Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health

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Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Globally, one in four people will suffer from a mental disorder during their lifetime, by 2020 behavioral health disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability (Insel, Collins & Hyman, 2015; World Health Organization [WHO], 2001). The attention and resources given to mental health disorders are disproportionate to the significant impact upon society and individuals. Preventive mental health will become paramount, however, despite cost effectiveness, lack of awareness and responsiveness has caused fewer successes and many shortfalls in this area. Health includes physical, mental and social well-being, a healthy society necessitates mental care. Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay Quality of life, early deaths, productivity and human capital development are all affected by mental health issues. Mental illness has a staggering impact on health, it can cut lives short and greatly reduce a person’s quality-adjusted life years. In 2010 Mental disorders and substance abuse attributed 10.4% of the global disability-adjusted life years and were the leading cause of all non-fatal burden of disease accounting for 22.9% (Whiteford et al., 2013). Mental disorders have wide reaching implications into other aspects as well, such as indirectly contributing to other health issues by being a risk factor for HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vice-versa (, n.d). This highlights the fact Mental and physical health aren ‘t just exclusive components of overall health, they interact Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay


The objective of this assignment is to define holistic and define stress, and discuss the impact of stress on the health and wellbeing of an individual. Firstly the writer will look at holistic approaches and define stress. The writer will also look at how stress effects the individually biologically, psychologically and sociologically. Finally the writer will discuss approaches to managing stress.

The term “Holistic or Holism” derives from the Greek word meaning entire, whole, total. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursing (2014) defines “Holistic” as an approach to patient care in which the psychological, physiological and social factors of the patient’s condition are taken into account, rather than just the diagnosed disease. Holistic medicine is not a separate medical or treatment method, but it is an alternative philosophy regarding the approach to health. This holistic nursing approach originated in the United States of America and was formally introduced to the United Kingdom in 1977 and was seen as an alternative approach nursing rather than the traditional orientated task approach. Florence Nightingale herself encouraged holistic care; she recognised how important the environment and a multi directional approach was, rather than a one- dimensional therapy process. According to Dossey (2008) Health is a multifaceted complex concept, it relates to an individual’s well-being in a given environment, and is defined by pathology and the traditional biomedical health approach, holistic care looks at treating the underlying causes and not just the superficial ones. Barker (2004) also states the holistic model of care is widely accepted in the field of nursing, it favours a comprehensive in-depth assessment of entirety rather than the medical approach which just studies the disease in the patient. The holistic care approach takes into consideration all the persons individual psychological, sociological and mental health needs. Every man, women and child consists of a body and mind, and any changes in a person’s life will eventually cause changes in their existence. Aggleton and Chalmers (2000) describe holism as the fundamental wholeness of human beings.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay Hogston and Simpson (1999) define the holistic nursing process as a systematic problem solving framework that enables the nurse to plan care accordingly targeting the specific needs of the individual. The holistic approach has two focal factors. The first factor treats the individual as a separate entity, secondly the holistic approach analyses the psychosomatic approach of a disease and magnifies it by putting the patient in a specific time, along with their needs and quality of life. Alfaro-LeFevre (1998) described the holistic nursing process as a five stage framework comprising of:

