The language of mental health and mental illness

Firstly, let me get clear on the language that I use. I hate the way we use the term ‘mental health’ when in fact we mean ‘mental illness’. Everyone has a mental health – some people’s is good (at times) and others is bad (at other times). Mental illness is something that people with a diagnosis like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia have all the time. Sometimes they live symptom free but for illnesses like bipolar and schizophrenia, the illnesses are enduring, but controlled with a combination of medication, therapy, lifestyle factors such as healthy diet and exercise and maybe meditation. These illnesses are not like an infection – you don’t take antibiotics and get magically cured. They stay with you forever, unfortunately.

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