If you find yourself an avid reader of substance abuse topics, you might be familiar with mental and emotional health. Perhaps you see the terms used interchangeably or even as synonyms, but mental and emotional health are beyond that. In fact, mental health and emotional health are two different components of a human being’s overall health.

Most people assume that mental and emotional health are the same because they both handle non-tangible elements of human health; however, they involve different aspects of a person’s mind and senses. As such, regulating and taking care of both a person’s mental and emotional health is crucial for a recovering addict.

Many addicts often face poor or declining mental and emotional health and should seek to improve it. As such, defining mental and emotional health and understanding what differentiates them is critical to a full recovery.

Defining Mental Health

Your mental health is a crucial part of your wellbeing and affects various areas of your day-to-day life. Mental health influences your psychological, emotional, and social needs and how they affect your thoughts and actions. An imbalance of any these elements can cause all types of problems, such as:

  • Mood swings
  • Lack of energy or motivation
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Undereating or overeating

Some of these elements may mesh together to the average person, but each one is crucial for normal activity. A person’s psychological needs cover their perception of their competence, autonomy, and relatedness—all important factors for proper functionality. Social needs focus on a person’s belongingness and need to connect with other people and bond with them. Finally, emotional needs relate to their stability of positive and negative emotions and avoiding an excess of either.

Each of these needs can be hampered by substance abuse, crippling a person’s aptitude, social ability, and self-control. Addictions can also cause many other side effects of weak mental health including insomnia, lacking energy, and mood changes.

Defining Emotional Health

After defining mental health, you might think emotional health might just be the same as its emotional component; however, emotional health encompasses more than just the state of your feelings. Rather, emotional health involves your ability to manage and express your emotions in a mature and appropriate manner.

For example, your emotional health may be put into question if you tend to lash out angrily and violently. These behaviors cannot be fixed overnight, but you can gradually work to improve them. If you tend to be more negative in everyday life, you can instead focus on more positive outlooks.

Treating psychological health requires professional help from the outside by therapists and psychiatrists, while emotional health comes from inside yourself. Instead of accepting flaws in your emotions, pinpoint them and seek ways to improve said emotions and your corresponding behavior.

Defining the Differences

Though mental and emotional health can be defined differently, multiple qualities separate them from each other. For one, mental and emotional health process different parts of your mind and conduct. The state of your mental health reflects how well your mind processes information and experiences. On the other hand, your emotional health revolves around how you express your emotions based on those experiences. In a sense, your mental and emotional health handle especially different parts of your mind.

The importance of each one for your daily functionality may also surprise you. Though keeping both in good condition is important for an overall healthy life, one can thrive without the other. Even if a person’s mental health is waning with depression or anxiety, they can still communicate their emotions properly. Likewise, a person can have perfectly functional mental health but struggle to convey their feelings properly.

Finally, mental and emotional health both have varying scopes, with mental health beyond your own experiences and surrounding your ability to reason your decisions. In comparison, emotional health focuses more on a person’s individual feelings, experiences, and how they manage them. In the end, maintaining both good mental health and emotional health are crucial to a healthy life. Balancing both can not only pursue overall healthier wellbeing but one that can avert the vices of addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.


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