Psychological health is a sense of emotional and psychological well-being that influences cognition, perception, and behavior. It can be influenced by a variety of factors, including mood, coping abilities, and stress responses to events in life. It can also be a factor in whether someone develops a mental illness, such as depression or bipolar disorder. A person with a poor psychological health can struggle to cope with everyday stresses and may find it difficult to interact socially or work in a healthy manner.
Many therapeutic systems and self-help books offer methods and philosophies that claim to improve psychological health. These approaches often focus on positive emotions, such as happiness and contentment. There are also theories that define well-being in terms of a person’s ability to live a creative, flexible lifestyle, to deal with problems and setbacks, and to feel a sense of purpose in their lives.
A person’s mental health can be affected by a variety of factors, such as genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. It can also be impacted by the quality of their relationships and their ability to cope with life’s challenges. Some people with poor psychological health may struggle to function normally and can be at risk of isolation, substance abuse, or suicide.
If a person is experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, they can seek help from a healthcare professional. Doctors typically begin by looking at a patient’s medical history and performing a physical exam to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms. They will then do a mental health evaluation. This includes interviewing the patient and asking questions about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They may also ask the patient to fill out a mental health questionnaire.
Research has shown that a person’s mental health is linked to their physical health. People with a mental illness are more likely to experience chronic physical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, than those without one. They are also at greater risk for co-existing mental and physical health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
In addition to focusing on the prevention of mental illness, researchers are also working on improving the way that they measure a person’s psychological health. A shift from the traditional diagnosis and treatment of mental illness to a more holistic approach to mental health has gained interest among psychologists, epidemiologists, economists, sociologists, and policy makers.
Current practice in mental health focuses on intervening in the group of people who are diagnosed with disorder and on trying to prevent new cases of disorder in those at high risk (the “languishing” group). However, it is becoming clear that a small improvement in population mean scores on a psychiatric symptom scale can lead to a large decrease in the percentage of individuals with disorder and a large increase in the number of people who are flourishing. This requires a radical change in emphasis from disorder and dysfunction to well-being and flourishing. This shift should also include a focus on the role of positive psychology in mental health.