Understanding mental health and mental illness

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Mental health is the overall wellness of how you think, regulate your feelings and behave. A mental disorder may be present when patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving cause distress or disrupt a person's ability to function.

Cultural norms and also play a role in defining mental health. There is no standard measure across cultures to determine whether a behavior is normal or when it becomes disruptive. What might be normal in one society may be a cause for concern in another.

Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions—disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. About 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in any given year, and mental illness can begin at any age.

Access to is an important part of overall health care services. It's also important to understand the roles of different types of mental health care professionals to find the one that fits your needs. The best choice for your care will depend on your concern or condition; whether you need medications, counseling or both; and your health insurance coverage. Finding the right match is crucial to establishing a good relationship and getting the most out of your treatment.

Treatment depends on the type of mental illness and its severity. In many cases, a combination of treatments works best. If you have a mild mental illness with well-controlled symptoms, treatment from your primary care provider may be sufficient. However, often a is appropriate to make sure all your psychiatric, medical and social needs are met.

Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common. Others' judgments almost always stem from a lack of understanding rather than information based on facts. Learn more about the stigma of mental illness and what you can do to cope.

If you or someone you know are experiencing a , get help right away by taking one of these actions:

  • Call your specialist.
  • Call a crisis hotline number.In the U.S., call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 24/7. Or use Lifeline Chat. Services are free and confidential.U.S. veterans or service members who are in crisis can call 988 and press "1" for the Veterans Crisis Line, text 838255 or chat online.The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in the U.S. also has a Spanish-language phone line at 888-628-9454.
  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Seek help from your health care professional.
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.

2022 Mayo Clinic News Network.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: Understanding mental health and mental illness (2022, October 13) retrieved 25 February 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-10-mental-health-illness.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

New 988 suicide hotline sees increase in calls for help


Feedback to editors