The topic of behavioral health vs. mental health has many people asking if there is really a difference between the two classifications.  There are dozens, if not hundreds of articles out there providing conflicting information further complicating the classifications of many disorders and diseases such as depression or anxiety.

While the debate continues on to what categories these disorders and diseases fall under, the main focus at Strategic Behavioral Health (SBH) facilities remains caring for and helping our patients get the help they need to get better.

Mental Health

Mental Health disorders are often times biological or neurological issues a person is born with.  These issues are usually not something that a person can overcome on their own, but with proper treatment they can manage these ongoing personal challenges related to specific disorders and diseases.

Treatment for mental health disorders can come in the form of medication, psychological therapy, and in many cases, a combination of the two.

Below is a list of examples related to the field of Mental Health.

  • Addictions
  • Autism
  • ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Addictions: Alcohol And Substance Abuse
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Conversion Disorders
  • Depression: Major Depression & Unipolar Varieties
  • Childhood Mental Disorders And Illnesses
  • Eating Disorders
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Impulse Control Disorders
  • Internet Addiction And Media Issues
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual Disorders
  • Suicide
  • Tourette’s And Other Tic Disorders

Behavioral Health

According to the experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Behavioral Health is classified as “a state of mental/emotional being and/or choices and actions that affect wellness. Behavioral health problems include substance abuse or misuse, alcohol and drug addiction, serious psychological distress, suicide, and mental and substance use disorders.”

Many of the problems that are listed under Behavioral Health tend to fall under the personal decisions individuals make.  These decisions can be triggered by significant life events such as getting injured in a car accident, loosing a limb during combat in a war, going through divorce, or another event that results in a person having a hard time managing their feelings and emotions.

A person struggling with his or her behavioral health may encounter

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Grief
  • Addiction
  • Mood disorders
  • Other psychological concerns

As you may have noticed, there are overlaps in what is considered a mental health disorder and a behavioral health disorder.  With time, medical professionals will come to agreement to which category particular diseases and disorders are categorized.