Causes of Mental Illness

You may experience mental health problems due to different disorders. All these mental health illnesses will affect your personality, social interactions, and thought processes. Unlike physical illnesses, it is not always easy to diagnose a mental illness. Studies show that as many as 20% Americans have some sort of mental disorder, whereas 5% of them suffer from a disorder that affects work, school, and other aspects of daily life. It is important to have some knowledge about different causes of mental illnessto take precautionary measures.

Biological Causes of Mental Illness

Mental illness can be caused by biological factors. Here are the 4 most common cones, including heredity, infections, brain defects/injury, and prenatal damage.

1. Genetics (Heredity)

If you have a family member with mental illness, you are more likely to develop that at some stage in life. Certain mental illnesses are hereditable and run in families due to defected genes. Experts believe that mental illnesses result from abnormalities in different genes rather than one, which explains why some people with the susceptibility of mental illness don't develop mental illness. Other factors such as abuse, stress, or a traumatic event may influence or trigger mental illness in a person with inherited susceptibility.

2. Infections

Certain infections can cause brain damage, which may result in the development of mental illness. The streptococcus bacteria are responsible for the development of a condition called pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder (PANDA), which may cause obsessive-compulsive disorder.

3. Brain Defects or Injury

Injury to certain areas of your brain may result in the development of some mental illnesses. Defects in any area of the brain may also cause a mental disorder.

4. Prenatal Damage

Any trauma or disruption of early fetal brain development may result in prenatal damage that will eventually lead to developing a mental disorder. A disruption can happen due to many reasons, such as the loss of oxygen to the brain. This sometimes serves as a factor in the development of autism and other mental conditions.

Psychological Causes of Mental Illness

A number of psychological factors may also serve as causes of mental illnessin many people. Severe psychological trauma in childhood, such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse may be the cause of a mental disorder. Other factors such as neglect, the loss of a parent, or poor ability of communication may also contribute to mental illness.

Environmental or Social Causes of Mental Illness

Where you live and work will have an impact on your mental state. Work stresses and other living conditions can lead to the development of mental illness in people. Being unemployed, living in social isolation, or staying under stress in your work can deteriorate your mental health. Some other stressors such as: death or divorce, changing jobs, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, parents' substance abusecan also lead to an illness,

Environment these days isn't safe and contains so many toxins and heavy metals that can lead to contamination and increase the risk of developing certain mental disorders. Being exposed to any heavy metals for long will lead to poisoning that can affect your mental health and even destroy your ability to comprehend and communicate, leading to issues like memory loss, irritation, and fatigue. Exposure to toxins may also be a risk factor for hypertension, headache, aggressive behavior, and kidney dysfunction.

Lifestyle, Emotional and Diet Causes of Mental Illness

In addition to the above factors, there are factors like lifestyle choices, emotional traumas and even diets can cause mental illness.

1. Substance Abuse

Most people who end up using illicit drugs usually have issues at home or in relationships. There is a very high impact of abuse on inhalants, cocaine, alcohol and other forms of drug, causing severe behavioral changes like paranoia, compulsiveness, depression, hallucination, and aggression. Taking prohibited drugs can even increase suicidal tendencies.

2. Personal Problems/Negative Experiences

Every person has a different level of tolerance for physical pain and other negative experiences in life. If a person manages to overcome a certain problem, it doesn't automatically mean the other person can do the same. Some people think negatively and cannot find a way to release that negative energy. For some, it is not possible to forget about any negative experiences they may have had in the past. Abusive situations, divorce, and even bereavement are some of the most common personal problems resulting in mental illnesses.

3. Insufficient Nutrition

Many people don't realize it but poor nutrition can affect mental condition. Imagine, if you take quite a little nutrition and find nothing to eat in a very hungry situation, you will naturally feel irritated and annoyed. Therefore, your moods will also change. Maintaining a healthy diet is also important for creating positive mood.

Here is a video explaining possible causes of mental illnesses in children:

Possible Treatments of Mental Illness

It is not easy to identify the exact causes of mental illness, so it is not easy to find an appropriate treatment option. It is also important to bear in mind that mental illness, like chronic illness, requires ongoing treatment. Your doctor may use a combination of different therapies to treat your mental illness. They usually opt for medication, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other specific therapies such as behavior modification and cognitive-behavior therapy. More availabletreatments can include:

  • Creative therapies, such as music therapy, art therapy, or play therapy
  • Alternative therapies, such as massage, water therapy, and biofeedback
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
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