Assessment: to collect data regarding health status and monitor for evidence of health problems.
Diagnosis: to identify actual and potential health issues.
Planning: to determine therapeutic interventions and achievable goals.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay
Implementation: to put plans into action and observe response.
Evaluation: to assess the outcomes, to check if goals have been achieved or whether changes need to be made.
A holistic approach to health makes prevention vitally important as finding a cure, this continuous model of care can extend over an individual’s life. The holistic approach drives to manipulate fundamental determinants of health that occur and this offers an upstream attack on threats to health. This may be the best approach and outcome in coping with the unhealthy lifestyles and the ageing and longevity of life in the population in the 21st century. These determinants contribute to a rise in stress, which can contribute to a rise in other diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and other long standing mental health problems. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursing defines stress as “any factor that threatens the health of the body or has an adverse effect on its functioning, such as injury, disease, overwork, or worry. Constant stress brings about changes in the balance of hormones in the body. Selye (1976) describes stress as a unifying concept; it is a non-specific response to a huge variety of stimuli. According to Edwards and Cooper (1988) stress should be discussed in terms of stimuli, responses and the relationship between them. Stress is actually part of modern life; at times it may become a useful tool and serve a purpose. Stress can motivate you for promotion at work, or push you to run that last mile of a marathon.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay Nevertheless if you lose control and don’t get to grips with your stress, it can become a long-term problem and it can have a severe detrimental effect and interfere with your job, family life, and health. The causes of stress differ for every individual. Everyone has different stress triggers; we are open to various amounts of different stimuli. Beckwith (1996) states defining stress, its causes and symptoms are just as complicated. It is often characterized as a reaction to modern and social factors, stress is a disruption in an individual’s physiological and psychological homeostasis that force them to deviate from usual functioning in interaction with their jobs and work environment. Stress is defined by Auerbach (1996) as a three way relationship between demands on a person, that person’s feelings about those demands and their ability to cope with those demands. Stress can effectively destroy the quality of life for the individual, his or her family and for society as a whole, it has become as dangerous as pollution to modern society Srivastava (1999). Some people thrive in the pressure cooker of life. Stress is a personalized experience and can vary extensively even in the same identical situation for different reasons. Some individuals can perform and complete many duties at the same time and have a list of things to do that would stretch and overpower most of us. Every individual has different stress triggers. How person A copes to how person B copes is completely different. A simple example of a daily stressor is the journey to work, college or school. Person A who is sitting in the traffic, will sit and become very angry at the long delay, but Person B sitting in the next car accepts that there is lots of traffic and copes with the situation. The same stressor or stimuli, but two completely different reactions to the same situation. Stress level will differ based on your personality and how you respond to situations. The same situation can arise in any individuals life, whether it be moving to a new home, a heavy workload, too much responsibility, working long hours, studying for exams or simply leaving the house. Snyder, Lefcourt and Herbert (2001) state, Stress resides neither in the situation nor in the person, it depends on a transaction between the two. Barlow (2000) states suffering from stress, anxiety or phobias can disrupt daily routines, limit work efficiency, reduce self-esteem, and place a strain on relationships. Individuals will do whatever they can to avoid the uncomfortable and often-terrifying feelings of anxiety. Bourne (2011) supports Barlow by stating people with specific phobias, or strong irrational fear reactions, work hard to avoid common places, situations, or objects even though they know there’s no threat or danger. The fear may not make any sense, but they feel powerless to stop it. Specific phobias according to Sylver, Lilienfeld and Laprairie (2011) can cause stress, the threat of a terrorist attack, global warming, dogs, cats, bees, wasps, spiders, germs, heights, driving, public transport, flying, dental or medical procedures, and even elevators. People with phobias realize that their fear is irrational, and even thinking about it can often cause extreme anxiety. According to Beidel & Turner (1998) while some phobias develop in childhood, most seem to arise unexpectedly, usually during adolescence or early adulthood. Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay Their onset is usually sudden; you have no control over these events and they may occur in situations that previously did not cause any discomfort or anxiety. All of these factors can lead to stress. Stress is a worrisome illness. Stress has numerous faces, and sidles into our lives from many directions. No matter what the causes are, stress can put the body and mind under extreme pressure. Constant or chronic stress can have real physical effect on the body. It weakens the immune system, increasing the individual’s vulnerability. Stress engulfs the body and saturates it with stress hormones. The heart thumps, muscles tense, breathing quickens and the stomach churns.

The argument of this note is that the throne is tottering, that income is in fact much less important than these pieces of evidence suggest. Income will always matter, because-by definition-it is what allows us to buy those things that are good for our health. But income merely enables; it does not guarantee. And growth in income, while desirable for many reasons, is not always necessary for improved health. The unofficial motto of the Disease Control Priorities Project6 sums it up: “Countries don’t have to be rich to be healthy.” The same is true of individuals and population groups, unless they are defined by ill health in the first place. This is clearly good news, because income growth is a slow and difficult business. Occasionally an economy can sustain per capita growth of seven or eight percent annually for a number of years, as China has done, but generally growth of even three or four percent over a long interval is hard to achieve. Health would improve very slowly if it depended only on income increasing at that rate, whereas in fact it has improved much more rapidly and extensively than rising incomes can account for.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Two questions arise, which the rest of this note will briefly discuss. First, why has income seemed such an all-powerful correlate or explanation of health status? That is, what was overlooked or under-appreciated that made income appear to be so crucial? Second, what changes in our understanding are leading to its dethronement? That is, what logic and what evidence are showing that those neglected factors deserve credit that used to be granted to income?Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

