Health, Disease and Disability

Essay by Diane BanksCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 1996

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Often we take our health, or the absence of illness, disease, or injury for granted until we become sick. It is then that we recognize the worth of being without ailments. It is then that we appreciate feeling strong, robust and healthy. Being healthy and, being physically and mentally sound, is associated with one's satisfaction with life. Developmental health psychologists - specialists who study the interaction of age, behavior, and health and gerontologists - specialists in the science of aging -- are piecing together the details of diet, exercise, personality and behavior that make it practical to shoot for 80, or even 120. People approaching middle age can expect a bonus of several years of extra living thanks to continuing medical progress against cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Specialists in the field of aging, developmental health psychologists, and gerontologist , concentrate their area of study on determining health status over the course of adulthood, and determining the nature and origin of age-related diseases.

They are also concerned with describing the effects of health on behavior and describing the effects of behavior on health. The goals of these specialists are: prevention of diseases, preservation of health, and improved quality of health for those suffering from disability and disease.

What does it mean to be healthy? Health is a state of complete physical , mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease, illness or infirmity. It is important to distinguish between disease and health. Disease is the prognosis of a particular disorder with a specific cause and characteristic symptoms. On the other hand,

illness is the existence of disease and, the individual's perception of and response to the disease.

Whether in sickness or in health age and the progression through life play a large part in our health and...