Behavioral Health Vs. Mental Health
Maintaining our well-being can be complicated. It’s not always easy to feel our best, and most of us go through times when we experience anxiety, depression, or unhealthy behaviors.
It’s okay to encounter rough patches, but seeking support is key when harmful patterns continue.
If you’re considering therapy, it’s essential to know the difference between behavioral health vs. mental health.
What is behavioral health? And what is mental health?
This blog will break down the differences and shed light on wellness.
What’s the difference between behavioral health vs. mental health?
Think of behavioral health as an umbrella term that encompasses mental health.
Behavioral health includes the behaviors that can cause, maintain, or worsen a person’s mental health.
Likewise, one’s mental state commonly affects their behavior.
To sum up: Behavioral health is more connected to our actions and responses.
On the other hand, mental health is more closely linked to our feelings and thoughts. Biological factors can significantly affect our mental or emotional state.
What is behavioral health?
The American Medical Association (AMA) explains that behavioral health is the connective link between a person’s behavior and mental wellness.
Unsurprisingly, our behaviors impact the overall well-being of our mind, body, and spirit. But it can be challenging to see the forest for the trees when you’re in the eye of a storm.
What are examples of behavioral health?
Our daily habits affect our outer and inner worlds on a personal level.
Ideally, improving our habits through healthy eating, physical activity, and adequate sleep fosters a happier mind.
However, it can be much more complex.
Examples of behavioral health issues include the following:
- Substance misuse: Taking substances to numb tough emotions or situations is more common than we might realize. Johns Hopkins Medical highlights that, currently, 20 million Americans suffer from substance misuse.
- Excessive gambling: Researchers believe gambling can stimulate powerful chemicals linked to the brain’s reward system. Like substance misuse, excessive gambling can lead to other risky behaviors and emotional duress.
- Self-harm or self-harm thoughts: When a person is emotionally vulnerable, they can experience intrusive thoughts or cause bodily harm to themselves.
- Eating issues: A complex topic, our eating habits can be impacted by media, emotional health, and much more. Not only can conditions such as anorexia nervosa hurt someone physically, but they also come with specific mental health issues associated with control and hyper-perfectionism.
What is mental health?
Our mental health is integral to our social, psychological, and emotional well-being from childhood through adulthood.
Family history, biological factors, and life experiences affect someone’s mental health.
Trauma, for instance, can leave someone with panic in situations where others might not think twice.
Examples of mental health issues include the following:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): It’s natural to feel anxious, and it can even be helpful sometimes. However, when anxiousness grows out of control, it can feel all-encompassing. GAD takes anxiety further with chronic thoughts and feelings of worry that can create serious internal and external conflict in someone’s life if professional help isn’t received.
- Major depressive disorder (MDD): While depression can take many forms, it’s largely characterized by prolonged sadness, listlessness, and hopelessness. Postpartum depression, for example, can cause a new parent to feel a sense of despair or loneliness.
- Bipolar disorder: Those who struggle with bipolar disorder often find themselves experiencing cycles of low moods (depression) and hyperactivity (mania). Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that can appear differently in everyone with it, but with proper treatment, balance is possible.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): The CDC explains that individuals with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, act without thinking about consequences, or be overly active. Signs of ADHD in children include daydreaming, fidgeting, or difficulty resisting temptation. Treatment of this condition depends on the person and can be adjusted as needed.
Being human is no simple task. Our behaviors impact our emotions, and our emotions impact our behaviors.
We all have unique life experiences, living environments, and family genetics that significantly influence us.
It can be a healthy decision to attend therapy no matter where we are on the emotional or behavioral scale.
A healthcare provider, such as a therapist, can bring new insights into how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors interact.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a troubling behavioral or mental health condition, we encourage you to seek help immediately.
Call 911 if the situation is life-threatening, and dial 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
There’s no shame in going through a trying time. And taking steps to get support is courageous and admirable.
How can we help?
We’re at your service, offering a digital platform to receive affordable therapy.
Our qualified and caring therapists are here to build a relationship of trust with you so that you can feel free to share in confidence.
You can choose a therapist who best suits your needs and budget.
The best part is that you don’t need to leave home. Your convenient therapy session takes place right on your smartphone.