay.

Analyzing the aspects of health and ill-health

This section of the essay will discuss the different aspects of health and ill-health based on the themes which are discussed in the case study.

Two contrasting definitions of the health and ill-health

Health is defined as the state of complete mental, physical and social wellbeing but that does not mean that the body is free from diseases. A healthy person is not free from diseases, it just indicates that the person is mentally and physically stable to counter the disease and will be able to handle the condition with a cool mind. On the other hand, it also defines that being healthy indicates that the person can possess a disease that is not recognizable. It is always considered in context to the illness and it is observed that the health of a person will be determined if he or she is not being treated by any healthcare workers or he or she is not under any mental consultation (Price-Robertson et al. 2017). Several factors indicate the health and ill-health of a person. Ill-health is defined as the condition of a person who is having abnormal processes of social, physical, mental, and emotional conditioning which is determined in comparison to the previous condition of that person. As it is observed in the case study that Emma lumped her breast for a longer period but she recognized the issues when she was going through lots of family and psychological problems.

Another definition of health and ill-health is which indicates that there are several areas which are needed to be looked upon when it is observed that a person is healthy when there is the total absence of diseases but it is also needed to be observed that people should not only think about resolving the diseases it is also important to analyze the cause of the disease (Brossard et al. 2020). Know the reason rather than just fixing it. On the other hand, it is observed that being a body that is without disease or illness is not dependent on the mental or the psychological condition of the person as the illness or the health issue depends on the biological conditioning of the diseases (Machisa et al. 2017). It can be observed in the case that Emma was going through severe mental condition due to her partner leaving her and problematic condition because of not being able to take care of her children effectively as there is no relation between the mental and the physical illness which indicates that the social or mental condition of Emma does not have any relation to lump in her breasts.

Two different models of health and ill-health

Biomedical and Psychological model are the two health and illness model which is used in this essay for analyzing the aspects of the health and the ill-health.

The Biomedical model of health and ill-health includes various factors based on which the health and ill-health are observed and analyzed. The biomedical factor considers only the biological factors. This model believes that the health and the ill-health of a person are dependent on biological factors (Haslam et al. 2019). As it is observed in the case study Emma was suffering from a breast lump issue which can lead to breast cancer and many doctors say that there are several reasons for breast cancer. Like having a family history of breast cancer, inherited genes imposes the breast cancer risks, the person breast conditions which indicates that Emma has never taken good care of her breasts, and radiation exposure and obesity. These are some of the medical or biological factors due to which Emma was suffering from the breast lump issue. This model also focuses on the views of what is the reason which is causing the issue like the entry of any pathogen or inherited genes and even the present conditioning which helps to evaluate the disease effectively. The biomedical model states that health can be in control of the patient but ill-health will never be in control of the patient. This health and ill-health model also states that doctors are only responsible for the treatment of the ill-health issues and the bodily interventions are the only treatment style which is used by the doctor to treat the illness. The biomedical model indicates that health or ill-health both have no relation to the psychological condition of the person.

The psychological model of health and ill-health is also dependent on several factors. It considers three major factors as the reason for the health and ill-health of a person as the biological, psychological, and social condition of a person are responsible for the health and ill-health. This model also states that multiple factors cause the ill-health condition like the physical, social and psychological factors all are responsible for the ill-health condition of a person (Taukeni, 2019). According to this model, the condition through which Emma was going through can be termed as ill-health and it is because of all these three factors as she was not getting any support neither from her partner nor from her mother for taking care of her children, on the other hand, she was suffering from the first stage of the breast cancer issue which is the lump in the breast and she was also not having any friends or peers and her children were not listening to her all were the factors responsible for her illness. This model also states that if changes are brought in the lifestyle of the person these ill-health conditions can be avoided and the mind and the body of the person both are needed to be treated when a person is ill-health (Farre and Rapley, 2017). The casual influence and the consequences of the physical illness can have a psychological impact on the person and the doctors and the patients both are needed to work together for resolving the ill-health conditions.

Three contrasting sociological perspectives on health

Three contrasting sociological perspectives on health are the functionalist approach, Conflict theory, and Symbolic interactionism.

The Functionalist approach

According to Storbeck and Wylie (2018), the functionalist perspective indicates that good health is very essential for maintaining society's ability to function most effectively. It is observed that ill-health will hamper the ability of the people to perform their functions in society. This perspective also states that if too many people are facing health issues then the stability and the functioning of the society suffers and this is the reason the people of society need to stay healthy and perform the adequate amount of functions which are needed for maintaining the stability. The maintenance of the health depends on the person itself as it is observed that most of the people who are facing illness issues are facing it because of themselves only as their food habits are not adequate or the body is not getting the required amount of nutrients which are required to keep the person physically healthy.

