Eric J. Cassell

in The Nature of Healing

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195369052
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979103 | DOI:

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Sickness is described from many different perspectives, including the history of medicine’s view of the causes of sickness and the history of disease as a cause of illness (illness and disease are synonymous). Originally symptoms were seen as the disease expressing itself. It became apparent that symptoms were the disease speaking as modified by the meaning to the patient, culture, psychological aspects, and individual differences. Three aspects of what is wrong with the patient are differentiated. (1) Disorder—what is actually present in the person; any aspect of disordered function. (2) Sickness—what the person experiences. (3) Disease—the name or pathologic process the diagnostic process identifies. There is a complete discussion of sickness, its impact on the person, its meaning, and the views of others. The discussion is based on the new definition of sickness. Many cases illustrate the points.

Keywords: sickness; illness; disease; disorder; subjectivity; holism; self; person; function, definitions of; functioning, extent of; sickness, meaning of; personal; process

Chapter.  11196 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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