10 Differences Between illness and sickness

Difference Between Illness and Sickness

What is Illness?

Illness refers to a state of poor health or a deviation from normal functioning of the body or mind. It is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional conditions.

Examples of Illness

  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Hypertension

Uses of Illness

Illness helps us understand and diagnose various health conditions. It guides healthcare professionals in identifying symptoms, providing appropriate treatments, and conducting further research.

What is Sickness?

Sickness refers to the experience of being unwell or having a specific illness. It is a subjective term that relates to the feelings and experiences of an individual when they are not in a state of good health.

Examples of Sickness

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite

Uses of Sickness

Sickness acts as a signal to our body and mind that something is not right. It prompts us to seek medical attention, rest, and take necessary precautions to recover and prevent further complications.

Differences Between Illness and Sickness

Area Illness Sickness
Definition A state of poor health or deviation from normal functioning Subjective experience of being unwell
Scope Wide range of physical, mental, and emotional conditions Includes specific symptoms and discomfort
Objective/Subjective Objective Subjective
Treatments Specific to the identified condition Focuses on alleviating symptoms
Diagnosis Based on medical examination and tests Based on reported symptoms and experiences
Duration May vary from acute to chronic Can be temporary or short-term
Causes May be organic, psychological, or genetic Can be triggered by external factors or infections
Prevention Focuses on overall health and well-being Focuses on avoiding exposure to pathogens or harmful conditions
Severity Can range from mild to life-threatening Can range from mild discomfort to debilitating
Reporting Medical professionals report cases Individuals report their symptoms and experiences


In summary, illness refers to a state of poor health or deviation from normal functioning, while sickness is the subjective experience of being unwell. Illness encompasses a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional conditions, whereas sickness refers to specific symptoms and discomfort. Understanding these differences helps in diagnosing, treating, and preventing various health conditions.

People Also Ask:

1. What are the common causes of illness?

Illness can be caused by various factors such as infections, genetic predisposition, poor lifestyle choices, environmental factors, and underlying medical conditions.

2. How can sickness be prevented?

Preventive measures for sickness include practicing good hygiene, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting vaccinated, avoiding exposure to harmful substances, and seeking prompt medical attention when symptoms arise.

3. Can illnesses and sicknesses be contagious?

Some illnesses and sicknesses are contagious, meaning they can spread from one person to another through contact, airborne particles, or contaminated surfaces. Examples include the common cold, flu, and certain infections.

4. How can illnesses and sicknesses be managed?

Management of illnesses and sicknesses involves seeking appropriate medical care, following prescribed treatments, adopting healthy habits, managing symptoms, and making necessary lifestyle adjustments.

5. Are all illnesses and sicknesses curable?

Not all illnesses and sicknesses are curable. While some may have effective treatments or management options, others may require long-term care, symptom management, or focus on improving the quality of life.

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