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Behavioral Health Vs. Mental Health: What’s The Difference?

Behavioral Health VS Mental Health By Charlottesville, VA In Health & Wellness Spa

It’s essential to understand the differences between behavioral health and mental health since these terms often mean the same thing. Yet, they are different because mental health focuses on an individual’s ability to handle regular life stressors, work productively, and contribute to society. On the other hand, behavioral health revolves around the impact that their habits have on their physical and mental health.

Comparatively, mental health is internal, whereas behavioral health is external, but they both directly affect one another. For instance, OCD can cause people to behave differently, such as frequently washing their hands or doing rituals before leaving the house. On the other hand, lashing out at a friend might make them feel anxious or guilty on the inside.

How Do Mental Health and Behavioral Health Occur Together?

Mental health and behavioral health can be linked in some cases. It is widespread, for example, for a patient to have co-occurring disorders, such as a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder. Behavioral health is most commonly associated with some unhealthy habits. 

Although those habits may not be the start of mental health disorders, underlying and nontreated mental health disorders can bring on behavioral health disorders in some situations. Similarly, a stable person who has an underlying genetic disposition for mental health disorders may begin to experience mental health complications resulting from substance abuse.

For instance, individuals may begin drinking alcohol to ease their minds and battle depression. For others, mental health conditions like schizophrenia may cause intense symptoms that may be lessened with the help of substances and drugs. In most cases, individuals battle complex conditions because both behavioral and mental health conditions are present.

What Are Symptoms Of Common Mental Health Conditions?

In fact, mental health disorders are much more common than most people think. While there are different mental health disorders, some are considered more common than others. Below are some common examples of mental health conditions.

  • Anxiety or Panic Disorders. While it’s given that some might experience some amount of anxiety throughout their daily lives, some people out there suffer from these disorders so often or suffer from it so highly that it prevents them from being able to go about their daily lives.
  • Bipolar disorder. This condition is identified by episodes of depression and mania — extreme hyperactivity. Like most mental health conditions, bipolar disorder has varying degrees, and not everyone experiences it in the same way.
  • Mood Disorders. People who suffer from mood disorders tend not to be able to control or regulate their emotions. Often, they might go through prolonged periods of extreme sadness, depression, or even happiness.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. OCD is diagnosed when someone has constant thoughts or fears that impact how they can live their lives. These thoughts or fears are called obsessions, while rituals are called compulsions.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a condition that mostly develops after a particularly terrifying or traumatic event. These events could be an assault, a natural disaster, witnessing a murder, or anything truly traumatic that can bring on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Schizophrenia. Not a common condition, but schizophrenia is most notable for causing people to lose touch with reality. They experience symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, and unhealthy, repetitive thoughts.

What Are Symptoms Of Common Behavioral Health Conditions?

While many mental health disorders can be genetic or brought on by changing the brain’s chemistry, behavioral health disorders are primarily brought on by behavioral patterns. Although some behavioral disorders can be hereditary, they tend to be brought on by certain behaviors that can trigger the disorder. Below are some common examples of behavioral health conditions. 

  • Eating Disorder. Eating disorders stem from extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors involving weight and food. This can lead to significant medical issues and mental health issues associated with self-image obsession or a lack of perceived control. 
  • Substance abuse. This begins when people misuse substances to cope with an existing issue or self-medicate. Although it may work for some time, this behavior eventually worsens the problem and becomes one itself. 
  • Gambling addiction. Researchers believe that gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward systems to overproduce dopamine, which creates a need to pursue risky behaviors. As a matter of fact, this addiction can even result in withdrawal when the chemical high isn’t achieved.
  • Self-injury. Most often, this condition is associated with depression and disassociation, but some psychology experts think the tendency to harm oneself is more specifically tied to a negative self-image. Identifying this behavior as separate from depression can significantly impact the treatment path and potential for recovery.

What Are The Diagnosis and Treatment?

While someone with a behavioral health condition typically also has a mental health condition, someone with a mental health condition might not have a behavioral health condition. An effective treatment plan will have a collaborative approach to consider all aspects of an individual’s mental, behavioral, and physical well-being.

While every patient is unique, so are the individually tailored treatments. Below are the most common options for behavioral health treatment for those suffering from mental health conditions: 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Individual or group counseling, which includes counselors specializing in substance use disorders)
  • Prescribed medication (from a specialist or primary care provider)
  • Inpatient and outpatient programs
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychiatry (including psychiatrists specializing in addictive behavior)

Another key point is it’s crucial to obtain the correct diagnosis for the condition. Frequently, this means focusing on behavior modification and ensuring that any underlying psychological/psychiatric conditions are examined. Conversely, it is also vital to consider a change of behavior with any medicinal treatment. 

To make it possible, it is best to address the environment and triggers. In fact, the most effective treatment plan sometimes requires a collaborative approach. In these instances, a team of different behavioral health professionals examines all aspects of a patient’s well-being.

The Bottom Line

Just like you make sure to take care of yourself physically, it is essential to take care of yourself mentally. Indeed, mental fitness is what supports you to aspire, achieve, and thrive in a demanding world. At Health and Wellness Spa, they provide advanced care for Behavioral Health treatment that offers holistic treatment, whole-body care, and individualized planning since your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being.

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