Mental Health Issues vs. Common Emotions

Mental health is a common subject talked about in our society today. It is defined as how we think, feel, act, interact with others, and how we deal with stress, anger, and sadness. Our mental health can change throughout our lives and it is important to seek help when the emotions of sadness, fear, and anger become overwhelming. (  What happens when we confuse experiencing regular stress from studying for a test, or anger due to a fight as having a mental illness?

It is common to feel negative emotions such as stress, anger, and sadness. This is normal and unavoidable. These feelings are natural and do not make you any less of a person for feeling them. However, mental illness is not caused by these feelings, it is caused by abnormal brain function resulting from genes or traumatic experiences. They affect daily tasks and make life harder. They require a medical diagnosis and need professionals to help people cope with it.

When we have this idea that emotions cause mental illness people can tend to think that we can never have a bad emotion in our lives, but this is not true. “In reality, while this is good for those who profit from this message, this way of thinking is not healthy for us, mentally or physically.” ( We cannot live our lives constantly avoiding what stresses us out, what makes us sad, or even angry. That is just not a part of life. It is important to work through what is causing us discomfort because this is how we learn how to work through problems. (

In mental illnesses the symptoms are uncontrollable and emotions are so overwhelming that the person cannot work through tasks. “A mental illness makes the things you do in life hard, like: work, school, and socializing with other people.” ( Mental illnesses include disorders such as ADHA, OCD, and Bipolar disorders. For some people, their discomfort is greater than just feeling plain stress or nervousness. When we associate regular feelings and worries with having a mental illness, people downplay the persons’ discomfort level, which ultimately controls their lives. This is another reason why recognizing common emotions and mental illness is so important.

However, when we have experienced events such as someone dying, it can cause you to feel overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, which can last for a very long time. These are signs of what calls a “mental health problem”. These emotions are also natural, and the support of friends and family can help you overcome this obstacle. However, if you are experiencing a mental health problem please do not hesitate to talk about it.

Distinguishing between plain feelings from having a mental health problem or mental illness helps avoid confusion and fear surrounding the topic of mental health. We can help educate the public and ourselves. This can lead to more understanding and help you to navigate and recognize when you should be considerate about your mental health. Remember that if you think you are struggling with your mental health in any way, please do not hesitate to speak up and talk about what you are feeling. For more information go to the CDC or to learn more.