Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Mental Health and Mental Illness

Mental Health vs Mental Illness

In nursing subjects and in the real medical field, psychiatry can be the best subject ever. Studying varying mental illnesses will help us understand that there is more to the brain and emotions and its varying components. We get to understand why people have it, why there are biological bases behind it, and we understand that not all emotional and attitude problems are under mental illness.

One of the terminologies that should be understood before dealing further with psychiatry are the words “mental health” and “mental illness.” Let us try to differentiate both words.

“Mental health” is also known as “mental hygiene.” These words, as defined by the World Health Organization, refer to someone who is in the state of well-being in which that person can cope and handle his or her stresses in life; knows his or her strengths as a person so that he or she can work efficiently to contribute to her community.

“Mental illness” is also known as “mental disorder.” This is the opposite of mental health. In this situation, the person is not in the state of well-being. He or she is in a state of emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and perceptual stress. He or she may not recognize the normal patterns of living as that person lives in a fantasy. People with a mental disorder or mental illness can be classified in different categories.

Mental health was first used during the 19th century by William Sweetzer. As for the words “mental illness,” there is no data available.

In order for mental health to be attained, people should exercise proper coping mechanisms for their problems. They should not deal with substance abuse as this is one of the number one causes of mental illness such as schizophrenia. People should be able to solve their problems using the right method such as talking to a friend, seeking their faith in their religion, and a lot more.

Mental illness and disorders are listed in the DSM-IV or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 4, which is the latest.

According to the WHO, 50 per cent of the population have mental illness and mental disorders. Not all of the mental disorders are parallel to schizophrenia. Some are not as grave as that. Disorders can be classified according to anxiety disorders which include: phobias, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and a lot more. There are also mood disorders such as depression and mania. Personality disorders are also common such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. The last are psychotic disorders which we should avoid which include schizophrenia.


1.“Mental health” is also known as “mental hygiene” while “mental disorder” is also known as “mental illness.”
2.“Mental health” as a word or phrase was first used in the 19th century while “mental illness” does not have any data of origin.
3.Mental illnessess are listed in the DSM-IV while there are books regarding mental health.
4.Mental illnessess are categorized into different disorders while mental health does not have any classifications.

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