Health is a condition where sickness and infirmity are either absent or not present. A wide variety of definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. These conditions are broadly categorized into 3 groups: physical, emotional and mental health. Some scientists believe that there is a big difference between these three and that only one can be properly defined as the true indicator of a person’s health.
The definition of “healthy” has changed over the years to include a combination of the above categories, but this was done to simplify the concept. People are regarded as healthy if they are free from serious illnesses and the severity of the illness does not impede their productivity or contribute to their impairment. The illness does not need to be progressive; it may be mild at first and the person may recover from the illness without requiring any form of treatment, or the person may need some form of treatment for some time but then be fully recovered.
Emotional wellness includes having positive mental health. The term can cover both the person’s mental and physical health and in some cases, the terms are combined. Mental wellness includes a person’s ability to think and learn, and to make sound decisions. Having a high level of personal responsibility and being assertive in achieving goals contributes to a person’s sense of personal wellness. Life success usually begins with a solid sense of self-esteem, which is reinforced by a strong sense of physical health.
The relationship between mind, body, and spirit has become more widely recognized in recent years, and mental health specialists refer to mental health problems as a form of spiritual illness. People with mental illness tend to have greater challenges in achieving wellness and well-being. In addition, some types of mental illnesses lead to other types of health problems.
There are a number of organizations and societies in the United States that focus on issues that affect individuals and families. They provide information about common diseases, treatments and prevention methods, and services available. The National Institute of Mental Health, an arm of the Public Health Service, has a wealth of information on mental disorders, including research, prevention, and treatments. Many state laws provide guidelines for protecting patients with disabilities and ensuring that they have access to services.
The definitions given above are just some of the many that are discussed in public health books and magazines and may be found online. A variety of other publications address all manners of mental wellbeing, including those associated with physical illness. Some professional groups offer support for such issues. For more information on mental health and well-being, contact your local public health office or your doctor. They can give you valuable information and can help you find resources to empower yourself and others.