When it comes to emotional and mental health, an important point to remember is that emotional and mental health are aspects of mental health disorders, not the disorders themselves. Everyone deals with their emotional and mental health daily. Some people may not recognize this because they have never struggled with a mental health disorder. However, the millions of people that have struggled or are struggling with mental illness often have a more attuned awareness of their emotional and mental health.
Mental and Emotional Health: One Can’t Exist Without the Other
For individuals struggling with mental illness, the need to address both their mental and emotional health is paramount. It might be helpful to visualize a “see-saw,” with emotional health on one side and mental health on the other. When both are on, then an individual’s well-being can be in balance. However, when one is off, then the other side will be off as well. Ultimately, emotional and mental health have a symbiotic relationship that must work in unison. Thus, they must be treated in unison as well.
While focusing on mental and emotional health individually is important, it is just as important to address them in tandem. The best way to do this is by creating an individualized recovery plan that includes treatment modalities that address both emotional and mental health. These modalities may include individual therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, experiential therapy, and fitness and holistic treatment options. Every person is unique, and everyone’s emotional and mental health is unique. Therefore, why should a treatment plan be any different?
What Exactly Is Emotional Health?
Perhaps the best way to understand emotional health is the way an individual handles their emotions in certain situations, and how they deal with day-to-day stressors. Emotional health has a lot to do with an individual’s state of being, rather than their mental state. Undeniably so, however, the two certainly overlap.
To get a better idea of emotional health, it may be helpful to see a few examples of what poor emotional health looks like. Some signs and symptoms that may indicate poor emotional health in a loved one include:
- Choosing to isolate themselves away from loved ones
- Having trouble sleeping, including sleeping too much or too little
- Experiencing a loss of appetite due to day-to-day stressors
- Struggling at school or work
- Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Turning to substances or risky behaviors to try to manage their emotions
- Expressing a lack of interest in their well-being, such as appearance or hygiene
An interesting facet of these examples that many may notice is that they sound similar to issues that an individual struggling with their mental health may experience. While this may be true, mental health issues relate more to cognition and behavior than they relate to emotions. Moreover, mental health is more about thoughts and how an individual reacts to those thoughts.
What Exactly Is Mental Health?
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” Additionally, if an individual experiences “mental health problems, [their] thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.” As mentioned previously, poor mental health is not the same as a mental illness. However, leaving poor mental health unresolved can increase an individual’s risk of developing mental illness.
Some signs and symptoms that may indicate poor mental health in a loved one include:
- Feeling excessively depressed or anxious without being able to find a reasonable explanation
- Experiencing emotional outbursts that feel out of their control
- Having trouble communicating the type of negative thoughts they are having
- Feeling guilty or worried without just cause
- Having racing thoughts that interrupt healthy thought processes
- Questioning whether or not they are having rational thoughts
- Feeling like no one else would understand the kind of negative thoughts they are experiencing
While it has been emphasized that emotional health and mental health are not the same as mental illness, that does not mean that poor emotional and mental health should be minimized or ignored. In fact, if treatment like therapy is started early, it can stop these issues from manifesting into something more severe.
Treating Emotional and Mental Health in Tandem
Before poor emotional and mental health becomes more detrimental, seeking treatment is highly advised. It is also critical to remember that only a professional should diagnose whether an individual is struggling with poor emotional and/or mental health versus something more severe like a mental illness.
The Phoenix Recovery Center has the professionals, tools, and resources that can help determine the type of recovery care or treatment that is best suited for an individual’s needs. No one should minimize their own well-being. Whether it is emotional health, mental health, or mental illness, no one deserves to live anything less than their best life. The Phoenix Recovery Center can help make that happen.
If you feel like you or a loved one may be struggling with issues of emotional and/or mental health, we can help you recover now and in the long term. For more information on treating mental health and emotional health simultaneously, please reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.