Mental Health or Mental Illness??? What’s The Difference?

picture credit: CMHA Ontario

There is a big difference between Mental Health and Mental Illness, and most do not know the difference.

Mental Illness:

Mental Illness is a term used to refer to a diagnosed and treated by a health care professional.  Sometimes referred to as disorders and can include (but not limited to) depression, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and self harm disorders.

Mental Health

Mental Health on the other hand, refers to the ability to enjoy life and deal with life challenges positively on a daily basis. You can feel mentally healthy when things are going well and positive things are happening around you in life. Mentally unhealthy happens when negative things creep in and we are faced with the unpleasantness of life.

Every single person on the planet (in my opinion) suffers from “mental health” issues at some point in their life. Just as the circumstances of every day life continuously change, our mood and behaviors change with them.

Mental Health is a complete balance physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When Mental Health becomes a concern, is when the symptoms start to effect your habits of daily living and impacting you negatively in any aspect of your life.

When Mental Health starts to impede and hinder your daily life, leaving you less-functioning then you were before, or you are just generally concerned about the way you feel on an ongoing basis, it may be time to reach out to a health care professional to discuss how your feeling. There is a fine line that takes a Mental Health issue into a Mental Illness status. A status you would want to avoid if you can.

The early you mention something, the faster it can be dealt with. The more you talk about it, the less you feel the impact. The more people that come forward, less stigma will exist.

Never feel alone or ashamed.

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