What is Mental Health?
Your mental health is made up of things – like how you feel about yourself, how you deal with stress, and your ability to form meaningful relationships. While these factors affect your mental health, no one thing about your feelings or behavior makes you mentally healthy or unhealthy. There are many degrees of mental health, just like how you feel better about yourself on some days than you do on others.
Stress plays an important role in mental health. You can feel physical stress as a result of too much to do, not enough sleep, bad eating habits, or the effects of an illness. Stress can also be mental, like when you experience an emotionally challenging event like the divorce of your parents or taking a final exam. Much of people’s stress comes from everyday life, and we may feel physical and mental stress without even realizing it. Without treating it correctly, constant stress can cause physical, mental and behavioral problems.
What is a mental illness? Mental illnesses cause problems with how you think, act, feel, and understand your world. You have probably heard of the more common types of mental illness, like depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and schizophrenia. More than 54 million Americans experience a mental illness each year. Mental disorders can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, wealth, religion or race.