mental health

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Brain and Mental Health

The information presented here has been created to help those interested in gaining an understanding of mental health conditions and illnesses. It is important that you discuss your research on specific drugs, alternative medicine and various aspects of nutrition with your physician.

Mental health is a state of successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and to cope with adversity.

Mental health is indispensable to personal well-being, family and your relationships, as well as your contribution to community or society.

It is easy to overlook the value of mental health until problems surface. Mental health is the springboard of thinking and communication skills, learning, emotional growth and self-esteem. In this day and age, people are constantly reminded about success in school, in their job, in parenting, and in relationships without realizing that success often depends upon on living life in a positive state of mental health.

Mental illness is the term that refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders. Mental disorders are health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.

Mental health and mental illness are dynamic, ever-changing phenomena. At any given moment, a person’s mental status reflects the sum total of that individual’s genetic inheritance and life experiences. The brain interacts with and responds both in its function and in its very structure to multiple influences continuously, across every stage of life. At different stages, variability in expression of mental health and mental illness can be very subtle or very pronounced.

A solid state of good mental health allows one to deal with unexpected events in life, while pursuing these goals. When mental disorders are not treated in a timely fashion, they may result in lost productivity, damaged relationships, and significant distress and dysfunction. Mental illness in adults can also have a long-term, possibly damaging result and effect on children in their care. If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from a mental illness, it is important that you take appropriate actions.

Alzheimer's Disease

Bipolar Disorder


Eating Disorders



Additional Resources

Prescription Drugs

Health Spas and Resorts

Obssessive Compulsive Disorder

Panic Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


Social Phobia

References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health

last update: April 2009

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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