Causes of Mental Illness


The causes of mental disorders are multi-factorial. Genetics, early development, trauma, drugs,  disease or injury, neural/psychological mechanisms, life experiences, society and culture can all contribute to the development or progression of mental disorders.
Predisposing factors
Determine an individual's susceptibility to mental illness. Interact with precipitating factors resulting in mental illness. Eg. Genetic makeup, physical damage to the central nervous system and adverse psychosocial influence.
Precipitating factors
These are events that occour shortly before the onset of a disorder & appear to have induced it. Eg  Physical stress or psychosocial stress.
Perpetuating factors
These factors are responsible for aggravating or prolonging the diseases already existing in an individual. e.g. Marital disharmony will predispose for alcoholism, but the factor, marital disharmony continue to remain as a cause for further illness.
l. Biological factors
            Influence of all aspects of our behavior-intellectual capabilities, basic temperament, stress tolerance etc. 
A. Genetic factors
·         Heredity : Predisposition of mental illness determined by genes that inherit directly. Psychosis, epilepsy, mental retardation.. .etc.
·         Chromosomal abnormality: Increase or decrease affect on development of foetus.  Mangolisams / Down's syndrome (Trisomy-extra chromosome).
B.Constitutional factors
·         Physical makeup, Physical tolerance etc. Influenced by gene and environment.
·         Personality and temperamental characteristics also determines the psychopathology
·         Age, sex, race are other factors
C.Biochemical factors
·         Biochemical disturbance in the brain such as alteration in the production and utilization of neurotransmitters have found major role in the etiology of mental illness.
D. Brain damage
Any damagc to the structure and function of the brain can give rise to mental illness.
·         Infection: Encephalitis, neuro-syphilis etc.
·         Injury: Loss of brain tissues.
·         Intoxication: Alcohol. barbiturates etc.
·         Tumors: Brain tumor
·         Vascular: Poor blood suppl , hemorrhage.
Alteration in brain functions: Alteration in blood chemistry, Elevated blood glucose, hypoxia, fluid & electrolyte imbalance.
·         Degenerative diseases: Dementia
·         Endocrine disturbance: Thyrotoxicosis
·         Physical defect: Physical illness leads to poor mental capacities.   Vitamin deficiency and malnutrition.

E. Physical deprivation:
 Severe physical or physiological deprivation affects to mental status and growth. Eg: Severe malnutrition, Sleep deprivation etc. (Mental Retardation, depression etc.)
F.Physical Handicap:
Physical handicap such as blindness, deafness etc. influence on self-concept of individual. (create a sense of inability to meet the social situation). These may leads to poor socialization and inferiority complex and hostility. Stress during pregnancy lead into prematurity.
G.Disruptive Emotional process:
Emotional factors may become a factor for mental illness. Eg: Psychosomatic disorders such as peptic  ulcer, hypertension etc.
I.Physiological Changes:
·         Puberty
·         Menstruation
·         Pregnancy
·         Delivery
·         Puerperium
II. Psychological factors
·         Strained interpersonal relationship
·         Childhood insecurity
·         Sexual difficulties
·         Social & recreational deprivation
·         Marriage problems
·         Stress
·         Frustration
·         Isolation
·         Boredom
III. Psycho-social factors
l. Early  deprivation and trauma 
·         Institutionalization 
·         deprivation in thc home 
·         early trauma
2. Inadequale parenting
·         overprolectlon and restrictiveness
·         unrealistic demand 
·         faulty discipline
·         undesirable parental models
3. Pathogenic family structure
·         discordant and disturbed families  
·         disrupted families
·         inadequate families
·         antisocial families
4. Maladaptive peer relationship
·         popularity
·         status invariance
·         rejection inducing behaviours
IV. Socio-cultural factors
War and Violence
War and violence have impact on individual for various reasons. Violence within social norms and violence without social norms.
Group prejudice
·         Religious intolerance.
·         Hostility towards other community.
·         Political slaughters
·         Communal wars.
Economic and employment problems
·         Economic problem 
·         Frustrated unemployment.
·         Rejected being jobless.
·         Alcoholism and drug abuse.
Technological and social change
·         Frustrated for updating newer technological progress.
·         Change in value system in the societal approach leads to social insecurities. 
·         Failure to achieve the scientific progress leads to anger and social withdrawal.
·         Poverty
·         Poor living conditions
·         Injustice
·         Migration
·         Urbanization
·         Gambling
·         Prostitution
·         Natural disasters
·         Adjusting to new environment and roles
·         Divorce
·         Insecurity
·         Social crisis



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item Causes of Mental Illness
Causes of Mental Illness
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