Over the years, individuals and communities have considered three definitions of health. First, they perceive health as both subjective and objective concept and its extension beyond the physical realm. Secondly, the definition involves maintenance and improvement of health. The final definition considers the essence of health to human life. The purpose of this essay is to contrast the professional definition of health and illness. It justifies that these definitions are symptoms of spirituality. My definition of health therefore, is the spiritual well-being of an individual or a community whereas illness is the physical outcome or the manifestation of the spiritual poor being of the community or an individual Mental Health Nursing: Health and Illness
While scholars have focused on the physical domain of health and illness, it is still a puzzle among the societies, which esteem the religious definition of health and illness. Although several studies have established the relationship between spirituality and health, scholars have not yet provided a conclusive definition of health and illness. Spirituality defines the inner soul and the inherent nature of the human beings. According to Hart (1988), the well-being of a community depends on the behavior of the individuals in that community (p.123). Adherence to the taboos of religion results into a healthy community.Mental Health Nursing: Health and Illness
Biblically, people should heed and adhere to the will of God if at all their health is to remain ill free. World Health Organization defines “health as the state of well-being in which the physical, social, and mental functioning of an individual or community is in its normal order” (Clare, 2002, p.39). According to specialists, absence of infirmity in the body of an individual is the absolute definition of health. When the individuals do not attain these conditions, professionals consider them ill.
Scholars argue that people’s spiritual judgment hinges on their deeds and therefore, they have to differentiate between the good and bad as defined by their religion. The choice between right and wrong is the ultimate determinant of the health of the community. If people’s choice is to do right for instance, then God blesses them and keeps them off the wrath. If the deeds are against the taboo of the religion, God imposes a divine punishment unto them. This punishment may be a form of sickness. The result of the punishment therefore is physical diseases, which professionals fight to combat. As per the Biblical context, illness is the state of lack of harmony between God and humankind. Biblically, whenever human beings infringed the will of God, the result would be physical, mental, or social illness.