About Mental Health

What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act, and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and the teen years through adulthood. Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. If that happened, you would not be alone. One in five people live with a mental health disorder. Magellan Healthcare is here to help you.

What is a Mental Health Disorder?

A mental health disorder is a condition that negatively affects a person’s thinking, mood and/or behavior. Disorders can range from mild to severe.

Many factors contribute to mental health conditions, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

People with a mental health disorder may also have a substance use disorder, and people with a substance use disorder may also struggle with their mental health. This is called having co-occurring disorders.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

There are many types of mental health disorders. Many of the most common are listed below. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health.

Anxiety: Anxiety is more than worry or fear about a specific problem or situation. Anxiety is a constant feeling of nervousness or fear that can last months or years. There are many kinds of anxiety. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/anxiety-disorders.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): ADHD is marked by not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able to control behavior, or a combination of these. For these symptoms to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a person's age and development level. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder.

Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, ranging from extreme highs (mania or “manic” episodes) to lows (depression or “depressive” episode). A person who has bipolar disorder also experiences changes in their energy, thinking, behavior, and sleep. During bipolar mood episodes, it is difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks, go to work or school, and maintain relationships. There are three different types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder: Having a history of at least one manic episode, but sometimes also having depressed or hypomanic episodes as well. Hypomanic means a person has a higher energy or activity level, mood, or behavior than normal. It is a less severe form of mania
  • Bipolar II Disorder: Mood states that vary from an even mood to up and down, but the highs are less extreme and are called hypomanic states; the depressive episodes may be just as severe as those in major depressive disorder and/or bipolar I disorder.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder: More chronic mood instability (both highs and lows) that are not as long, severe, or frequent as those experienced in bipolar I or II disorder.

For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/bipolar.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): BPD is a mental health condition in which a person has long-term patterns of unstable or explosive emotions. They result in impulsive actions, self-image issues and chaotic relationships with other people. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/borderline-personality-disorder.

Delusional Disorder: Delusional disorder is when a person has an irrational or intense belief or suspicion that they think is true. These beliefs may seem unreal and impossible (bizarre) or seem normal but there is no proof (non-bizarre). The person can’t be convinced that the things are not real. For more information, visit www.mhanational.org/conditions/paranoia-and-delusional-disorders.

Depression: Depression is more than feeling sad when something bad happens. Depression is diagnosed when feelings of sadness don’t go away after two weeks, you can’t get out of bed, and you aren’t happy doing things you used to enjoy. There are many kinds of depression, including:

  • Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, is where people feel that a consistent dark mood is consuming them. Major depressive disorder makes people unable to complete daily tasks.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder refers to when a low mood lasts for two or more years in adults and at least one year in children and teens. A person with this disorder may experience episodes of major depressive disorder along with periods of less severe symptoms where they are typically able to complete daily tasks.
  • Postpartum Depression affects women after having a baby. It causes intense, long-lasting feelings of anxiety, sadness and fatigue. It makes it hard for mothers to care for themselves and/or their babies, as well as handle daily responsibilities. Postpartum depression can start anywhere from weeks to months after childbirth.

For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/depression.

Eating Disorder: Eating disorders involve extreme emotions, attitudes and behaviors involving weight or food. The most common are anorexia nervosa, binge eating and bulimia. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/eating-disorders.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a real disorder that develops when a person has experienced or witnessed a scary, shocking, terrifying or dangerous event. These stressful or traumatic events usually involve a situation where someone’s life has been threatened or severe injury has occurred. Children and adults with PTSD may feel anxious or stressed even when they are not in danger. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder.

Psychotic Disorder: Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with psychoses lose touch with reality. Two of the main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are false beliefs, such as thinking that someone is plotting against you or that the TV is sending you secret messages. Hallucinations are false perceptions, such as hearing, seeing, or feeling something that is not there. For more information, visit medlineplus.gov/psychoticdisorders.

