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Be the Change Causes of Mental Illness

Joined: 12/10/2012
Posts: 1
Bethany A. Menas
Mrs. Thiegs
English 10
8 December 2012
Causes of Mental Illness

There have been many theories as to why some people develop mental illness such as depression, schizophrenia, manic depression, bipolar and dissociative identity disorder. After many years of research professionals finally have a few ideas as to why mental illnesses develop. Drug abuse, environment and genes all greatly contribute to these illnesses. While some may be more active in triggering or causing these changes in the mind, research is still being conducted about these chemical imbalances in the brain known as mental illness. Although all the causes and reasons are unknown, drug abuse, environment and genes are major factors in the abnormal chemical imbalances in the brain.
Many people ask what is the cause of mental illness. There are many causes/reasons why a person might develop a mental illness. Medical professionals find this to be a difficult puzzle to solve.
“There is no simple answer to this question as there are lots of reasons why someone might develop a mental illness. They might inherit it from their family, it might be

because of their lifestyle or it might be because of things that have happened to them in the past. Usually it is a combination of all of these “(What Causes Mental Illness).
As stated in the above quote many different factors contribute to the development of a mental illness. Most people believe that mental illness is passed down from the person’s biological parents. As this is true that genetics play a role, it’s not the only cause.
Research suggests that if a child has one parent with a mental illness like bipolar disorder they only have around a 10% chance of developing that mental illness later in life. But, if both parents suffer from an illness the risk can jump up to 50% the risk is also the same for identical twins. (Dr. Raison)
Genetics can play a role in your mental health but the chances of inheriting one from a parent suffering from minor depression or bipolar disorder are highly unlikely but not impossible.
There are also physical causes that can affect the chemicals in your brain:
Physical causes are those which are biological in nature. Someone might inherit characteristic from their family through their genes which mean they are much more at risk than other people. It has also been found that people who have suffered head injuries can experience changes to their personality, and in some cases may begin to experience schizophrenia and psychotic type symptoms. What happens during pregnancy can have affect on how the baby's brain develops. For example if a mother is taking drugs while she is pregnant, or if she gets a virus like the flu.

There have been reports that suggest vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as Vitamin D, zinc and certain fatty acids may also be related to our mental health. (What Causes Mental Illness)
Another way a mental illness can develop is if a child is abused, or exposed to dysfunctional living conditions. Even things like divorce and being bullied by one’s peers can be traumatic enough to cause things like long term depression or even dissociative identity disorder. (Katz) Also things like sexual or physical abuse can lead to major physiological problems in children and adults.
Ann Carrns discovered that, "About a quarter of American adults suffer from some type of mental health problem each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and 6 percent suffer severe ailments, like schizophrenia or major depression. “ That’s a lot of mental illness in one country. “Essentially, about 25 percent of adult Americans reported having a mental illness in the previous year” (Arias). Despite the various effective treatments, the amount of individuals affected by these illnesses continues to increase every day, month and year.
There are also theories that medication can be worsening the effects of mental illness when the prescription doesn’t fit the person’s needs exactly. Finding a good medication perfect for each person affected by say depression or bipolar disorder can be very difficult and the prescription can be changed several times until the perfect match is found. Like Kay Redfield Jamison stated in her book Touched with Fire medication can sometimes affect the person’s usual creativity and even alter ones personality in a negative way (77-79).

After thoroughly researching the many contributors and factors as to why a mental illness may develop I discovered many interesting theories. Drug abuse can increase and worsen the affects of mental illness and even trigger the symptoms early in a young child or adult. Environment also contributes to the development of an illness that may have never formed if placed in a healthy stable environment. Genes, although
not playing a huge role can be the source of the problem in some cases. Although all the causes and reasons are still unknown drug abuse, environment and genes are major factors in the abnormal chemical imbalances in the brain.

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