Understanding what causes mental illnesses can be quite difficult. Factors affecting mental health range from genetics to childhood experiences and societal issues. Also, these factors may change.
So, do mental health issues arise from one’s genetic makeup? Or, do someone’s choices and experiences influence their mental health? Essentially, both one’s life experiences and biological makeup can affect their state, and many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- An individual’s environment
- Grief and loss
- Genetics and family history
- Substance abuse
Comprehending such mental health factors is essential in finding ways to combat mental challenges. Read on to know more about them!
Different things can trigger depression and other mental health conditions. Connect with a therapist if you notice unpleasant symptoms.
How Environmental Issues Influence One’s Mental Health
Where someone lives, the friends they make, and everyday stressors can shape their mental health. Family relationships influence how someone faces and handles life events from their childhood. If one has traumatic experiences at a young age, their view of life can take a certain direction. Their stress response is also affected by those situations. Growing up in a chaotic household or unsafe neighborhood can also lead to stress. Adolescents and students might find it hard to cope later on after staying in such conditions.
Everyone needs a consistent support system to help them thrive in their daily lives. A robust support network protects someone’s mental health. Essentially, everyone needs at least one person to whom they can open themselves without fear of judgment.
Remember that a large number of followers in today’s social media-driven world doesn’t mean that one has a strong network. Often, people cannot rely on such relationships to offer support when they face difficult times.
Rather than spending time on social media, it would help if people focused on developing meaningful relationships with people they trust.
Children who’ve experienced abuse are usually more likely to experience mental illness during their life. Abuse could be sexual, verbal, psychological, or physical and may not always be recognized. Regular abuse often leads to low self-esteem and deprives one of their confidence.
An abused child is also more likely to feel anger more often and harbor feelings of isolation. If not discovered in time, abuse can result in serious mental disorders and affect someone’s behavior. Domestic or family violence also makes people feel unsafe and might take longer for a person to learn how to trust others. Women are usually more prone to such abuse.
More often than not, such people feel disrespected and might be unable to negotiate for their desires. Offering protection from abuse can help combat mental health problems.
Grief and Loss
Grief comes naturally whenever anyone experiences loss. The loss could include:
- A miscarriage
- Separation from friends and family
- Death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- End of a relationship
Given that there is no right way to grieve, people experience different emotions. While some might feel overwhelmed or anxious, others might be in shock or feel guilty. If these feelings last for long, they might affect one’s mental health.
It is always helpful to refer to friends and family during grief. Loneliness during such periods will have a detrimental impact on an individual’s mental health. Besides, it takes time for one to cope with constantly evolving circumstances. Self-care amidst such situations can boost someone’s mental health and place them in a perfect condition to deal with any other issues.
You don’t need to suffer alone. Ask a significant other or a psychotherapist for help.
Impact of Global and Societal Issues
Maintaining a positive mental state amidst chaos or instability is always a difficult task. The more division and violence someone experiences, the less calm they become. People exposed to natural disasters are more susceptible to mental health challenges than those living in more settled environments.
Besides, international issues have a compound effect on mental issues. Essentially, people with economic disadvantages are more prone to experience mental problems. Social factors affecting mental health might require input from diverse stakeholders.
If they have experienced prejudice or discrimination before, then political and social issues can negatively affect their mental health. For example, LGBTQ+ youths who don’t receive support from their families can attempt suicide.
Genetics, Biology, and Family History
Certain mental health conditions like chronic depression might be hereditary. Some people have a genetic predisposition to conditions like anxiety disorder or depression. If one’s family member has struggled with mental issues, they might face the same struggles too.
It is important to remember that family history goes beyond genetics. We often learn how to handle stress from the family setting. Unknown to most people, their responses usually resonate with those of their loved ones. Watching how family members handle emotions will influence how people respond to similar situations.
If someone grows up in a family where people shun discussing mental health challenges, the chances are that they won’t feel free to share such concerns. Such outlooks shape how they handle stress and respond to mental health issues too. Essentially, learning healthy coping mechanisms early on may reduce mental health’s impact later in life.
Family crises are also among the causes of mental health problems. Crises might include financial hardships, parental separation or divorce, or legal trouble. Such disruptions affect a family’s normal functioning and influence how one responds to issues.
Alcohol or drug abuse can result in significant issues for many people. Most people might not recognize the link between substance use and deterioration in their mental health. Besides, substance challenges often occur alongside clinical depression and other mental health conditions.
While substance use can offer an initial feeling of relaxation, it leaves one feeling depressed or anxious. The physiological distress associated with substance abuse could either be mild or serious. Such things that affect mental health require urgent response from the community.
Addiction to substance use might also impair judgment and hinder one from living independently. Essentially, drugs can cause someone to lose control of their impulses and crave harmful substances. Drugs will alter how nerve cells respond to various stimuli and affect their mental health.
Managing Factors That Impact Our Mental Health
While it is not always possible to change the factors contributing to mental health problems, they can take active steps to make these factors more manageable. Reaching out to mental health professionals is an excellent place to help anyone keen on achieving mental health wellness.
Anyone struggling with mental health issues should consider reaching out for help. They’ll find a listening ear and equip themselves to better handle such issues. Mental wellness gives people the base they need to flourish and enjoy life fully. Our trained counselors are well versed in psychiatry and psychosocial issues. They can help you better appreciate your experiences, backgrounds, and identity.