Truthfully, we all have our definition of mental health. In many cases, this meaning is set by society; in others, it’s set by our experiences or people we know. Whatever your situation might be, we want to know. What comes to your mind when you hear the words “mental health”?
A quick Google search for the words “mental health” brings up about 1,740,000,000 results. I can’t even read that number correctly. There’s no doubt the interest around mental health has grown tremendously over time. But even Google has its words to explain mental health, including “mental disorders” or “mental illness.” Are those the right words, though?
What Does “Mental Health” Mean?
Let’s start with the meaning of mental health, shall we? Health is all about the way your body feels and works. Mental health means having the tools to deal with your feelings and enjoy your life. Having a bad day doesn’t mean that you have a mental illness, but it means that you should focus on your mental health.
Similarly, when you’re feeling a bit under the weather, it doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy, but it may be a reminder to care for yourself.
What about “Mental Illness”?
Just like physical illness, people can experience mental illness anytime. They are also known as mental disorders or neurological disorders. Struggling with a mental illness means the way you think might change, the way you feel can change in a matter of seconds, or even the way you act can be different.
When your body is sick, you visit a doctor. When you have a mental illness, you visit a mental health professional to feel better.