Health is a condition of mental, physical and emotional well-being where infirmity and disease are absent. It is the result of the absence of disease, an absence of ill-health or a state of good health. The concept of health has various definitions across the cultures and communities. It is an idea that is regarded as universal by the majority of people from all walks of life. With all the talk of ‘happiness’ and ‘well being’, few seem to have grasped the concept of health as something more than a temporary state.
The concept of health can be seen to have evolved through the processes of history and is now present in most aspects of contemporary culture. Contemporary health status is determined by different determinants. These determinants include both external factors and internal ones. External factors include interventions like diet, exercise, exposure to hazardous substances, genetic predisposition, sex, age, and socioeconomic status. Internal factors such as nutrition, genetics, and lifestyle choices have important effects on our health status.
Good health is a state in which the self-esteem, sense of well-being, social adjustment, physical health, and cognitive functioning are in good norm. These are the determinants of optimal self-image and motivation to participate in activities of daily living (ADL). In addition, healthy body weight, a low fat body mass index, and low blood pressure are additional important determinants of good health. Psychological health depends on emotional well-being and social support; therefore, strong relationships with supportive friends and family are important components of mental health.
There are four main dimensions of personal health: physical, psychological, interpersonal, and motor health. A person’s physical health is measured through the assessment of their body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and height and body fat percentage. A standard physical examination is the first step toward obtaining a diagnosis of physical illness. Psychological health is evaluated through several specific domains of self-monitoring, including depression and anxiety; social and work Adjustment Disorder (ADHD); generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); and panic disorder (PDD). Motor health is measured through objective measurements of physical functioning.
The facets of mental health that pertain to mental illness are: anxiety, mood disorders, psychosis, retardation, and other brain impairments. The four aspects of mental health are complexly interrelated and dependent upon each other. Thus, poor mental health is often related to poor physical health and vice versa. Similarly, while treatment of physical illness can ameliorate some aspects of mental health, there is no guaranteed recovery from mental illness.
The four domains of health described above are influenced by numerous environmental and individual factors. Therefore, even with advanced medical technologies, predicting what will happen next for any patient with a particular illness can be difficult. To better understand your health situation and learn to anticipate changes, you should explore your individual behaviors and reactions to stressors as well as evaluate your interactions with the social environment. Knowing the determinants of your health can help you determine how to maintain a strong and productive life even with serious health complications.