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When Health Issues Become Mental Health Issues

When interacting with individuals who discuss psychiatric issues, we may often hear the phrases “Mental Health Issues” and “behavioral health” used interchangeably. While it may have been less clear in the past as to what each phrase or concept represented, in more recent times, medical professionals, doctors and mental health specialists have come to recognize that each of these problems is a different category, focused on specific differences. In order to better understand why each issue is different, and how they are focused on individually, w e should look a bit closer as to their meanings.

Mental Health vs. Behavioral Health

When we look at mental health issues versus behavioral health issues, we undoubtedly run immediately into the problem that “mental health” still has stigmas attached to it from over the past years. We you may hear someone interchangeably say “I heard they were suffering from a behavioral health symptom”, where they are really referring to a mental health issue. Behavioral health is a phrase that is viewed as a bit more politically correct and not as harsh to some, but in all actuality, it is usually referring to a completely different set of symptoms that set it apart from actual mental health conditions. Regardless of one’s personal preference when it comes to referring to mental or behavioral health issues, they both refer to different things.


Mental health conditions usually refer to disorders or diseases that are often times biological or neurological, and an individual is most often born with these. Treatment is sought as a way of coping with the difficulties that these issues present when it comes to living a balanced life. The ongoing challenges can create upheaval in both one’s personal life and in the lives of those around them should they fail to get the care and help needed. The types of treatment or therapy that are often used for these issues can be everything from psychological therapy to different types of medication.

Here are some of the most closely-related examples of mental health issues:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Various types of substance abuse, such as alcohol and chemical abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Major depression and various Unipolar varieties of depression
  • Mental Health Issues related to childhood
  • Personality disorders
  • PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts, behaviors and tendencies
  • Tourette’s and related Tic disorders

Now when we look at Behavioral Health, we should look at this definition given to us by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which states that “Behavioral Health is a state of mental or emotional being or choices and actions that affects wellness. These Behavioral Health disorders can include the misuse and abuse of various substances, addictions to drugs or alcohol, psychological distress, suicide and mental and substance use disorders.” In totality, behavioral health tends to fall under specific decisions that an individual makes that can affect themselves or another person specifically. Various life events can be the precursor to these issues coming forth.

If left untreated, behavioral health symptoms can eventually be exacerbated and at some point turn into a mental health issue or issues. The most important aspect of either issue is to get help and starting treatment at the earliest sign of symptoms.

Palms Behavioral Health is poised as a leader in the Harlingen, Texas region, and understands the need for quality mental and behavioral health treatment. These issues can truly overshadow one’s personal life and affect everything from their personal relationships to their immediate safety.

Talk with us today

If you would like to talk to us about an mental health issues or potential issue you suspect you may be struggling with, please feel free to contact one of our mental health professionals at 888-979-1288, as we are available for a completely free and confidential assessment 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

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