The importance of history

Let me ask the reader’s indulgence for a personal aside. I studied mathematics and history in college, and when I decided that in graduate school I would study economics, I was asked how that was related to my prior subjects. My answer-naïve but not entirely wrong-was that economics seemed to draw on both math and history. In the years since, it has seemed to me that most of the mediocre economics I have encountered has gotten the balance wrong: too much reliance on math, much too little attention to history. (That is aside, of course, from the fact that the key cause of most bad economics, especially when applied to health, is ideology, and specifically free-market fundamentalism).Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Why is this relevant?-because so much of the evidence relating income and health is cross-sectional. It describes a moment in time, when there usually is in fact a strong association.7 The history behind that association-how countries, individuals or groups came to have the income and the health status they display at that momentis nowhere to be seen. Cross-sectional analyses are commonly easier than historical studies, particularly if the variables of interest are hard to measure for any time but the present or the very recent past. Economists and statisticians only clarified what we now mean by “income” starting in the 1930s, and good estimates for nations are extremely rare prior to about 1960. What gets estimated is what gets analyzed, and much effort has gone into measuring income. It is fortunate that even quite imprecise estimates show very large income differences-but if a robust relation appears in the data, there is always the risk of misinterpreting correlation as causation, and not questioning further.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Did such a cross-sectional relation between income and health always exist? The answer is, almost surely not. Go back even 200 or 300 years, and while a person’s income might determine whether he could afford to consult a doctor when ill, he would probably have protected his health better by spending the money on something else. Go back still farther, and the patient would have risked being bled, on the absurd assumption that only the bad blood would drain out, leaving the healthy blood in circulation. A little historical thinking quickly shows that until very recently, income cannot have benefited health by way of health care, because our ignorance of health and disease was so profound. The gradual accumulation of knowledge about the human body and how it works, the discoveries of Harvey, Jenner, Pasteur, Koch and many others, is one of the most fascinating stories in science8 but it is mostly a very recent story. That is not surprising, considering that our bodies are by far the most complex objects we have ever attempted to study.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

In the past, greater income probably contributed to better health in only one way, by allowing people to eat better. The first stage of this improvement is simply getting enough calories to sustain oneself and be able to work, something that was out of reach of large populations in Europe even in the 18th century.9 The second stage is eating more protein, and particularly more meat, which translates into greater height (and to a lesser degree, weight) and strength.10 Longevity is strongly associated with height and weight, with an optimal weight for each height, and much of economic and health progress in the last two centuries has consisted of “climbing the hill” in the contour map describing that relation. But when disease struck, the only benefit from greater income was probably a more robust immune system. Today, much of the world’s population still suffers from the combination of inadequate diet and nutrition-related susceptibility to communicable childhood illness that together account for one-third of the total disease burden in developing countries.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

The uses of income

Besides ignoring history, simple cross-sectional relations to income say nothing about what income is used for. This is not an easy matter for study, since many different end uses-many different forms of investment and consumption-can affect health, for better or worse. It is tempting to try to bypass this difficulty by concentrating only on what is spent on “the health system”, which is itself hard to define12 or more narrowly on expenditure on health care. The chief finding of such efforts is that more money does not necessarily buy better health, even if it buys more care. In richer countries, more money may just be absorbed in higher prices13 or in the delivery of care that costs a lot and contributes relatively little to healthy life years. Even in poorer countries where income is intrinsically more significant, total spending on health may not bear any relation to a specific measure of health, particularly if it is infant mortality. There is no good reason to expect much association, and it does not prove anything that no strong relation is found.14 It most certainly does not prove that spending on health is ineffective, or that income is more important.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Sawing the legs off the throne

Think of the throne on which King Income has sat as having four legs. Each of the legs is vulnerable to a particular line of evidence that makes income look less like the dominant factor in explaining or causing differences in health status.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Distributional issues

First, it is obvious that the total or average income of a society will better serve to promote health, the more that income is pooled to purchase two goods that have a disproportionate impact on health outcomes. One is public health measures that individuals will not buy for themselves; the other is financial protection against health risks. When that protection is incomplete-when much of the population is not covered by any form of insurance-people’s capacity to get health care depends on their individual incomes, and so the distribution of income matters greatly. Similarly, when public health interventions are under-financed, people are exposed to risks that may cost more to deal with, and again they may have to defend themselves with only their own resources. Extending coverage in both senses, of public health measures for prevention and promotion and of coverage against the costs of individual care, is the greatest challenge facing many low- and middle-income countries.15 The object in both cases is to make the distribution of income matter less, since income growth is slow and redistributing income directly is politically difficult. Inequality of incomes tends to lead to inequality of burden in paying for health, but it is easier to mitigate the latter than to correct the former. It is also probably easier to improve people’s knowledge of their health risks and how to reduce them, than it is to assure them enough income to deal with those risks. Income is not the only variable whose distribution matters for health: the distributions of knowledge and of financial protection are arguably just as important.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay


