Psychological health is a state of well-being in which people are resilient enough to face life’s challenges and be able to enjoy healthy relationships, work and social activities. It is the ability to cope with adversity, and it also refers to the harmonious relationship between body and mind. It is defined as “the ability to understand and regulate one’s emotions, to think clearly, solve problems and make informed decisions” (World Health Organization).
A person’s mental health depends on many factors including genetic makeup, upbringing, environment, stress, anxiety, depression, trauma and abuse, and addiction. People experiencing these issues are at risk of a wide range of problems including emotional distress, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and PTSD. The good news is that with early and consistent treatment—often a combination of therapy and medication—it is possible to manage these conditions and live a happy, productive life.
The definition of psychological health has changed over time, reflecting the evolution of scientific research and popular culture. The current perspective is more positive and focuses on well-being rather than negative symptoms such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. This is a shift from hedonic and eudaimonic traditions, which champion positive emotions and excellence in functioning to a more holistic view of well-being.
It is a complex concept, and understanding it requires the help of professionals. A psychologist is trained to assess a person’s mental health and can recommend treatments such as talk therapy, medications or other therapies. Psychologists can provide an individual with tools to improve their mood, increase self-esteem and develop healthier thought patterns. They can also refer a patient to a psychiatrist for medical management of a mental illness, such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.
There are several types of talk therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and gestalt therapy. Medications used to treat mental illness include antidepressants, antipsychotics and anxiolytics. These are prescribed by a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist. It is important to stick with your treatment plan, even if you feel better, and always consult your doctor before stopping or adjusting the dose of your medication.
It’s important to take care of your mental and emotional wellness, especially during difficult times such as a breakup or the death of a loved one. A psychologist can help you navigate these challenging situations and find solutions that will help you get back on track. They can help you learn to cope with stress and develop a healthy lifestyle, including good nutrition and physical activity. For example, exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression in adults and children. It can also lower your risk of depression, anxiety and PTSD.