What causes mental illness?

Hello everyone!  Welcome back to End The Stigma.  First things first, my apologies for not posting recently.  I was unable to get on the internet.  Therefore I am posting via smartphone so this will be a short but important post.  What causes mental illness In people?  A variety of things can and I covered some in my last post about getting on the right medicine.

So lets start with the one you hear most often.  It is true but unfair because everybody uses it as the end all be all.  The environment in which you grow up can cause a mental illness.  However, someone can grow up in a wonderful home and still have a mental illness.  I get so upset with well meaning people who think environment is the only cause.  Even well meaning Psychiatrists and Therapists try to tie mental illness to your childhood.

What people don’t realize is there are other environmental factors that can cause a mental illness besides a poor childhood.  A child could have been exposed to a large amount of dangerous chemicals in their environment.  A child who grows up in poverty is likely to develop a mental illness not because their family was bad but because they are exposed to so many dangerous things.  Mental illness does not discriminate as much as the world does.  It can hit old, young, rich, poor.

So I used the example of poverty for the first section. A person who grew up rich can also be affected by a mental illness.  If you got everything you were able to it would lead to kind of a boring sad life.  That in itself no matter how much you enjoy your things can cause you to feel pretty blue.  It could also be that you never had to learn to self soothe and your brain didn’t figure out how much chemicals it needed to produce because you got a high anytime you got something you wanted.

Now before I continue let’s add a disclaimer about everything in this post being opinion and some speculation.  Yes mental illness is still being speculated and studied.  No one is 100% sure what causes it but speculations and studies is what has brought us this far in figuring it out.

There have been several studies about my next cause for mental illness genetics.  I’ve actually heard they even have a genetic test now that checks your DNA so that they can Put you on the right medicine the first time.  If that continues that would be amazing.  Medicine for a mental illness has been more of a guessing game leaving those of us with mental illnesses feeling like lab rats.  I’ve been guilty of counting how many pills I have been put on in my life.  The successful and non-successful.  We also take a pill cocktail at night 5 different pills.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this DNA test made it so you nay had to take a little bit of medicine.

Anyway back to reason two that causes a mental illness, genetics.  This has been studied a lot and has been proven true.  If you have someone with a genetic type of mental illness (Bipolar, Schizophrenia, depression, etc).  You are more at risk for developing one of those mental illnesses.  Does that mean you will get the mental illness?  No not really you are just more at risk for getting it.  It’s just like children of parents who were alcoholics.  They may never take a drink in their life because of the chance of getting. Addicted (I knew someone who did this he was an amazing person, pastor, and loved to help people).  They may make the choice to drink but not get addicted.

So the mental illness is usually sitting dormant in your DNA.  Studies have proved that something triggers the onset.  Just like taking a drink can trigge alcoholism.  A lot of times these mental illnesses sitting dormant are triggered by stress, environmental factors, etc.  A lot of times these mental illnesses won’t show up until much later in life.  Which ties to my point that not all mental illnesses are caused by a poor childhood.

Anyway next would be chemical imbalances in the brain which I covered more in detail on the post below this.

I hope this has given you a better understanding about why loved ones may experience a mental illness.

I’m working hard to

End Stigma (one reader at a time).


2 thoughts on “What causes mental illness?

    • Thank you so much for reading! I really enjoy when people comment and like my posts especially if they have been there done that. I hope things are going well for you and I appreciate your comment!


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