Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mental Confusion

Dealing with mental illness…tricky. And let me say here, I’m no expert. All of the information I’ve gathered below comes from my own research, both print and interviews of professionals. It is for general information only, is a bit simplistic, and should not be considered absolute.

AdobeStock_112894681 [Converted]Hopefully, however, it can lay a foundation of understanding.

It helps to understand just what mental health is, and how it differs from emotional health. Mental health is how your brain functions; processing information, forming opinions, making decisions, and using logic are all a part of mental health.

Emotional health is expressing your emotions in a manner appropriate to your age and other factors. Your mental health affects your emotional health when, for example, you’re too tired or stressed to properly assess a situation.

Now we get to mental illness. A mental illness is a recognized, medically diagnosable illness that affects one’s mental health. These illnesses can result from biological, developmental and/or psychosocial factors and can be managed in a manner similar to physical diseases (e.g. medications).

AdobeStock_100009763 [Converted] c geosapThere is a fuzzy area of poor mental well-being (this is not a medical term, just a convenient one) that perhaps is not medically a mental illness, but may still be treated with medication or other methods used for mental illness. This does not necessarily have an identified biological or physiological foundation, but is disruptive to one’s life.

Now someone with a mental illness can have good mental health. Why? Because some mental illnesses are episodic, or because they are under control with proper treatment. The people with the best mental health, in fact, arguably could be those who’ve faced serious issues with it and overcome them.

Not that the battle is ever fully won, as many mental illnesses are chronic. Treatment may need to be adjusted periodically for a number of reasons, for example, the effectiveness of medication is lessened with use, the medication develops undesirable side effects, or other factors not yet fully understood.

AdobeStock_118183105 [Converted]In all likelihood you know people dealing with mental illness, whether you can identify them or not.

If you think you might have a mental illness, see a professional for thorough testing. If you think you may be having problems such as depression or anxiety that are not the result of mental illness, but are affecting your job, relationships and sense of self, again, see a professional. Help is available. Don’t give up.

If anyone reading this has professional information to add, please do so in the comment section and I will note it in the post. Comments from the heart are welcome, too, of course.

All images © geosap – Fotolia

11 Replies to “Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mental Confusion”

    1. There is so much stigma associated with it, and the media doesn’t help (I have another blog post planned addressing that issue). For example, people with mental illness have no higher rate of committing violent crimes than people without it. It’s hard to admit to yourself, but it can also be a relief.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! It’s often such a stigma and people have fear. I remember that a relative of mine suffered with it. I avoided her for a long time and felt badly. Now I’ve made up for it. As an adult, I’ve taken her under my wing and we are actually good friends now. Recently, she opened up about what she’s gone through – it was very moving that she was able to confide in me.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. As someone with a very low degree in psychology meaning I don’t have my masters to actually allow me to entertain clients, let me tell you what I learned emotional health to be. It has nothing to do with age at all. It has to do with coping skills you have learned through out life. Emotional health is about your feelings which plenty of people keep bottled up and then freak out when they finally release. Emotional health is about allowing your feelings to come to the surface, deal with them, and then move on. I could go on and on about this for hours but I will leave it here.

    Liked by 1 person

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