Most people would not know the difference
Mental Health affects all of the population while Mental Illness will only affect a small percentage of the population.
If I am having a good day, that is mental health. If I am having a bad day and feeling poorly about myself, that too is mental health but if I continue to have bad days and continue to feel very poorly about myself, at some stage if left unchallenged or untreated, that may become mental illness.
How does that happen?
It does not happen overnight. It is incremental and happens over a long period of time.
Have you ever heard the term “From small acorns great oak trees grow”. Well the same applies in reverse. If you have a small doubt or worry (acorn) in your head about life, or about yourself, which will very quickly become a second acorn, which can then very quickly become an oak tree growing in your head. Then it gets dark and you get lost. Then it becomes hopeless.
This has nothing to do with genes. You would be amazed at the amount of people who still believe that mental illness is genetic. This has probably a lot to do with our flawed understanding of the original theories around genetics.
Our genes are just blueprints. They do not come out on their own, they have to be activated. What activates the gene? Our cells activate the gene. All we are as humans is 3 trillion cells covered in cling film. We are cellular. Every cell has a memory as well as all our organs and systems.
When our cells are mobilised we tap into all our stored memories and the emotions and feelings attached to those memories.
What mobilises our cells? Our anxiety response mobilises our cells for automatic fight, flight or freeze survival instinct.
What makes us anxious?
Our response to the environment we are living and working in causes the anxiety response, which then mobilises the cells, which in turn changes our biology. It is the change in our biology which ultimately makes us sick physically and mentally.
We always traditionally thought that our genes controlled our biology but now we know it is the environment we are living in that controls it.
That is incredibly good news to know, because we have full control over how that works by just being aware and being honest enough to take personal responsibility to change how we are living in that environment.
I teach a whole new modern perspective on understanding our mental health and believe me when I say “Our wellness is in our own hands”.