Welcome to the blog for Free Your Mind mental health anti-stigma campaign

This is the blog for the Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film, and culture.
The blog consists of informative and, hopefully, entertaining articles/posts.
Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

What Causes Mental Illness?

Psychiatric disorders can be caused by a number of factors; and although the term mental illness can be misleading by implying that all mental health problems are solely caused by medical or biological factors, this is not the case. In fact, most mental illnesses are caused by a mixture of biological and social/psychological factors.

Biological causes can include how our individual genetic make-up (genes) might put us at more or less risk than others of developing a mental illness. For example, some people may be biologically vulnerable to experiencing depression, and may do so during stressful periods. It has also been found that those who have suffered severe head injuries can also experience changes to their personality, and in some cases may even begin to experience schizophrenia and other symptoms of psychosis.

Biological causes include the misuse of substances and their effects, such as hallucinations.

Social and environmental causes are those factors around us, such as; where we live, who we have around us and can rely on, where we work, and how and where we can relax. Stress in these areas can put a lot of pressure on our mental well-being.

Psychological factors influence your mental and emotional state, especially if, like me, you are coping with traumatic and abusive past and/or current experiences.

Like most, my mental illness results from a complex interaction of different factors. My mental health is influenced by genetics as well as past and current experiences.

It is important to understand what causes mental health problems because this information can give people the tools to reduce the risk of a mental illness becoming too severe.