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Mental health advocate Mark Henick explains the difference between mental health and mental illness.
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Mental health advocate Mark Henick explains the difference between mental health and mental illness. Mental health is the general well-being of your mental state. Mental illness is an interruption upon your mental state, productivity, stability, and happiness.
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I'm going to start with a question that could sound very basic, but I do think it might be could start with it, as many people confuse them or are not completely sure what they mean or includes. But can you explain to us what mental health and mental illness mean? And plus as well the difference between them? Sure, you know, that's actually not a basic question at all. I think this is one where people are often confused. I hear people all the time saying that somebody might be suffering with mental health, and that doesn't make any sense to me. You don't suffer with mental health. I mean, you don't suffer with physical health. That's just a an all encompassing kind of label for everything. So mental health is the broader picture of your wellbeing, how you're doing, how effective you are, how productive happiness might be part of it or contentment. Whatever your baseline is in terms of being stable and resilient, that's the overall picture of your emotional health or your mental health. Your well being. Mental illness, however, is something that some people experience. It turns out more people than we used to think I have experienced some instances of mental illness, but I consider that like an interruption. It's something that intersects your mental health, just like somebody who's otherwise healthy might get a cold or they might break their leg. Or they might get diagnosed with cancer. Somebody who is otherwise in good mental health might contract essentially a mental illness, UH, something like depression or anxiety or any number, depression, anxiety. The most common, of course, but any number of other less common disorders. Now what? I think that's a key reframing of it, because it means that, um, mental having a mental illness. And there are many of them. Sometimes people say, uh, the singular mental illness, You know that I have mental illness. Well, you know, you have to get more specific than that. I think nobody says that they have physical illness to mean everything because that could mean anything. Um, so that means, then, that if you do have a mental illness, it doesn't necessarily have to impact your entire life that you can be productive. You can be happy. You can be well functioning in other parts of your life, but there's something going on with that part, and that comes back to the control issue. That's important because it helps us to identify what the actual problem is. So that way we can start to address it. So mental health is the overarching umbrella. Um, it's part of your overall health, health status, and mental illness is a subset of that. It's an experience. It's usually episodic. It's a finite point within your mental health.
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