Why is Mental Health Vital for Overall Health?

Mental health is often misunderstood, overlooked, and even stereotyped.

According to the CDC, mental health includes a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It not only affects how people think, feel, and act but, equally as important, mental health helps determine how people handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.

As mental health services in Pittsburgh confirm, mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. And mental health is vital for overall health.

Medical research emphasizes that negative mental health conditions—like depression, chronic stress, anxiety, anger, pessimism and dissatisfaction with one’s current life—can negatively impact diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Mental health services in Pittsburgh focus on the reality that depression and negative mental health conditions are associated with a less healthy heart and body.

On the other hand, effective mental health services, optimism and other positive mental health conditions are associated with a healthier heart and body.

Although some chronic health conditions can increase the risk for mental illness, professionals do make the distinction that mental health is not mental illness! While the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are different.

A person can experience poor mental health, and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. While a person diagnosed with a mental illness can still experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.

Mental health services in Pittsburgh underscore the many ways that mental health affects overall health, and that improving mental health can affect various aspects of overall health. Recent research also shows that people with positive mental health are more likely to have lower risks of developing heart disease, lower blood pressure, better glucose control, less inflammation, and lower cholesterol.

Positive mental health is also associated with beneficial health behaviors, such as smoking cessation, increased physical activity, heart-healthy eating, increased medication adherence and regular check-ups and health screenings.

Mental health services in Pittsburgh are proof. Effectively improving mental health often leads to improved overall health.

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