Conflict Theory

According to Van Dick et al. (2017), the conflict theory mostly emphasizes the inequality in the quality of health and the way to maintain it among the people. The quality of health varies across the globe and inside the country as well. It is observed that every country and every area is not well equipped with an adequate amount of health services as it is observed in the case study that Emma was suffering from the initial stage of breast cancer which indicates the lump in the breast and for the treatment and surgery process she had to go to the hospital which was almost 15 kilometers away from her house this indicates the inadequacy in the quality of health care available in her locality. This is the reason conflict theory states that the conditioning of the health differs from location to location and depends on the availability of medical support as well as also depends on the financial status of the person. It indicates that if the person is not financially strong it will be very difficult for him or her to get the best health care services.

Symbolic Interactionist approach

According to Rowe (2017), the symbolic interactionist approach indicates that the health and illness of a person are part of the social construction. This perspective states that the mental and physical does not have any objective in reality as the person is determined healthy or ill-health when the society declares that the person is. The case study indicates that Emma was provided with a letter in which all the data related to the surgery were mentioned and it was also mentioned that she had to stay in an empty stomach condition but still did not concentrate on the letter and the surgery was delayed due to which she was angry and irritated on the hospital this indicates that the way the society is constructed the people would behave in the same way especially in case of their health conditions.

Factors that affect how people react to ill-health

Social factors and psychological factors are the three factors that are considered to be affecting the people reacting to ill- health.

Social factors

The social factors play a very important role in the people's reaction to the ill-health as the observed in Emma's case that she was an adult and mother of five and it was getting very difficult for her to take care of her children while working and because of this she was staying at home which was making her financially poor. It is observed that no employment is one of the main reasons behind illness (Sarngadharan et al. 2021). This increases the insecurity and has detrimental effects on the physical and mental health of people similar to Emma.

Psychological factors

Stress is one of the psychological factors which impacts the health and the behavior of a person and the reaction to the ill-health (Barber, 2019). Concerning the case study, it is observed that Emma was highly stressed because of the things which were going on in her life. She was judged with a lump in her breasts and needed for the surgery but on the other hand, she was going through several other stresses like she used to have regular arguments with her drunkard partners, she was alone and no one to talk to, she was not able to both the things together that is to work and take care of the children (Kesner, 2018). This is the reason when she heard that the surgery will be delayed she screamed and got so angry at the nurse and the doctor. These are the factors that derive the actions of people with ill-health.

Recommendation and Conclusion

It is recommended that health and ill-health should be taken under consideration by analyzing both mental and physical conditioning as physical health takes time to recover if the mental condition of the person is poor.

This essay concludes that health is the state of mental, physical, and social wellbeing of a person. This essay discussed two contrasting definitions of health and ill-health and also discussed biomedical and psychological models of health and ill-health for analyzing them. This essay also discussed three main contrasting sociological perspectives of health and ill-health and also discussed the factors which affect the reaction of the people towards the ill-health condition.


Barber, C., 2019. Men and mental ill health. British Journal of Mental Health Nursing8(3), pp.117-121.

Brossard, B., Cruwys, T., Zhou, H. and Helleren-Simpson, G., 2020. What do we mean by “social” in mental health research?. Social Science & Medicine261, p.113233.

Farre, A. and Rapley, T., 2017, December. The new old (and old new) medical model: four decades navigating the biomedical and psychosocial understandings of health and illness. In Healthcare (Vol. 5, No. 4, p. 88). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.

Haslam, S.A., Haslam, C., Jetten, J., Cruwys, T. and Bentley, S., 2019. Group life shapes the psychology and biology of health: The case for a sociopsychobio model. Social and Personality Psychology Compass13(8), p.e12490.

Kesner, L., 2018. Mental ill-health and the epidemiology of representations. Frontiers in psychiatry9, p.289.

Machisa, M.T., Christofides, N. and Jewkes, R., 2017. Mental ill health in structural pathways to women’s experiences of intimate partner violence. PloS one12(4), p.e0175240.

Patalay, P. and Fitzsimons, E., 2018. Development and predictors of mental ill-health and wellbeing from childhood to adolescence. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology53(12), pp.1311-1323.

Price-Robertson, R., Manderson, L. and Duff, C., 2017. Mental ill health, recovery and the family assemblage. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry41(3), pp.407-430.

Rowe, G., 2017. APPLIED HEALTH SCIENCES. The Handbook for Nursing Associates and Assistant Practitioners, p.176.

Sarngadharan, D., Rajeesh, C. and Nandu, K.T., 2021. Human Agency, Social Structure and Forming of Health Consciousness and Perception. European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine7(7), pp.5910-5916.

Storbeck, J. and Wylie, J., 2018. The functional and dysfunctional aspects of happiness: Cognitive, physiological, behavioral, and health considerations. The function of emotions, pp.195-220.

Taukeni, S.G., 2019. Introductory Chapter: Bio-Psychosocial Model of Health. In Psychology of Health-Biopsychosocial Approach. IntechOpen.

Van Dick, R., Ketturat, C., Häusser, J.A. and Mojzisch, A., 2017. Two sides of the same coin and two routes for improvement: Integrating resilience and the social identity approach to well-being and ill-health. Health psychology open4(2), p.2055102917719564.

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