Behavioral health vs Mental health – An important distinction to make

As uncanny as it may seem, behavioral health and mental health are  two very different things.  For one, mental health is solely concerned with the state of mind, whereas, behavioral health focuses on the interplay of habits and daily activities with the state of mind. One way to think about it is that mental health is a subset of a yet broader term (often referred to as a ‘blanket term’) – behavioral health . Recognizing this fine line allows us to seek proper care for our condition.

Among the many aspects that pertain to behavioral health disorders,

  • Eating disorder
  •  substance abuse,
  •  sleeping irregularities
  •  social isolation

are to mention but a few . The aforementioned conditions may often root from maladaptive behaviors. It is important to note, however, that certain conditions are not entirely caused by behavioral issues. Rather, genetics and brain chemistry play a greater role.

  • Bipolar disorder
  •  Schizophrenia
  •  Depression
  •  Generalized anxiety disorder

among others, do not have a direct relation to behavior. However, behavioral disorders often co-occur with mental illness. That is, the underlying psychological condition cause the person to adopt disruptive habits and vice versa. It is , therefore, important to take a multidisciplinary approach when it comes  to dealing with those conditions.

Fortunately, there are a number of services available in a behavioral health program for anyone who needs them and it is through the collaborative approach that we can offer an effective treatment. The following lists a few of those services:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Licensed professional counselors

These healthcare professionals provide therapies and medications that help individuals overcome negative behaviors and attain a state of well being which would allow them to navigate through life with greater ease.  All in all, the study of link between behavior and psychiatry is necessary to attain effective treatments.

Nushin Nawar
Student, Mastermind School


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