Often in the blogging community of medication & health, the terms “disease” and “disorder” are thrown around interchangeably. This happens because there hasn’t been much discussion on the difference between disease and disorder.
Even the definition of Google’s search engine for disease says it is “a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury”. So in this article, let’s try to find out what is the difference between disease and disorder.
Origin Of The Two Words: Disease & Disorder
So before we discuss the difference between disease and disorder, let’s first see where these two words have originated from.
The term disease can be traced back to its root of old French where it was spelled as desaise. Coined in 842 Circa this word can be broken down into two parts, des which means without or away and aise means ease.
The word disorder was coined in the late 15th century, it is also influenced by the old French where it was spelled as desordener which was further influenced by the Latin word ordain.
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Difference Between Disease And Disorder
If you have ever tried to search what Parkinson’s disease is, you may find that few results say that it is a neurological disorder. There are many discussion forums and Reddit threads that are curious about the difference between disease and disorder and the findings in most of them were inconclusive. We will still try to provide some basic difference between these words.
- According to few articles, a disease is a specific label to concepts of illness.
- Meaning, we have established a mechanism which relates certain symptoms to a specific problem with the body.
- A Disease is also defined as a result of the pathological response of the body to either external or internal factors.
- A Disease is also referred to abnormalities which can cause physical or emotional stress and pain.
- The treatment of disease is based on such abnormalities.
- A Disorder is believed to be the disruption of the usual bodily functions.
- A Disorder is caused because of the presence of disease in the body.
- Few articles also say that disorder, simply put, means there is something wrong with the body.
- As mentioned earlier, this is the reason Parkinson’s disease is indeed a disorder, because it stops the working of a part of the nervous system.
We can classify disorder into certain groups:
- Physical: Physical disorders are the problems which can be identified using certain tests such as brain scans or chemical tests.
- Mental: Also known as mental illness is the deviation of behavioral traits caused by certain distress or impairment of personal functioning.
- Genetic: Genetic disorder is a mutation or damage caused to DNA due to an illness or disease.
- Structural: Structural disorder some sort of physical damage caused to an organ. For instance, communication problems caused due to brain damage.
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Take Away – Difference Between Disease And Disorder
The motive of this article was to light a curiosity in the reader and raise awareness about terms which get thrown around casually. It is important to keep learning new things and evolve as a human being. We will leave you with a quote from the creator of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”.