Schizoaffective Disorder: Schizoaffective disorder is a mental condition that causes both a loss of contact with reality (psychosis) and mood problems (depression or mania). The two types of schizoaffective are:

  • Bipolar type, which includes episodes of mania and sometimes major depression
  • Depressive type, which includes only major depressive episodes

These two types also include symptoms of schizophrenia. The difference between schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia is that schizoaffective includes a mood disorder. For more information, visit medlineplus.gov.

Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that causes people to interpret reality abnormally. They don’t know what sights, sounds, and experiences are real or what they are imagining. Schizophrenia usually involves delusions (false beliefs), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that don’t exist), unusual physical behavior, and disorganized thinking and speech. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/schizophrenia.

Serious Symptoms of Mental Health Disorders

Self-Harm: Self-harm refers to when a person hurts their own body on purpose. It is more common among women than men. A person who self-harms usually does not mean to kill themselves, but they are at higher risk of attempting suicide and dying by suicide if they do not get help. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/self-harm.

Suicidal Behavior: This is when a person says they are going to kill themselves or tries to do so. The causes of suicidal behavior and suicide are complex. Many factors can contribute to suicidal feelings: mental illness, substance misuse, painful losses, exposure to violence, and social isolation. If you feel like you want to hurt yourself or someone else, or if you know someone who feels that way, call or text the Idaho Crisis and Suicide Hotline at 988 immediately. For more information, visit www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/suicidal-behavior.

Serious Mental Health Conditions

Some mental health disorders, either alone or combined with other conditions, make it hard for someone to be successful at home, at school, at work, or in the community. This is called functional impairment. Functional impairment is when a person has difficulties that substantially interfere with or limit their basic daily living skills, instrumental living skills, or interactions with family, friends, work or the community. Instrumental living skills include maintaining a household, managing money, getting around the community, and taking prescribed medication. There are three ways the IBHP categorizes and defines these more serious conditions:

Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED): Serious emotional disturbance (SED) is a term used when youth under the age of 18 have both a behavioral health diagnosis and a functional impairment as identified by the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) functional assessment tool.

Idaho Code § 16-2403 defines SED as SED is a diagnosable mental health, emotional or behavioral disorder, or a neuropsychiatric condition which results in a serious disability, and which requires sustained treatment interventions, and causes a child’s functioning to be impaired in thought, perception, affect or behavior. A disorder must be considered to “result in a serious disability” if it causes substantial impairment of functioning in a family, school, or community. A SUD does not constitute, by itself, an SED, although it may coexist with SED.

There are special IBHP services for children with SED. See the Covered Services for Youth and Youth Empowerment Services chapters of the member handbook.

Serious Mental Illness (SMI): IDAPA defines SMI as “any of the following psychiatric illnesses as defined by the American psychiatric association in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR):

  1. Schizophrenia;
  2. Paranoia and other psychotic disorders;
  3. Bipolar disorders (mixed, manic and depressive);
  4. Major depressive disorders (single episode or recurrent);
  5. Schizoaffective disorders (bipolar or depressive);
  6. Panic disorders; and
  7. Obsessive-compulsive disorders.”

There are special IBHP services for people with SMI. See the Covered Services for Adults chapter of the member handbook.

Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI): IDAPA defines SMPI as a “primary diagnosis under DSM-IV-TR of Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder Recurrent Severe, Delusional Disorder, or Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) for a maximum of one hundred twenty (120) days without a conclusive diagnosis. The psychiatric disorder must be of sufficient severity to cause a substantial disturbance in role performance or coping skills in at least two (2) of the following functional areas in the last six (6) months:

  1. Vocational or educational, or both.
  2. Financial.
  3. Social relationships or support, or both.
  4. Family.
  5. Basic daily living skills.
  6. Housing.
  7. Community or legal, or both.
  8. Health or medical, or both.”

There are special IBHP services for people with SPMI. See the Covered Services for Adults chapter of the member handbook.