What is Mental Health?

'Mental health problems', 'mental illness' and 'mental ill health' are all common terms that are used to refer to the full spectrum of diagnosed clinical conditions such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar or schizophrenia. Symptoms of mental health problems have traditionally been divided into groups called either ‘neurotic’ or ‘psychotic’ symptoms. ‘Neurotic’ covers those symptoms which can be regarded as extreme forms of ‘normal’ emotional experiences such as depression, anxiety or panic. Conditions formerly referred to as ‘neuroses’ are now more frequently called ‘common mental health problems,’ although this does not always mean they are less severe than conditions with psychotic symptoms.

Less common are ‘psychotic’ symptoms which interfere with a person’s perception of reality and may include hallucinations, delusions or paranoia, with the person seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling or believing things that no one else does. Psychotic symptoms or ‘psychoses’ are often associated with ‘severe mental health problems.’

However, there is no sharp distinction between the symptoms of common and severe mental health problems. It is important to remember that some illnesses feature both neurotic and psychotic symptoms.

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Types of Mental Illness

  • Psychotic disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Dual diagnosis (LD & Mental Health)