What's the difference between mental health and mental health disorders?
Sometimes the answer is clear, but often the distinction isn't so obvious.
Does being afraid of giving a speech in public mean you have a mental health disorder or is it just a run-of-the-mill case of nerves? When does shyness become a case of social phobia? This guide will help your understanding of how mental health conditions are identified.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is the overall wellness of how you think, regulate your feelings and behave. Sometimes people experience a significant disturbance in this mental functioning. 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. A mental health disorder may affect how well you:
Maintain personal or family relationships
Function in social settings
Perform at work or school
Learn at a level expected for your age and intelligence
Participate in other important activities
Cultural norms and social expectations also play a role in defining mental health disorders. 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.