Psych 101: Mental Health Blog

Mental Health Vs Mental Illnesses

Note: The internet is full of articles defining mental health and mental illnesses. Here are the key differences between mental health and mental illnesses that we have compiled for you.

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Health

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Here the trainer will explain that health is not the absence of illness. – World Health Organisation

Mental Health

A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. – World Health Organisation

Difference Between Mental Health and Mental Illness

          Mental Health

  • It can mean different things to different people.
    For example, self-esteem and the ability to care about others might be one description of mental health.
  • In addition, mentally healthy people understand that they are not perfect nor can they be all things to all people.They experience a full range of emotions including sadness, anger, and frustration, as well as joy, love, and satisfaction.
  • While they typically can handle life’s challenges and changes, they can reach out for help if they are having difficulty dealing with major traumas and transitions,  loss of loved ones,  relationship difficulties, school or work problems, and the prospect of retirement. Mental Illness
  • The term “mental illness” actually encompasses numerous psychiatric disorders, and just like illnesses that affect other parts of the body they can vary in severity. Many people suffering from mental illness may not look as though they are ill or that something is wrong, while others may appear to be confused, agitated, or withdrawn.
  • Mental illnesses are often disorders of the brain that disrupt a person’s thinking, feelings, mood, and ability to relate to others.  Mental illness can manifest in a persistent depressed mood, unrelieved anxiety, or an inability to cope with the ordinary demands of life.
  • Mental illnesses can affect people of any age, race, religion, or income.  It is a myth that mental illness is a sign of weakness or defect in character and that sufferers can get better simply by “pulling themselves up”.
  • Mental illnesses are (illnesses) as real as heart disease and cancer  and they require, and respond to, treatment.  As a diabetic may control their diet, make changes in their lifestyle, or take insulin, so a person with mental illness may need to access their lifestyle, make changes, or take medications.  Counseling and other mental health and community services can provide support and stability, contributing to recovery.

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