Mental disorders are common in the United States. One in 5 adults experiences some form of mental illness every year, and 1 in 25 has a serious disorder that interferes with daily life. In addition, 4% of children aged 13–18 have experienced an episode of depression within the past 12 months. And yet most people don’t understand what causes these illnesses to occur so frequently.
The exact cause of most mental disorders is unknown, but research suggests that a combination of factors, including heredity, biology, psychological trauma, and environmental stress, might be involved.
For example, some studies show that changes in brain structure may affect how well antidepressants work for certain people with depression. Other studies suggest that early exposure to viruses or malnutrition may increase the risk for schizophrenia later in life.
Others indicate that traumatic events can trigger bipolar disorder episodes among those predisposed to it because they carry specific genes linked to this condition. Scientists continue to study all possible factors related to mental health conditions, including genetics and environment, to understand their causes better and improve treatments for them over time.
If you think someone close to you may have depression or anxiety disorder symptoms, it’s important to talk about your concerns with them directly. You can also help by learning all you can about these conditions so that if they do occur within your family or circle of friends, there will be less fear surrounding them.
Understanding the biological basis behind many psychiatric conditions will help us develop new ways to prevent them from occurring and find effective treatments when prevention fails or isn’t possible at all due to genetic predisposition or other reasons beyond our control.
There are many ways to treat different types of mental illnesses. For example, suppose your loved one has an anxiety disorder. In that case, they may benefit from therapy or medication, while those suffering from depression may need antidepressants or other medications along with talk therapy sessions. No matter what type of condition your loved one is dealing with, there are always options for treatment available.
To learn more about the causes of mental health issues, visit our blog section.