Causes of mental health problems

Understanding causes & symptoms of mental illness aids effective intervention/support.

Mental illness is one of the major health issues affecting Americans today. It not only affects your thoughts, mood, and behaviors but also affects the way you perceive the world. Mental health problems cause distress and have an impact on how you cope at work, how you function in your relationships, and your ability to manage daily tasks.

Mental health problems can last for either a short time or for your whole life. Some are mild and last for only a few weeks. Some are severe can be lifelong and lead to serious disabilities. But all are treatable if timely treatment is done. There are options for insurance-covered mental health and substance abuse treatment centers like Laguna Beach Rehab.

There are several kinds of mental health illness. Some of the major groups of mental health disorders are:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety disorder

  • Personality disorder

  • Eating disorder

  • Trauma-related disorder

  • Substance abuse disorder

Major symptoms of mental health problems

Each kind of mental health problem has unique symptoms. For instance, extreme dieting can be a sign of an eating disorder. Hearing some voices is a sign of psychosis.

Feeling hopelessness after child delivery is a symptom of post-natal depression. People who are suffering from depression can have everlasting sadness or a very low mood. People suffering from anxiety get excessive worry or fear. Sometimes anxiety feeling happens without any reason.

Sudden changes in thoughts of a person, behavior, and moods a signs of mental health illness. Changes can be either sudden or slow over a certain period. A person who copes well with life might start to face trouble in doing their normal activities. These changes can cause distress. These signs indicate mental illness.

Some of the symptoms of mental health illness are

  • Unusual thoughts

  • Irritability

  • Getting angry without any reason

  • Poor concentration and memory

  • Hearing unusual voice

  • Enhanced or reduced sleep

  • Enhance appetite

  • No motivations

  • Drug abuse

  • Feeling that life is not worth living

  • Not taking responsibilities

Cause of mental health problems

Even if the exact cause of mental health illness is not known, slowly through research it is becoming clear that those conditions are caused by of combination of biological, environmental, and psychological causes.

Several mental health illness runs in families but that does not imply that you will get it for sure if your father or mother have it. Some of the conditions involve brain circuits that are utilized for thinking, behavior, and mood. Like for example, you might have too much or not enough of the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters within such circuits. Brain injuries also cause mental health problems.

Some of the mental health problems are triggered or even worsened by some psychological traumas that happen when you are a child or a teenager like emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, or any major loss like the death of a parent, or negligence.

It is very much normal to have grief, anger, or any other emotions when you suffer from some major setback in life. A mental illness is different from that.

Biological causes of mental health problems

Some mental health illness is linked to abnormal functioning of the nerve cell circuits or the paths that are responsible for connecting specific brain regions. Nerve cells that are present within these circuits communicate through chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Tweaking those chemicals by using medicines, therapies, and other such medical treatments can assist the brain circuits to run more effectively. Moreover, defects in or injury to any of the areas of the brain have also been linked to some mental health conditions.

Other biological causes of mental health issues are:


In many cases, mental health problems run in families which suggests that people having a family member with mental illness have more chance of getting the illness. This is passed on through genes. As per the experts, mental health illnesses are strongly linked to defects not only in one gene but several genes. But how these genes interact with the environment is different for different people. This is the reason a person inherits the chance to have a mental illness and does not get the illness.

Mental health problems come from the interaction of several genes and other such factors like stress, and traumatic events which influence, and trigger an illness in any person who has a likeliness of getting it.


Some of the infections are linked to brain damage and the development of mental health illness or symptoms worsening. For instance, a condition called pediatric autoimmune disorder is associated with the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder and other such mental illnesses in children.

Brain injury

Defects in some areas of the brain have also been linked to some mental health problems.

Prenatal damages

Some of the evidence suggests that disturbances of early fetal brain development occur at the time of birth. For instance, loss of oxygen to your brain plays an important role in some conditions like autism spectrum disorder.

Substance abuse

Substance abuse in the long term is linked to depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

Other factors

Poor nutrition and exposure to toxins lead to mental health illness.

Psychological causes of mental health illness

Severe psychological traumas agonized as a child like emotional, sexual, or physical abuse.

  • Negligence

  • Poor capability to deal with others

  • Environmental factors for mental health problems

Some of the stressors can trigger mental health issues in a person who has more chance of having mental health illness. Some of the stressors are

  • A death or divorce

  • Disturbance in family life

  • Feeling inadequate, anxiety, loneliness or angry

  • Social expectations

  • Substance abuse by any person

Socio-economic causes of mental health issues

Research shows that there is a strong link between social and economic inequalities and poor mental health. Both adults and children are affected along with the immigrants. Some of the major socioeconomic factors that cause mental health issues are

  • Low income

  • Poverty

  • Debt

  • Unemployment

  • Education


A lot of people have mental health conditions from time to time. But this concern becomes an illness when the signs and symptoms cause stress and impact your ability to function. If any of your loved one shows any sign of mental health illness, then have an open discussion about the concerns. You cannot force anyone to seek professional care, but you can provide support and encouragement.

You can also help your loved one find a qualified mental health professional and make an appointment. You may even be able to go along to the appointment.

If your loved one has done self-harm or is considering doing so, take the person to the hospital or call for emergency help.

This content was first published by KISS PR Brand Story. Read here >> Causes of mental health problems

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