Causes of Mental Illness

Mental illness is an illness of the brain, of which exact cause is unknown yet. The US National Alliance on Mental Illness {NAMI} described it as a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, relationship with others and daily functioning. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.

Mental illness is never a respecter of any age. But the good news is that, recovery is possible.

Foremost, What happens when mental illness sets in?

The brain is susceptible to injury and change, just like other organs of the body. During this period, the chemical(Neurotransmitter) messaging system and the physical structures of the brain can be altered.

Mental illness(es) is said to be caused by some of the following factors:

Environmental factors:

Death or divorce, a dysfunctional family life, jobs or schools can make people develop mental illness. Aside these, exposure to viruses, alcohol or drugs while in the womb can also be linked to mental illness.

Related: 5 Worst Habits That Affect Your Mental Health

Genetics (heredity):

Mental illness runs as well in families where biological (blood) relatives also have a mental illness. Susceptibility is passed on in families through genes. Experts believe many mental illnesses are linked to abnormalities in many genes, not just one. That is why people sometimes inherit susceptibility to a mental illness and doesn’t necessarily develop the illness.

Brain damage

Serious injury from accident or violent blow to the head can also trigger mental illness.mental health 2

Poor nutrition can also play a role in the development of mental illness as well.

Now, that you’ve known the causes, how will you handle a mentally ill fellow?


  1. Mental Illness – National Alliance on Mental Illness {NAMI}, 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, Va 22203.
  2. When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness Paperback – September 18, 1992:  Rebecca Woolis.

  3. Understanding the Brain and Mental Illness – Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria ACN: 093 357 165

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