The truth is that there is a mental and psychological health crisis going on in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), In 2020 “One in 5 American adults experienced a mental health condition in a given year, one in 6 young people have experienced a major depressive episode, and one in 20 Americans have lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.” One of the reasons, though perhaps a less visible one, that this crisis continues is that there is not enough awareness about what dealing with mental and psychological health actually entails.
The Connection Between Mental and Psychological Health
There is a tendency for people to automatically assume that all mental illnesses live solely in the mental health realm. While yes, of course, mental health is the major component that makes up any given mental illness, other factors must be taken into consideration. One of these is the effects of psychological health.
Mental and psychological health are essentially inseparable. In other words, when mental illness arises, it is nearly impossible that both mental and psychological health arenas are not affected in one way or the other.
Perhaps the best way of thinking about mental and psychological health is that mental health involves the way we think about ourselves and the world around us, whereas psychological health is how we feel and behave regarding ourselves and the world around us. Thus, when viewed this way, it is not too difficult to see the correlation between mental and psychological health.
Understanding the Mental Health Component
Mental health is all about cognitions (thoughts). When these thoughts become skewed and/or disordered, a person becomes vulnerable to developing a mental illness.
For example, when an individual thinks about their life as one that is either unimportant or less important than others, they are creating negative thought patterns. While this is certainly simplified, these thought patterns can then manifest into negative feelings toward themself and the rest of the world. Moreover, these negative feelings can contribute to negative or otherwise maladaptive behaviors, such as unjustifiably lashing out at others or isolating oneself away from loved ones.
The connection from thought to emotion to behavior is pretty clear in this example. Furthermore, this is how the cycle of negative mental well-being to negative psychological well-being tends to surface.
Understanding the Psychological Health Component
Psychological health is all about emotions and behaviors. Just like cognitions, when these emotions and behaviors become skewed or disordered, the potential for mental illness becomes more likely.
Now, taking the same example as before, one can see how negative psychological health can actually be the impetus to negative cognitions rather than the other way around. When an individual feels less important than others around them, they are more likely to believe that they are less important than those around them. They are also more likely to behave in ways that confirm their negative feelings. This is the transition from negative psychological health to negative mental health.
However, as the two examples show, mental and psychological health are ultimately too intertwined to really determine which one influences the other more. More often than not, it is a variation of both in various circumstances. This interconnectedness is also why issues of mental and psychological health must be treated together.
The Importance of Treating Mental and Psychological Health Issues Together
It is important to focus on whole mind-body recovery when it comes to a treatment plan. As mentioned previously, the interconnectedness of our psychology and mental health is designed in such a way that it is nearly impossible for one part not to influence the other. This includes both positive and negative influences.
The issue is that if treatment focuses too much on either mental or psychological health and not the other, the potential for one to bring everything back to “square one” is much more likely. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses directly on both mental and psychological health; it says so in its name (cognitive and behavioral). This therapy works on the underlying issues of emotion, uses that work to change thought patterns, and then ultimately uses those changes in thought to change behaviors. It is a therapy that can hit all aspects of one’s mental and psychological self.
The Importance of Comprehensive Mental Health Care at the Phoenix Recovery Center
Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we understand the importance of treating every aspect of mental illness. Mental illness is complex and comprehensive, which is why treating it should be the same.
We don’t believe in “one-size-fits-all” recovery, rather we believe in individualized care. Further, we don’t see people as their disorders, which is why although we work to treat disorders, our primary purpose is to empower our clients to establish lasting wellness in their lives.
If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of addiction and/or mental health, you are not alone. We can help you heal mentally, psychologically, behaviorally, and even physically. It is all connected. For more information on recovery and treatment options, please reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center today by calling us at (801) 438-3185.