The Determinants of Health Status

Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well being in which infirmity and illness are absent. Mental health is an essential part of the condition, but is not as important as physical health. The term “Mental Health” has been frequently used to replace the phrase “HIV, AIDs, Diabetes, Depression, and Hypertension.”

The first step towards good health is good nutrition, good hygiene and regular exercise. In developed countries, these three factors are often neglected due to social pressures and a sedentary lifestyle. There is an increasing recognition that physical well-being is related to psychological well-being. A healthy mind and body are strongly related to one another and can help alleviate the symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety, while reducing the risk of serious illness and disease. The impact of environmental toxins on our mental and physical well-being is becoming increasingly apparent as more research is conducted on the relationship between environment and mental health and the role that lifestyle choices and attitudes play.

There are multiple interrelated components that contribute to good health. Physical activity is central to mental health, as is ensuring a balanced diet and ensuring that adequate sleep is maintained. Mental and emotional health is influenced by our physical and mental well-being. Our levels of stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue are closely linked with our levels of physical health. It is important to consider the relationship between these components of mental health and the effects of environmental toxins on our mental well-being.

Many people suffer from poor mental health, but they tend to discount their physical condition, perceiving them inseparable. This leads to the perpetuation of ill-health conditions that will affect the sufferer’s daily life. Ill-health conditions are associated with a number of other serious health conditions, which include: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory illness, stroke, hypertension, and some forms of cancer. Mental well-being is affected by the sufferer’s ability to adapt to and handle stress, their feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, poor coping skills, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and distress.

An array of determinants has been identified to influence the quality and length of the lives of people in the United States. These determinants include: genetics, sex, socioeconomic status, life experiences, and environmental factors such as climate, location, and community. A wide range of potential environmental factors are included, including: physical activity levels, sleep patterns, severity of stress, cultural norms, diet, and social support networks. Determinants of the quality of life have been discussed in detail in numerous books and journal articles over the last 50 years. An interesting area of continuing research is the impact of social and environmental determinants of health status on the determinants of health.

The definition of a person’s level of psychological health may vary, based upon the particular disease or disorder being assessed. When assessing the levels of mental health and the effects of stress on them, it is important to consider the relationship between these two factors. Stress and illness can affect physical health, but it is the mental health that is primarily affected by it.

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