WHAT CAUSES MENTAL ILLNESS


Mental illness is defined as a broad range of mental health conditions or disorders which have an adverse effect on your behaviour, mood and thinking.

Common examples of mental illness are anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, addictive behaviours and eating disorders. A good number of people are bound to have some mental health problems on a periodic basis.

However, a mental health concern could transcend to being a mental illness when the continuing signs and symptoms induce regular stress and unpleasantly distress your functioning ability.


Having a mental illness could make someone miserable and can induce problems in your everyday life, which could be work, school, relationships amongst others.

In many cases, these symptoms can be supervised when there is a combination of medications and psychotherapy which is also known as talk therapy.

The signs and symptoms which are associated with mental illness vary and they are dependent on the circumstances, disorder and a host of other factors. These symptoms negatively affect our thoughts, behaviours and emotions.

Such examples are as follows:
Sad and depressed feeling
Confused thoughts pattern and inability to concentrate
Extreme fears and worries, continuous feeling of guilt
Mood swings
Insomnia
Fantasies
Being unable to cope with stress
Inability to understand other people
Substance abuse
Huge changes in eating habits
Suicidal thoughts

Mental illnesses are caused by some factors which are as follows:
Inherited attributes: There is a higher rate of finding people who have mental illness in a family where the relatives also have the same issue. There are some genes which could increase the chances of coming down with mental illness, and coupled with life challenges, it could be aggravated.

Pre-natal exposure to the environment: When an unborn child is exposed to some negative environmental factors, drugs, alcohol and the likes, it could induce mental illness.

Brain chemistry: There are some neurotransmitters which occur naturally in the brain, and they are chemicals which convey signals to other segments of the body and brain. In cases when this function is impaired, the work function of the nerve receptors and nerve systems alter, and depression sets in.

In order to prevent mental illness, there is a need for you to do the following:
Heed warning signs
Go for constant medical care
Seek help when it is needed
Always watch out for yourself

WHY MENTAL ILLNESS?

Many people who have a mental illness do not want to talk about it. But mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of! It is a mental condition, just like heart disease or diabetes.
A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis. They may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic).
There are many different types of mental disorders. Some common ones include
Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post- traumatic stress disorder, and phobias
Depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders
Eating disorders
Personality disorders
Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia
A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime.
Approximately, one in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person’s directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.
Half of mental health conditions begin by age14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. Mental illness does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of age. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.
There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as
Genes and family history
One’s life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, especially if they happen in childhood
Biological factors such as chemical imbalances in the brain
A traumatic brain injury
A mother’s exposure to viruses or toxic chemicals while pregnant
Use of drinks or recreational substances
Having a serious medical condition like cancer
Having few friends, and feeling lonely or isolated
Sometimes, many mistakenly believe that mental disorders are caused by character flaws. As a matter of fact, they have nothing to do with being lazy or weak.
However, the good news is that mental illness is treatable. The vast majority of individuals with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives. Treatment depends on which mental disorder the victim has and how serious it is.

Treatment for Mental Illness

mental illness treatmentMental illness is a difficult thing to cope with, but receiving treatment is a highly recommended option. Treating a mental illness is not like treating a physical illness. Mental health levels cannot be measured in quantities like blood tests and cholesterol can be. Mental health issues are a matter of cognition; an invisible thing that informs our personal identities. When a person’s thought and behavioral patterns are unhealthy, they have a mental illness. Fortunately, for them, there are mental health experts available for hire who can guide them through the mental illness they are afflicted with and teach them to overcome it.

Mental health professionals who treat mental illness are typically psychologists or psychiatrists. Their services may be enlisted privately or they may serve hospitals or inpatient treatment centers where people with mental illnesses encounter them. Their job is to engage their client, ask them questions about themselves, listen carefully to their responses, assess their mental illness and create a mental health profile for them. Once their mental illness is properly diagnosed, treatment can begin for them.

Treatment for a mental illness involves intensive cognitive behavioral therapy that slowly but steadily alters the way a person thinks. Because the root of all action and decision making begins with thought patterns, mental health professionals delve deep into a person’s life, past experiences, tendencies and environmental factors to understand how they operate. They determine if medication is needed for the individual and acquire the person a prescription if it is required. They assign the person readings and exercises in order to become familiar with and practice their new coping abilities.

Everything that a mental health professional works with their client on will be put to the test when the mental health professional is not around. However, a person’s psychologist or psychiatrist tends to become a permanent fixture in their life, or at least for an extended period of time. They remain accessible to the person in times of need or crisis. Treating a mental illness is an extended process that lasts for at least a matter of months, if not years. It is important that people choose their mental health professional wisely because they will establish a close relationship with them.

Different Types of Mental Illness

mental illness typesMental illness is an umbrella term for a range of mental and personality disorders. It refers more to a general classification than any single condition. The list of mental illnesses is extensive, and each is unique from the others. Some of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses are as follows:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This mental illness is characterized by chronic disorganized overactivity, racing thoughts, impulsive decision making and, in many cases, an inability to control emotions. People with ADHD often suffer from depression and anger issues as well due to their inability to function like other people.
  • Bipolar Disorder. When a person swings back and forth from dramatic highs to dramatic lows, they are afflicted with bipolar disorder. Periods of mania, when a person is overactive, energetic and unrealistically optimistic, can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, then cycle into periods of depression, when the person is lethargic, uninspired, unproductive and foggy.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is characterized by immobilizing fear that can come on as a cautionary feeling or a severe attack. People with anxiety can be triggered by a variety of stimuli that they interpret as dangerous and threatening, even when the risk is entirely imagined.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Someone with OCD will fixate on things that are imperfect and obsess over them in an attempt to make them perfect. Typically, a person with OCD will fixate on biological factors, such as health, cleanliness and hygiene, but they can also become obsessed with how things are organized or executed. OCD can feel like a prison to a person who has it because they cannot control their impulse to perfect things.
  • Depression. One of the world’s most common mental illnesses, depression affects nearly a third of North America’s population. It has different levels, all of which are characterized by a slowing down of functionality due to feelings of melancholy. Depression can range from mild and manageable to severe and suicidal.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This mental illness occurs when a person has been through a traumatic event or extended situation, such as a wild animal attack or serving in a war. When events are more traumatic than the mind can handle, the mind becomes stuck on the events and re-experiences them continuously.

