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What is Mental Health

What is Mental Health

Generally speaking, the term mental health is used to describe or define the current emotional or psychological state of a given individual. Another definition of the term mental health is the absence of any psychological disorders. When using psychology to broaden the meaning of mental health, one can come across definitions touching upon a person’s ability to enjoy life i.e. being able to achieve a healthy balance between social, emotional and interpersonal engagements and experiences in everyday life. Some psychologists refer to this balance as normal psychological resilience of the individual.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with a slightly different definition of what mental health is. In this case, WHO touches upon cultural and social differences which may also affect a person’s perceived mental health. They also go on to say that, mental health can be somewhat subjective in its expression and content. The community which a person is part of, their everyday role in that community and the level of self-realization, appraisal and achievements are also related to their mental health.

Mental health i.e. a person’s psychological state is also connected to their physical condition and ability to live a normal everyday life. Poor mental health and/or the presence of a diagnosed psychological condition can affect a person’s life for the worse. Bad psychological state is known to push people toward depression, addiction, regression in social status, failures in personal relationships etc. These are all serious issues which should be addressed before getting to the stage where serious treatment or therapy is required to help the individual in question. In certain extreme cases, poor mental health can lead to suicidal thoughts and eventually attempts at taking one’s own life.

In the modern world, society and social status as well as personal relationships are quite important in determining one’s mental health and their ability to function normally. The ability to express or suppress certain emotions at certain times, is considered a measurement of good mental health. Constant failures or flaws in an individual’s interpersonal experiences can easily lead to deterioration of their mental health, although not as severe as mental health problems caused by known psychological disorders. However, leaving a seemingly insignificant mental health issue unaddressed can bring serious consequences later on, as the downward spiral is much harder to climb out of.

Having said all this, an individual’s level of mental health is subjective and varies throughout their life and the experiences they encounter through life. A person in a currently poor psychological state doesn’t necessarily have mental health problems. Temporary downs are a part of life and dealing with them timely and effectively will prevent more permanent alterations (emotional or psychological scars) to an individual’s mental health. Generally, positive psychological state, ability to control positive and negative emotions (and their value and importance) speaks of good mental health. Some would say the individual in question is a well-adjusted person.

Mental health is fragile and subjective, keeping afloat and balancing emotions, feelings and thoughts is never easy, especially in the dynamic and ever-changing social environment of today. This goes to show that assistance in cases of poor mental health has become more important than ever before.