What is MENTAL HEALTH? What does MENTAL HEALTH mean? MENTAL HEALTH meaning, definition & explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of mental illness. It is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment". From the perspective of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others." The WHO further states that the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work and contribution to their community. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how "mental health" is defined. A widely accepted definition of health by mental health specialists is psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's definition: the capacity "to work and to love" - considered to be a simple and more accurate definition of mental health.
According to the U.S. surgeon general (1999), mental health is the successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and providing the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity. The term mental illness refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders—health conditions characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior associated with distress or impaired functioning.
A person struggling with his or her mental health may experience stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, addiction, ADHD or learning disabilities, mood disorders, or other mental illnesses of varying degrees. Therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners or physicians can help manage mental illness with treatments such as therapy, counseling, or medication.
Mental illnesses are categorized as follows:
Neurosis: Also known as psychoneuroses, neuroses are minor mental illnesses like phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and anxiety disorders, among others.
Psychosis: Psychoses are major mental illnesses in which the mental state impairs thoughts, perception and judgement. Delusions and hallucinations are marked symptoms. This may require the use of psychotic drugs as well as counselling techniques in order to treat them.
Mental health is also used as a consumerist euphemism for mental illness, especially when used in conjunction with "concerns", "problems", or "clinic". Consequently, "mental health" is now being equated with mental illness without reference to the positive strengths associated with mental health. Similarly, the term "behavioral health" is being used, incorrectly, to refer to mental illness, as a consumerist approach to avoiding the stigma associated with the words "mental" and "illness". Consequently, some mental illness clinics are now identified by the inaccurate phrase behavioral wellness.
The new field of global mental health is "the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving mental health and achieving equity in mental health for all people worldwide."