emotional health vs mental health

Emotional Health vs Mental Health: What’s the Difference?

More and more people are now getting familiar with the concept and importance of emotional and mental health, although some use the terms interchangeably, thinking they represent the same thing. In reality, these two concepts are quite different, and understanding them both better will give a better appreciation of how the two affect human behavior.

As with physical health, knowing about the particulars of both mental and emotional health, and what makes them distinct from each other would help people achieve better overall health. 

In a world where stress is almost a constant thing, it is important to understand how to maintain health and balance in all aspects, as the adverse effects of unaddressed stress are well known.

At Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare in Prescott Valley, Arizona, our specialists can help you or a loved one manage mental vs emotional health efficiently, resulting in successful recovery outcomes. 

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is a crucial part of a person’s ability to function properly, as it is involved in practically every moment of a person’s life. It affects the psychological, social, and even emotional aspects of a person. Mental health is also largely responsible for a person’s ability to engage in thought and action.

Mental health is not a consideration that is restricted to age, as it affects and is important to people of all ages, from childhood and even onto the advanced years. The peculiarity of mental health is that it is both resilient and vulnerable at the same time. It is resilient in that it actually helps people get through some of the toughest periods in life, and learn from them as well. It is also vulnerable in that trauma of any kind could have a lasting and deeply damaging effect on it.

Proper cognitive function is also quite dependent on mental health. Things that many people tend to take for granted, such as learning, being able to remember things, and having the ability to perceive, approach, and solve a dilemma in other ways apart from the straightforward manner are all thanks to properly maintained mental health. Just as the body gets stronger with physical exercise, so does a person’s mental health improve with mental exercises that engage the mind in deep and challenging thought.

An irony of mental health is that there are people who, upon hearing the term “mental health,” actually think of the many ways in which a person’s mind behaves erratically and does not function well. This is the opposite of mental health, which is mental illness. It must be noted, however, that mental health is more than just not having any kind of mental illness. It is the sum and total of all properly functioning processes that involve the mind and the cognitive functions of the brain.

What is Emotional Health?

Emotional health, on the other hand, is having the ability to discern what a person feels at any given moment or towards a situation or person, and also being able to manage whatever reaction the emotion instills in the person. There are many cases wherein a person could be fully aware of the emotions being felt but be incapable of controlling the action that these emotions elicit.

This is not just limited to anger management, where a person could have no control over how they behave when they are overcome with anger. Having no control over emotions could manifest in a person suddenly bursting into tears or even going into hysterics when they are sad, or suddenly behaving in an inappropriate manner whenever they feel an attraction towards someone.

Emotional health is directly linked to how a person expresses emotions. Some people could express their emotions in a manner that could be too much for others to tolerate or understand. While others seemingly display little to no emotion at all. Both the excess and the seeming lack of emotional response could be attributed to poor emotional health, as the person could be completely unsure of how to express how they feel.

Conversely, some people do know how to control their emotions, but in a manner that is also decidedly unhealthy. These are the people who tend to suppress their emotions, even up to the point where their ability to control what they feel is surpassed. Once this tipping point is reached, there is always the danger of the person having either an emotional breakdown or simply lashing out blindly, regardless of who the nearest person might be.

Maintaining an Awareness of Your Mental State is Important

Knowing what kind of emotional or mental state a person has is utterly important for both the person and the people around them. Ignoring this could lead to so many problems. This has been proven time and again with people from practically all walks of life, from every social standing in society, and every age group.

Reports of young adults doing things that no one expected them to do still shock people everywhere, although if someone had only paid attention to the telltale signs of deteriorating mental vs emotional health, they might have been able to proactively do something about it.

Being aware of the state of one’s mental or emotional health allows a person to gauge if they are close to a breakdown, where they seemingly just shut down and are incapable of doing anything else. This will also serve to protect the person and those around them if the mental or emotional breakdown leads to the person becoming irrational and violent.

Learn More About Your Emotional Health vs Mental Health At Granite Mountain

It’s not enough to just handle one aspect of the problem if it requires several different approaches. This is something we learned here at Granite Mountain. Some issues need to be addressed at the same time, or there might not be any progress at all.

We know this because we have helped many with this issue. It is a complex issue, but we know how best to approach it. Come talk to us.Yo


lithium for bipolar disorder

Lithium for Bipolar Disorder: How Does It Work?

In the majority of depressive disorders, there is only one ultimate mood which is depression. However, many individuals with bipolar disorder also undergo a second extreme mood, known as mania. The episodes of the mania are as unmanageable to a person’s life as depression can be. To treat bipolar disorder, it is just as important to treat mania and depression. 

What is Lithium?

