What Are Behavioral Health Disorders?

behavioral and mental health disorderMaybe you’ve noticed something different about a friend or family member lately. They might seem sad, angry or anxious more often than usual, and you’re not sure how to help. You may be wondering if they have a behavioral health disorder.
Or, maybe you are becoming aware of some kind of abnormality within yourself—something that’s been making it hard for you to live the life you want. You could be wondering if you have a behavioral health disorder.

Behavioral health disorders are conditions that affect how we think, feel and behave. They can cause serious problems in our lives, but they are treatable.

There are many different types of behavioral health disorders, and each one has its own set of symptoms. Some common examples include:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders

Behavioral health disorders and mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. However, they are more likely to occur in people who have a family history of mental disorders, those who have experienced trauma, or those who have a substance abuse problem.

If you think you may have a behavioral health disorder, it’s important to seek professional help. 

Mental health treatment can vary depending on the type of disorder, but it often includes therapy and medication. With treatment, people with behavioral health disorders can live happy and healthy lives.

Behavioral Health Vs. Mental Health

behavioral and mental health services administrationMental and behavioral health are related, but it’s important to know that behavioral health and mental health are not the same thing. Mental health refers to a person’s emotional well-being, while behavioral health focuses on a person’s behaviors.

Mental health disorders can cause changes in a person’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors. For example, someone with depression may have negative thoughts, feel hopeless and withdraw from social activities. Someone with generalized anxiety disorder may feel excessively worried and have trouble sleeping.

Behavioral health disorders also involve changes in thoughts, emotions and behaviors. However, these changes are usually more significant and can result in problems with work, school or relationships.

For example, someone with antisocial personality disorder may lie, cheat and steal. Someone with borderline personality disorder may become unreasonably upset over small issues and have intense, unpredictable mood swings.

People with behavioral health disorders may also experience physical symptoms. For example, someone with anorexia nervosa may become very thin and have low energy levels. Someone with PTSD may have flashbacks and trouble sleeping.

Leading Therapies for Behavioral Health Disorders & Mental Health Conditions

mental health professional with clientThere is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating behavioral health disorders. However, many people with behavioral health disorders find that therapy helps them manage their symptoms. There are different types of therapy available, and the right type of therapy will depend on the individual’s needs.

Some of the most common therapies used to treat behavioral health disorders include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on how a person’s thoughts and behaviors influence their emotions. CBT can help people learn how to manage their symptoms by changing the way they think about and respond to stressful situations.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that was developed specifically for people with borderline personality disorder. DBT helps people learn how to manage their emotions, tolerate stress and interact effectively with others.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT): IPT is a type of therapy that helps people understand and improve their relationships with others. IPT can be helpful for people who have behavioral health disorders because many of these disorders can be caused or worsened by problems in social relationships.
  • Family-focused therapy: Family-focused therapy is a type of therapy that helps families affected by behavioral health disorders. The goal of family-focused therapy is to help families understand and support their loved one while also addressing the problems that the disorder is causing in the family.

Treatment Has a Record of Success

young man treated for mental health conditionThere are many different types of treatment for behavioral health disorders, and each type of treatment has a proven track record of success. Treatment can help people with behavioral health disorders improve their symptoms, function better in everyday life and feel better about themselves.

It’s important to remember that treatment is individualized. No two people with a behavioral health disorder are exactly alike, so no two treatment plans should be exactly alike either. Treatment should be tailored to each person’s unique needs and preferences.


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