When differentiating mental illness from mental health, one must see deeply into something that's unwritten but what is felt. A medical professional must determine a person's mental health through the episodes of behavior that the person is manifesting. Certain categories fall under the behaviors and thoughts which can be classified as normalcy with the absence of any kind of illness within the system.
Sometimes, the answer is already at the tip of your tongue. If you read carefully, you'll understand that there is a big difference between mental health and mental illness. For one, mental health is the state of mind that doesn't experience any kind of outbreak of insanity. Whereas mental illness refers to the state of mind that accumulates problems and since the mind and body can no longer cope with the episodes, toxic substances travel to your brain thus making it ill.
Mental illness is the time when a normal person tends to see things and hears things that aren't seen or heard by others. Some may show signs of having ideas that he can become the next Julia Roberts without even having the slightest idea on how to act or play the part; this might be caused by bipolar disorder.
However, having a clear shot of what is the difference between the two can be pretty thin. There are times when a person becomes afraid or scared to go on stage and face thousands of people just to give a public speech. This doesn't necessarily mean that the person is having a mental illness but merely the attack of the nerves going into the system. People oftentimes feel depressed or overly exaggerated but that can be considered normal because humans tend to experience mood shifts.
With that, what is the difference? How can you distinguish one from the other? These can be answered just by looking at what mental health is NOT.
A normal state of mind doesn't manifest signs and symptoms that doctors usually convey to their patients. The majority of health providers define mental illness or disorder through the signs and symptoms that are shown by their patients namely increased breathing pattern, agitation, etc. Signs are the things that can be seen by the medical practitioner that the patient is indicating which are usually objective.
While symptoms are those that are felt and are verbalized by the patient which is oftentimes regarded as subjective. Some examples of symptoms are pain, depression, fear, etc. Functional impairments are also considered a factor that may greatly affect the mental well-being of the person. Impairment of normal functions can be regarded as only taking a bath, washing your teeth, etc. These, by far are not what mental health is all about. Why? Because these can greatly affect how a person reacts thus, thinks.
Further studies also show that mental illness is ideally uncoordinated and shows behaviors that aren't within the scope of the normal functioning mind. Some of these illnesses show up as:
Extreme mood swings that happen almost every day
Imaginary ideation which is quite impossible like having superhuman abilities
Intense feelings of sadness and depression
Responses showed physiologically like diaphoresis or excessive sweating
Mental health is always regarded as the mental state of mind with normal functioning and everyday coping.