Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full mental and physical well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease. Different definitions have been applied over time for various purposes. In the United States, wellness has become synonymous with diet, exercise, and population management. While these elements are important to a healthy diet, exercise, and management of population, they are only part of the equation in achieving total health. Health education and prevention continue to be other important components in achieving well being and achieving a sound overall health status.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) provides a broader definition of Health which includes an accurate assessment and reporting of health information. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, a diagnosis of any disorder or condition that substantially disrupts the quality of life for at least a six month period is required for classifying a patient as having a disorder or condition. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual also require that the patient be aware of the disorder or condition in order to meet the diagnostic criterion. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders do not use the word distress when diagnosing a mental disorder. As such, AHIMA provides the definition of Health care as the comprehensive assessment and reporting of health care needs that meet the requirements of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
One of the purposes of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was to provide a uniform definition of disorders and conditions so that doctors could prescribe the best course of treatment. Currently, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders do not use the word distress when diagnosing a disease or disability. According to the definition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, there is no distress when a patient reports to a physician that he or she is suffering from a disease or disability that significantly disrupts their capacity to function normally. This definition includes the use of medication to treat the disease or disability. It also includes use of social services and education to help patients adapt to life with a disability. If you are suffering from an impairment that significantly disrupts your ability to function normally, and if you are unable to perform some of the activities of daily living (ADLs) you are likely suffering from a condition.