Lithium is known as one of the oldest and most successful drugs used to treat depressive and mania symptoms of bipolar disorder. It is a mood stabilizer that comes in an immediate-release tablet, capsule, oral solution, or extended-release tablet. Lithium is also fairly costly due to its availability as a generic drug. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is considered a mental illness that creates extremely swift shifts between the two extreme moods of mania and depression. It typically starts in the late teen years or the early ’20s, generally before the age of 25. Bipolar disorder is considered a long-term illness, but it can, however, be managed with the proper treatment. The majority of the time the treatment for bipolar disorder includes the drug Lithium. 

Depression Symptoms

  • Suicidal behavior or thoughts
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Eating habit changes
  • Lack of interest
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of sleep
  • Tiredness
  • Sadness

Mania Symptoms

  • Extremely poor judgment
  • Poor impulse control
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Increased energy 
  • Racing thoughts

Even when the changes between the moods are mild, it can make it much more challenging to live your life. They have the potential of causing issues in your relationships and leading to overall poor performance in school and work. When the changes are severe, it can lead to suicidal behaviors and suicidal thoughts.

How Does Lithium Treat Bipolar Disorder?

Lithium is a mood stabilizer as previously mentioned that is used for long-term treatment for bipolar disorder. Mood stabilizers are generally the first-line therapy option for bipolar disorder, which means that they are the first thought of drugs utilized for treatment. Lithium can treat the most severe of the two types of bipolar disorder which is manic episodes. 

It can decrease the intensity of manic episodes. Lithium is also able to make the individual’s depressive symptoms much less severe. The exact science of how Lithium works are unknown. Indeed, Lithium is extremely effective. However, the exact amount of Lithium that is needed to be effective is extremely close to the amount that can be poisonous to your body.

How Does Lithium Work for Bipolar Disorder?

Lithium works for bipolar disorder by reducing the frequency and severity of mania. It might also work by preventing and relieving bipolar depression. Lithium is also known as Lithobid and Eskalith is one of the most studied and used medications for treating bipolar disorder. 

Studies have shown that lithium for bipolar disorder can reduce the risk of suicide significantly. It also helps prevent future depressive and mania episodes. As a consequence, it might be prescribed for lengthy periods as maintenance therapy even between episodes. 

Lithium acts on an individual’s central nervous system (their spinal cord and brain). Doctors aren’t 100% certain on how Lithium works to stabilize an individual’s mood, but it is thought to overall help strengthen nerve cell connections in the person’s brain region that’s involved in regulating thinking, behavior, and mood. 

How Does Lithium Make You Feel?

It was reported that Lithium can affect how awake and alert a person feels. Even by taking the correct dose, you’re able to still feel less mentally sharp and drowsy when taking Lithium. It’s extremely possible that if you feel confused and drowsy the Lithium dose is too high

If the Lithium dose is too high, Lithium toxicity can be being experienced. If you experience any of the symptoms below, it’s essential to get checked out immediately to get the Lithium levels checked. There are many additional signs of Lithium toxicity such as the following:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Tremors

Lithium Common Side Effects

Roughly about 75% of individuals who take Lithium for bipolar disorder generally have some side effects, although they are usually minor. The side effects become less bothersome after a few weeks once the individual’s body adjusts to the drug. Sometimes the side effects of lithium for bipolar disorder can be relieved for the person after the dose is thoroughly adjusted. 

However, you must not attempt on changing your dose or the schedule on your own accord. Also, do not try to change the brand of Lithium without checking with your pharmacist or doctor first. If you are experiencing any problems, please speak with your doctor.

  • Hand tremors (If the hand tremors are particularly troublesome, dosages are sometimes able to be adjusted, reduced, or even additional medications can also help.)
  • Decreased thyroid function (which can be treated with thyroid hormone.)
  • Increased thirst and urination 
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lack of coordination
  • Poor concentration
  • Muscle weakness
  • Impaired memory
  • Weight gain 
  • Drowsiness
  • Hair loss
  • Acne

Additional Side Effects at Higher Dosages

  • A lack of muscle control during the voluntary movements, such as picking things up and walking
  • Ringing sound in your ears
  • Blurry vision
  • Giddiness

Rare but Serious Side Effects

Lithium can cause many serious side effects in certain individuals who have specific conditions. It is also able to interact with particular drugs to cause serious side effects. The side effects that are discussed here are particularly rare. Most of the individuals who engage in this drug do not experience these side effects. If you are worried about any of these side effects, definitely talk to your doctor. 

If you already have kidney issues, chances are taking Lithium can lead to kidney failure. The actual level of this risk depends on how severe the individual kidney disease is. Kidney failure is reversible when the Lithium treatment is ceased at a reasonable time. Your doctor will most likely be certain to assess your kidney function before even prescribing Lithium. 

