Mental health is important, too

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The terms “behavioral health” and “mental health” are often used interchangeably when describing a person’s psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing.

Like physical health, good behavioral/mental health is essential for good overall health. Mental health affects how individuals think, act, handle stress, and make choices. Poor mental health can even raise the risk for physical health problems, such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Mental disorders are serious conditions which can affect thinking, mood, and behavior. They may be occasional or long-lasting. They can affect the ability to relate to others and function each day.

About 1 in 5 adults and adolescents live with a mental health disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many different factors can affect a person’s mental health. These include:

  • Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
  • Experiences related to other ongoing medical conditions
  • Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Feelings of loneliness or isolation

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are more than 200 types of mental health disorders. Anyone, regardless of age or gender, can have a behavioral health disorder. The most common types of disorders include the following:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance use disorders

If you believe you or someone you know has a mental health disorder, contact your primary care provider. Treatments are available, including talk therapy and/or medications.