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Mental health and mental illnessThe World Health Organization defines health as the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being of a person and not simply the absence of a disease or infirmity in a person’s body. Thus health is viewed as the ability of a person’s body to function properly without experiencing any form of physical, mental or social disorders. Moreover when evaluating the term health, it is important for one to understand it from a broader perspective other than illness or diseases. Health is related to the wellness of a person both socially, physically, mentally and emotionally.

For this reason the health of a person is measured through the overall wellbeing nature of their body to function appropriately while illness is measured by a specific diagnosis depending on how a person’s body is functioning. Mental health is therefore characterized by the state of a person’s emotional, psychological and social well being. Mental health thus has a direct impact on the behaviors of a person. For instance it affects how an individual relates with others, responds to their environment, and how one thinks and feels.

Mental health disorders will arise as a result of several factors depending on the age of a person or their immediate surroundings. A person will experience mental problems, due to biological issues like hormonal changes, past life encounters that have led to trauma or family background of mental health disorders (Link et al, 1989). The Department of health in London, states that mental health will become a health complication once a person identified with the signs and symptoms experience recurrent forms of stress that interfere with the person’s ability to function appropriately.

Persistent mental health issues eventually results to a mental illness. Mental illness can therefore be defined as a medical condition that affects a person’s thinking capability. By interfering with an individual’s thoughts, mental illness, negatively impacts the ability of a person to associate with others and perform their daily activities. Mental illness disables a person from coping with daily demands of life. Some of the mental illnesses include; panic disorders, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive, depression, borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia (Mental Health Strategies, 1999).

Mental illness can affect persons from any age bracket, religion, race or social status. Nonetheless it is a health disorder that can be treated; individuals with mental illness can recover from it by receiving appropriate treatment and services. Early signs of mental illness can be used by specialists to diagnose specific kind of disease a person is suffering from. DementiaAlzheimer Society (2008) describes dementia as a group of symptoms that are characterized by memory loss and lack of proper cognitive functioning. Therefore dementia is associated with a series of slow brain activities that eventually affect the normal daily life of a person.

According to NHS, dementia has become a common health problem affecting over 800,000 people around the UK. Consequently people at the age of 65 and above are at a greater risk of developing dementia than their younger counterparts.

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