Introduction


Illness Path


Imagine a path through a garden. On one end, the trees and greenery are lush and healthy, and the path is smooth and pleasant. As you move along, you do not even notice the trees are thinning out, the greenery is slowly turning more brown than green, and the path is getting rougher. This rough path eventually causes you to stumble, so you look around and realize that this path is nothing like the one you started out on. Where you are now, it is obvious that the same growing conditions that existed at the other end of the path do not exist here. The more care that is taken with prevention, treatment, and management, the closer you are to the lush and green end of the path, or high-level wellness. The more you neglect prevention, treatment, and management, the closer you approach the stark and barren end of the path, or worst-case scenario, premature death. The journey from wellness to illness and back to wellness can be described as the Illness Path.

This unit will be a look into the action you can take to move towards the high-level wellness end of the path.

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The Illness Path is similar to the Illness-Wellness Continuum in which ideal wellness is at one end of the continuum and premature death is at the other end. Between these two ends are the actions that can be done that will cause a person to move towards either end of the spectrum. The actions that can move a person one direction or another will be discussed in this unit.