Historical understanding

All interesting economic questions have a time dimension, so it is surprising how much analysis has been non-historical and, in effect, instantaneous. If ignorance or neglect of history overstates the importance of income, then a better understanding of the historical record tends to reduce income’s weight among explanatory factors. This does not mean ignoring or neglecting income; it means looking at income and other causes through time, examining changes and not just levels. A good recent example is the analysis of why, if the health interventions to reduce infant or child deaths are well known and available in principle to all, there is so much variation among countries in how fast mortality has declined.16 It is only by looking simultaneously across space and through time that one can take account of differences in the rate of technical progress in adopting those interventions, because that progress is measured as a residual rather than directly.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

A careful look at the history of health improvements also shows clearly that private markets have contributed remarkably little to that progress.17 Income will matter more to health, the more increases in income lead people to demand, and markets to supply, healthful goods and services without interference by governments. Because market failure is so pervasive in health, and because of the strong relation between poverty and ill health, state intervention has been crucial to better health.18 Market fundamentalism is probably more out of place, more at odds with history, in health than in any other part of the economy.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Uptake of interventions

The study of infant mortality decline just mentioned16 concludes that, for all countries together, progress in the adoption of interventions accounts for two-thirds of the reduction in deaths from 1962 to 1987. Growth in income explains only seven percent of mortality decline, comparable to the effect of increasing the stock of physicians per capita. The second-largest impact comes from the expansion of schooling, consistent with other research showing that increased women’s education leads to better health for themselves and their children. The importance of income growth varies substantially among countries; and income looks much less important when countries are assumed to adopt technical progress at different rates than when uptake is assumed to be uniform. It is an obvious but crucial point that availability of immunization, oral rehydration, insecticide-treated bednets or other interventions against early death does not guarantee their early or widespread use. And inability to afford these measures-too little incomedoes not seem to be the reason why some countries have made much less progress than others.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Slowness in taking up valuable health interventions is not a problem only for poor countries where income might be more of a barrier to adoption. Antihypertensive drugs in the United States have been shown to provide excellent value for money, but analysts still ask “Why don’t Americans do better… if the societal return on investment is so high?”19 Coronary heart disease care for the elderly similarly is under-utilized in view of its cost-effectiveness.20 Limitations in knowledge on the part of both patients and providers, failures of insurance coverage and other factors count for more than income in delaying life-saving advances.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

More iIncome, worse health

Three legs of king income’s throne are related to ways in which the potential of higher income to improve health are under-used. The fourth leg is quite different: more income can actually lead to worse outcomes because of the unhealthful behavioral changes that accompany it. Historically, this happened with cigarette smoking, which was taken up first, early in the 20th century, by the better-educated and better-off. Tobacco-related disease became associated with lower incomes only as the habit spread and the higher-income classes became the first to give it up.21 The newest changes that are increasing health risks or already worsening health outcomes are diets richer in fat and sugar and reduced physical activity, which lead in turn to obesity and its numerous complications, including the epidemic of diabetes that is rapidly swelling in middle-income countries as well as poor ones.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

These changes are not caused directly by people having more money in their pockets. They result rather from changes in the structure of employment and in relative prices, especially for foods, that accompany economic development. In consequence, they are related to changes in total or average income, not necessarily to individual incomes. In fact, people with higher incomes and education are less susceptible to the lure of unhealthful lifestyles than those at lower incomes for whom development means cheaper food and less physically demanding jobs, even if their money incomes rise only slightly or not at all. This retrogression in health ought, it seems, to be easy to control-people should enjoy the benefits of higher income, less hunger and more leisure without falling into the habits that threaten their health. But while it is obvious what behavioral changes would avert these problems, it is much less clear whether public health efforts can be successful at a reasonable cost.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Another way in which increased income can be bad for our health is through pollution of the air, water and soil. Again, the culprit is not more income as such: it is the increase in energy generation and industrial output without adequate controls on the contaminants spilled into the environment. This shows again that what matters for health is not the level of income but how it is created and used. China, which has led the world in income growth recently, is at great risk both from an unhealthful transition in eating and working habits23 and from environmental disaster.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Summing up

