One of the biggest misconceptions in today’s world

One of the biggest misconceptions in today’s world is that mental health and mental illness are considered the same when truth is, they are drastically different. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), mental illness refers to conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior. These can include diagnosed and even undiagnosed disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Mental health, however, reflects one’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Affecting how one thinks, feels, and acts, mental health has a strong impact on the way we interact with others, handle problems, and make decisions. Everyone has mental health, just like everyone has physical health. It is important to consider mental health and mental illness as two separate entities that work independently. However, that doesn’t mean that one can’t cause the other to occur, it also doesn’t mean that just because one is going on, that the other one must happen as well. In the course of a lifetime, not all people will experience a mental illness, but everyone will struggle or have a challenge with their mental well-being just like we all have challenges with our physical well-being from time to time and you can have some bad days while still having a decent mental well-being. Opposite to that it’s entirely possible to have good mental health even with a diagnosis of a mental illness. That’s because mental illnesses, like other health problems, are often episodic, meaning there are times or episodes of ill mental health and times of better or good health. It has been statistically proven that 60% of Americans don’t understand the difference between mental health and mental illness. This misunderstanding causes something known as mental health illiteracy. Poor mental health literacy also contributes to the problem of mental health stigma. Those who do not understand mental health or mental illness often hold negative and harmful attitudes toward those with psychiatric issues. These attitudes lead to shame, anger, and feelings of worthlessness. People understanding what mental health and mental illness is and understanding their differences can allow everyone to receive the right amount of support and help.

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