Overcoming the Patterns of Mental Illness

overcome mental illnessBreaking the cycle of mental illness is not something that can be done over night. Mental illness is just as real as physical illness, and the path toward recovery is an uphill one. But a person with a mental illness has every reason to hope for recovery. Though no one can completely separate themselves from their mental illness, they can learn to manage its hardships. This is a journey that requires diligence and strength, but it can be accomplished.

When you make the decision to take control of your mental illness, the first step you should take is reaching out for help, if yo have not done this already. Every type of mental illness can have overwhelming, vengeful symptoms that can get on top of the person who carries the illness. If this is the first step you are taking to bring your mental illness under control, do not attempt to do it alone. Seek the assistance of a mental health professional who can provide counseling and medication, if required.

After you have worked with a mental health professional, you will have a far better understanding of how your mental illness works and will be equipped to navigate it more intelligently. You will need these skills when you begin to experience episodes again. Learning about how to manage your mental illness is very different from putting that knowledge into play, and it may take a few tries before you see success. Do not give up! Trust the science behind psychology to lead you toward good mental health.

You will have repeated opportunities to apply your new coping mechanisms to your own outbursts and episodes. Use the calming the exercises you were taught. Look at the situation objectively as someone who is aware of their mental health situation and aware of their brain chemistry operations. Understand the science behind why you are feeling emotional or out of control. Use the coping devices you learned through counseling or self help. If you keep at this diligently, you will notice a difference in the strength and regularity of your episodes. You will begin to feel more balanced and in control, and you will become a much more self sufficient person.

Identifying the Patterns of Mental Illness

mentall illness patternsDo you or someone you know exhibit the signs and patterns of a mental illness? Have reoccurring episodes of emotional instability? Have out of control emotional reactions toward certain stimuli or triggers? People can live many years with a mental illness and not know that they have it. Mental illnesses are invisible. You cannot tell by looking at someone, giving them a physical exam or giving them a blood test that they have a mental illness. Signs of mental illness are in a person’s behaviors, and these must be interpreted in order to identify a mental illness. A few of the most common identifiable patterns of mental illness are as follows:

  • Reoccurring episodes of instability. If instability is something reoccurring within a person, meaning it will go away and come back over certain intervals of time, this is a very likely sign of mental illness. For mentally ill people, instability is a way of life rather than a sporadic event. It may be related things that trigger episodes of instability, but it does not have to be.
  • Inappropriate emotional reactions. A trademark of mental illness is emotional reactions that are too extreme for the situation at hand. Mentally ill people fly off the handle in reaction to a number of things that do not warrant as extreme a reaction. If you see this pattern in yourself or a loved one, consider the possibility of mental illness.
  • Wildly fluctuating moods. When a person’s moods jump all over the map, or jump from one extreme to another without warning, this could be a sign of mental illness. An inability to regulate one’s moods is very common among people with a mental illness.
  • Bad decision making. Mental unhealthiness essentially means that a person’s mind does not work right. This almost always goes together with bad decision making, typically the kind that is either reckless and too extreme or disparaging and not extreme enough. Consistent bad decision making can be a sign of mental unhealthiness.
  • Unhealthy behavioral patterns. When a person’s behavior reads as mentally unhealthy in any way, such as consistently incorrect estimations of people or situations, they are a likely candidate for a mental disorder.

Mental Illness; Not an Isolated Incident

reoccurring mental illnessSome people are under the mistaken impression that mental illness takes the form of an isolated incident, and once it is detected, it can be switched off. If only this were the case, many people would have suffered much less. Alas, mental illness is a lifelong, permanent condition that can be managed but never completely eradicated. Depending on the type of mental illness, the person who has it may have to be on medication for life and work against the mental illness daily, or it may be much less severe and they are able to reason their way out of their mental illness symptoms when they arise. Regardless, the symptoms will be reoccurring throughout the person’s entire lifetime. Often, mental illness becomes less severe as the person ages because their body chemistry becomes more level over time. But the mental illness will always be present in some form, and the level of success a person has in managing it will be up to them.

Mental illnesses tend to affect people in a cyclical manner, meaning their symptoms rise and fall over time, and their symptoms are affected by life circumstances and the person’s physical health. Sometimes, the person will be experiencing no symptoms at all. People with mental illnesses can go through periods of feeling totally level and balanced. Sadly, this is not permanent, as chemical brain patterns, thoughts and behaviors of the mental illness will return eventually. This does not mean that the person needs to break into episodes again and again. Many people successfully learn to identify the onset of their episodes and use coping mechanisms to manage them or reverse them. It is impossible to feel no affects at all of a mental illness, but with practice and dedication, a person can become fairly proficient at managing their mental illness.

If a person makes the choice not to manage their symptoms, however, their life and the lives of those they are close to will be considerably more difficult. Their episodes will take them by surprise and they will fall into their mentally unhealthy patterns again and again. Their emotions will be out of control and their ability to cope will be low. As they age, they will likely feel some relief as their body chemistry evens out, but the conscious decision to manage mental illness symptoms can truly go a long way for a person.