In extremely rare occurrences, Lithium treatment has been known to trigger Brugada syndrome in individuals who are inclined to it. Brugada syndrome is the unexpected, fast and uncoordinated closing, fluttering, and opening of the ventricles of a person’s heart. It’s not exactly known why the heart does this. The risk of unanticipated death from Brugada syndrome is quite high. It is most common among men of Southeast Asia origin. 

  • A heart that feels like it’s beating abnormally
  • Feeling like you’ll faint; lightheaded
  • Experience shortness of breath

In rare cases again, individuals who have taken Lithium with other drugs utilized to treat psychiatric disorders have developed brain disease. It’s quite imperative to discuss all of the medications that you take along with over-the-counter medications, herbal and vitamin supplements. By doing this, your doctor will be more equipped to avoid damaging interactions. 

Brain Disease Symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Notify Your Doctor

You must notify your doctor if you have suspected that you’re experiencing continual Lithium side effects or if you develop the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Unsteady walking
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Slurred speech 
  • Confusion
  • Fainting 
  • Fever

Inform your doctor about your medical history, including heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, allergies, and epilepsy. Make certain that your doctor is aware of all of the drugs you are taking. Avoid products that are especially low in sodium (salt) since a low sodium diet can lead to exceedingly high Lithium levels. 

While taking Lithium, it’s pivotal to use caution when operating machinery, or driving, and limit alcoholic beverages. Individuals who engage in Lithium for bipolar disorder should consult with their doctor before taking any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen. Since these medications can overall increase Lithium levels. 

If you happen to miss a dose of Lithium for bipolar disorder, be sure to take it as soon as you remember it. Unless the next scheduled dose is within two hours or six hours for the slow-release forms. If it is, skip taking the missed dose, and resume your standard dosing schedule. Do not “double-up” to try to catch the dose up.

There are however some serious risks to consider. Lithium has been linked to specific birth defects and therefore, should be used with caution especially in pregnant women, especially during the first three months of their pregnancy. The actual safety of breastfeeding while taking Lithium is controversial and should also be discussed with the doctor in advance.

In some individuals, long-term Lithium treatment is known to interfere with an individual’s kidney function and can even lead to permanent kidney damage. This is why periodic monitoring of the blood tests are utilized to measure kidney functioning is so essential.  

Why Do Bipolar Patients Stop Taking Lithium?

Bipolar patients stop taking Lithium typically because of adverse effects which were known as the most common cause for Lithium discontinuation. Among the adverse effects, creatine increase, polyuria, diabetes insipidus, polydipsia, diarrhea, tremor, and weight gain were the top five reasons why Lithium is discontinued. This was discovered alongside the previous findings of three of the previous studies, which also found that the most common were adverse effects.

It was discovered that Lithium discontinuation happened more commonly because of “internal resistance to treatment” rather than adverse effects. There were only a few patients that stopped taking Lithium because of hyperparathyroidism or hypercalcemia, which are adverse effects associated classically with Lithium. About one-fourth of the patients who had discontinued Lithium was due to the perceived or actual lack of effectiveness. These same patients had to restore Lithium afterward.

How Quickly Does Lithium Work for Bipolar?

Lithium for bipolar disorder typically takes numerous weeks to begin to start fully working. Commonly, your doctor will order periodic blood tests throughout your entire treatment because Lithium can affect thyroid and kidney function. Lithium for bipolar disorder works the most effective if the actual amount of the drug in the individual’s body is maintained at a continual level.

The Lithium level in your body must not be too high or low, but just right. Your doctor might also suggest that you drink about 8-12 glasses of fluid or water a day during treatment and also use a standard amount of salt in your food. Both fluid and salt can affect the levels of Lithium in your blood so it’s vital to consume a balanced amount every day. 

The actual dose of Lithium for bipolar disorder will vary among each individual and as the phases of each illness change. Even though bipolar disorder is treated often with more than one drug, some individuals can manage their condition with Lithium alone. 

Does Lithium Change Your Personality?

Substantial effects and mood changes are induced by Lithium carbonate. Dysphoria, a loss of interest in interacting with others and the environment, lethargy, and even a state of increased mental confusion was reported. There weren’t any generalized effects discovered in the responses to the personality changes. 

Manage Bipolar Disorder With Lithium at Granite Mountain 

If you are looking for top-notch therapy and treatment for various forms of drug addiction, look no further. We have a nice variety of addiction programs ranging from ones that treat alcohol addiction, drug addiction, and mental health. Contact us today to get started on your journey.