DrMental health is a state where one is able to cope with various external stressors and internal conflicts without excessive difficulty, can seek and experience pleasure and strike a balance between internal needs and outer reality. The person is able to carve out their own course of life by taking into consideration their needs as well as those of others. They are able to form reciprocal and deep intimate relationships. Mentally healthy people can assert themselves and neither hurt themselves nor others in the process. Transitional emotional upsurges may exist on certain occasions but these can be handled in a constructive manner without being crippled.

If the person feels debilitated by external and internal stress, is unable to lead their life in a self-acceptable manner, struggles with a broken self, has poor internal relationships or feels threatened by their own thoughts and emotions then it is likely that they are suffering from a psychological or mental disorder. If any personal reaction is intense, inflated, protracted and interferes with the capacity to function adequately or cause distress, it may lead to abnormality. The most common psychological disorders are: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.

There is a tendency to view and treat psychological problems in a manner similar to physical illnesses by targeting the presenting symptoms or chief complaints. This approach has several shortcomings because psychological problems are complex and observable symptoms are just the tip of an iceberg. Mental and psychological disorders are not random and there are several factors which determine their development. Among these factors the prominent ones are the person’s personality, subconscious mind, life history, interpersonal environment and defense mechanisms. For attaining the state of mental health, the treatment of mental and psychological disorders must take into account these variables.

Read More on Psychological & Mental Disorders
1. A Wake-Up Call on Indian Mental Health
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder- A glimpse of symptoms, causes and treatments
3. False self and psychosis