Income may never cease to matter to health. It is, after all, what pays for health interventions and for the education that allows people to understand and apply them. It also takes income to pay for the research that has explosively increased our knowledge about health and disease and led to the development of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic devices, equipment and procedures that have done so much to reduce the appalling burden of disease that characterized the human race only a century or less ago. All the same, income is clearly much less the chief driver of improved health than would appear from simple, non-historical associations, whatever the level of analysis. The arguments summarized here amount to dethronement, not to regicide. Greater sophistication about disease has been accompanied by greater sophistication concerning the part of income in causing, controlling or simply running alongside ill health.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

The arguments for a lesser and more complicated role for income relative to health are quite general. However, their relative importance differs according to the specific health problem(s) considered. Since this is a journal emphasizing mother and child health, it seems appropriate to end this essay with some reflections on how income is associated with that subset of health issues. First, many of the most effective measures to prevent death at early years are not only cost-effective but rather inexpensive.25 That makes income, whether national or individual, less important than for problems requiring much more costly interventions-cancer, for example. Second, infant and child health depends so much on what mothers know and do, that it is no surprise to find that educational improvements seem several times more productive in reducing mortality than increases in income. Third, we have a more complete geographic and historical record for child health than for later ages, despite the great difficulty of measuring early illness and deaths. In consequence, analyses that scan widely in space and look back in time are possible, and their effect is to play down the importance of income. Fourth, the behavioral changes leading to worsened health that accompany economic growth and transformation do not seem yet to have much impact on infants or on maternal care. However, they are already leading to rapid increase in child obesity, with all the dangers that such a change portends. Finally, the good news that income is not the most important source of improved infant health may not apply equally to women’s health. Maternal mortality has not fallen equally quickly, and income may still be more significant for progress against that problem. Income needs to be made less crucial there, also.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

More than half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime. But not everyone will receive the help they need. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only forty percent of adults and fifty percent of youth receive the medical help they need. Even though mental illness is common and can affect anyone, there is still a great stigma attached. This stigma creates reluctance and shame in seeking help. The acceptance and understanding of mental illnesses has come a far way from where it used to be, but improvements can, and should still be made.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Mental illnesses should not be thought of any differently from physical illnesses. In fact, I believe the two are inseparable. Because the whole body is connected and interwoven, the two cannot be separated. The brain is an organ just like everything else in the body and can be hurt like everything else. When the brain is ill, it is not isolated in just the brain, but instead affects the whole body and the overall wellness. Substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide are very common and dangerous in those with mental illnesses. The stigma surrounding mental illness keeps people from getting the help they need to get better and causes them to hide their pain.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

For three years I was one of those people hiding my illness. I was quietly suffering from depression and an eating disorder. My whole day revolved around my eating disorder and hiding it from everyone. This caused a lot of sadness, anger, and loneliness. I not only hid it from others, but I also tried to hide it from myself. I tried to convince myself that nothing was wrong because I did not fully understand what was happening. I did not know what was making me hurt myself and why I could not stop. As my weight was decreasing, my sadness and anger were quickly increasing. I became so mad and upset at everyone and everything. The stress and pressure of holding everything in caused me so much misery.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay If something small happened, it became too much to handle and I had to release it somehow. The only way I could think of to handle this was to hit myself and other things until I forgot about all my pain. By this time, it was impossible to hide my illness, and my family finally found out my deep secret. They did not want to see me suffer like that and wanted to help. They tried their hardest to help, but they just did not know how to help me. They tried to get me to go see somebody and get help, but I refused. I was scared of admitting that I had a mental illness and that I needed help. I was worried that people would judge me, treat me differently, or even bully me if they found out about my mental illness. So, I refused to get any help. I insisted that I was okay and could fix it myself. After a while of getting worse, my parents made me an appointment and told me I was going to get help. I remember crying and begging my mother to not make me go, but she did, and I am so grateful to her now.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

For almost a year now I have been going to see a mental health counselor once a week. It took me a while to open up to her and tell her how I felt. But when I realized she was there for me and did not judge me, I was finally able to let her help me. Looking back now, I cannot believe how sick and miserable I was. I cannot imagine how my life would be if I had not received her help. I cannot express how grateful I am to her. She has changed my life for the better, I am so much happier and healthier now and look forward to living.Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay

Receiving help is the most important thing anyone can do for themselves. But unfortunately, the stigma keeps people from getting help. Mental illness should not be something to be ashamed about or thought of differently. When mental illness is treated equally to other illnesses, more people will have the courage to get help and better their lives. Health Disorders And Its Effects On Health Essay