Mental Health Virtual Pocket Dictionary

Navigating the mental health space can be difficult, now more than ever. Our virtual pocket dictionary can help.


Woman standing by the water

Anxiety Disorders

People with anxiety disorders respond to certain objects or situations with fear and dread or terror. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic disorders, and phobias.

Behavioral Health

An umbrella term for any behavioral problems bearing on health, including mental health, substance abuse, stress-linked physical symptoms, patient activation, and health behaviors.1

Depression and Other Mood Disorders

While bad moods are common, and usually pass in a short period, people suffering from mood disorders live with more constant and severe symptoms. People living with this mental illness find that their mood impacts both mental and physical well-being, nearly every day, and often for much of the day. It is estimated that 1 in 10 adults suffer from some type of mood disorder, with the most common conditions being depression and bipolar disorder. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most of those living with mood disorders lead healthy, normal and productive lives. If left untreated, this illness can affect role functioning, quality of life and many long-lasting physical health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.2 Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same things. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.

Mental Illness

Mental illnesses are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Such conditions may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic) and affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.

Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders occur when frequent or repeated use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. Substance use problems can be fatal to the user or others. Examples include drunk driving fatalities and drug overdoses. Mental illnesses and substance use disorders often occur together. Sometimes one disorder can be a contributing factor to or can make the other worse. Sometimes they simply occur at the same time.


Sources:

1APA

2CDC.Gov

The information provided is meant for a general audience. It is not a substitute for services or advice received from your health care providers who are the only ones that can diagnose and treat your individual medical conditions. Capital BlueCross and its affiliated companies believe this health education resource provides useful information but do not assume any liability associated with its use. If you have any questions about the information, please contact your health care provider. Individual coverage for any services that may be discussed in this resource depends on your benefits plan. To determine coverage for any health care service, please refer to your Certificate of Coverage or Evidence of Coverage or call Member Services at the toll-free number on your member ID card.