Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about mental health but been too afraid to ask

According to the WHO, mental health is related to well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals affected by these disorders. Because of certain myths around mental health, we often neglect to take care of it in the same way as our physical health. I think it is an important and integral part of our well-being and that we should get help from a specialist when needed. It’s time to demystify therapy and understand that mental health is a fundamental part of self-care.

In moments of crisis, there is a higher probability that our mental health will be affected because of our intense emotions. Taking good care of our mental health doesn’t mean that we have to stop worrying or get rid of negative feelings; it is more about recognizing negative feelings and knowing how to handle them. This is important to treating and preventing mental disorders and helping people learn how to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

People may feel fear, uncertainty, panic, anxiety, anguish, and other emotions that, together, can be diagnosed as certain mental disorders or illnesses. For this blog post, I’ve worked with Psychiatrist Roberto Albarran García (dr.albarrangarcia@gmail.com), to create a glossary of key terms that can help us better understand the language around mental health and start to normalize the use of this language in our daily lives.

– Mental Health

Well-being resulting from the cognitive, affective, and behavioral state or behavior that allows an individual to function adequately in social and working environments and contribute to society.


A doctor with special training in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental and behavioral disorders.

– Phycologist

A mental health professional who has received formal training in psychology and is responsible for studying thought, behavior, and emotions from a therapeutic approach.


The treatment of emotional disorders in a way that addresses the needs of each individual. It allows the patient to improve and develop new ways of solving problems.

-Mental Illness

A condition in which biological, psychological, and social processes are altered in such a way that they distort one’s capacity to adapt and function. Sometimes, one’s mental illness may even distort these capacities in others.


An elevated state of excitement or euphoria in which an individual tends to have high self-esteem, a decreased need for sleep, a flood of ideas, frequent distractions, restlessness, and psychomotor issues that are sometimes accompanied by serious symptoms such as psychosis.


A common mental illness characterized by sadness and /or loss of interest or pleasure, accompanied by feelings of guilt, lack of self-esteem, sleep and appetite disorders, as well as feelings of fatigue and lack of concentration that can become disabling or put the life of the individual suffering from depression at risk.


An emotion that produces a psychophysiological reaction in which the central nervous system is activated, leading to bodily reactions, sensations, and thoughts. All human beings experience anxiety, and it helps us prepare for difficult moments. When pathological, anxiety becomes too intense and is present even in moments that do not necessarily require this response from our body.


An emotional state that arises in our conscience as a response to pending danger.

-Psychotic Disorder

A serious mental illness provoking ideas known as delusions, altered sensory perception, or hallucinations, in which the individual has experiences that exist outside of reality.


An excessive or irrational anxiety or fear that occurs suddenly and can lead to extreme thinking or acts.

-Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A mental disorder characterized by the presence of a trauma in one’s life that has led to negative impacts on behavior, emotions, feelings, and thoughts to the extent of affecting one’s proper functioning.


The acronym for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, a mental disorder in which individuals suffer from repetitive and undesirable thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations, and behaviors that prompt them to do something over and over again to alleviate their symptoms.


Addiction to substances such as drugs and alcohol is a chronic disease that affects the brain’s reward system. This disease prevents people from controlling their behaviors and maintaining healthy relationships. Like other chronic diseases, addiction can cause relapses and remissions.


The act by which an individual decides to intentionally end their life.


A service that keeps patients under observation so that a doctor can provide a diagnosis and treatment and follow-up on their condition.



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