Behavioral Health VS Mental Health – How Are They Different?

The terms “behavioral health” vs “mental health” often sound the same and are used interchangeably; however, do they actually mean the same thing?

Although they have some similarities, they represent two distinct areas of health and in the case of, definitions or methods of treatment, in no way, are they the same.

To break this down, this guide put together a quick explanation of behavioral health vs mental health, including the different signs and symptoms of both disorders of the value of being aware.

Overview of Behavioral Health

Your behavior with behavioral health affects both your mental health and physical health. The behaviors that affect us may be rooted in mental disorders, or they may be linked to lifestyle, the environment, emotions, or other triggers. Examples include problematic behaviors such as substance abuse, eating disorders, and emotional disorders.

Behavioral health is linked to our behavior and overall well-being. Everything including your fitness routine such as your diet can affect your emotional and physical health. A number of factors can affect your behavioral health including:

  • Diet
  • Medicine
  • Relationships
  • Exercise habits
  • Trauma
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Chronic health problems

Overview of Mental Health

By mental health, you mean the overall well-being of a patient’s biology, environment, and behavior. The term mental health may sometimes fall under the general category of behavioral health, but it is much broader than behavior.

Behavioral health refers to how a person’s well-being is affected by behavior; mental health is primarily related to the person’s condition.

Behavioral Health vs Mental Health – How Are They Different?

Behavioral Health VS Mental Health

The primary difference is that behavioral health is often interpreted as a “blanket term” that includes your mental health. This is because behavioral health examines how a person’s daily activities can affect their emotional/mental state.

However, it can be seen that overall mental health and mental problems can stand alone, which means they can be the main cause of some of the patient’s daily habits and activities.

For example, when a patient has a history of various mental disorders such as mood disorders or ( bipolar disorder, panic disorder, general anxiety disorder), behavioral health conditions for their illnesses such as comorbidities are commonly associated with a mental health condition.

Conversely, certain behavioral disorders are induced for regular behaviors and activities or issues such as depression are exacerbated.

Basically, to find the difference between “behavioral health vs mental health”, one must look at how they are interconnected because our behaviors can affect our minds. Again it can be seen that our mind can influence our actions or behaviors.

This means that behavioral health or behavioral health care and mental health or mental health care are connected. But they are different depending on which one affects the other.

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Common Symptoms Of Underlying Behavioral Health And Mental Health Issues

Common but not limited to common symptoms of a potential mental health problem or behavioral health problem include:

  • Feeling sad or irresistible frustrated.
  • Demonstration of decreased ability to concentrate.
  • Excessive thinking or unnecessary fear.
  • Showing extreme mood swings.
  • Absolutely remove from activities or friendships, and other social gatherings.
  • Eating habits change dramatically.
  • Suicidal thoughts or active thoughts about harming oneself or others.
  • Symptoms of dementia or lack of intellectual ability (may occur in people over 55 years of age).
  • Substance abuse.

Increased levels of stress, fear, and anxiety through the influence of the body’s immune system and cardiac activities can be associated with behavioral health problems.

If all of these symptoms are actively present, you should seek the guidance of a behavioral health counselor, or mental health professional, who provides primary care.

Behavioral and Mental Health Disorders

Behavioral health can be thought of as a subset of mental health, but not all mental health problems are or cannot be the result of behavioral problems.

Some of these are due to brain chemistry or genetic inheritance. Here is a shortlist of mental disorders that are not directly related to behaviors or causes:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

In contrast, behavioral health disorders result from harmful behaviors affecting physical or mental states. Behavioral health disorders include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Gambling
  • Sex addiction

Although behavioral health issues are defined by unhealthy habits, these habits are not always the root cause of the problem. It is often seen that behavioral health disorders are caused by mental illness.

Simply correcting behaviors is not enough to effectively treat these conditions. Rather you must choose a psychiatrist and/or psychological counselor to address the root.

Conversely, although many mental health conditions have a biological basis, they can be severely affected by your behavior. It can affect you in both positive and negative ways.

Maladaptive behaviors (such as alcohol, drug use, or overeating) can exacerbate the symptoms of mental health disorders.

However, developing effective coping methods (practicing or meditating) can improve both your physical and mental condition.

Behavioral Health Vs Mental Health: Diagnosis And Treatment

Whether you are concerned about your own mental health or behavioral health, it is important to make an accurate diagnosis of your condition.  Ignoring the underlying mental illness situation, for example, maybe easier in treating mental illness with medication for those who are less careful or inexperienced. In this case, focus on changing behavior, or ignoring the need to change bad habits.

The most effective treatment plan, in this case, may be to take a collaborative approach by hiring specialists considering all aspects of the patient’s well-being.

Treatment can often include multidisciplinary and therapeutic interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, group counseling, and much more for advanced treatment.

Bottom Line

In many cases, the same symptoms manifest or affect each other, but the two are two different conditions of health which I have discussed in detail in this guide as well as where they show similarity. Hope this makes sense to you. So, this is about behavioral health vs mental health.