As mentioned previously, most mental illnesses do not stem from a single incident or cause. These conditions occur as a result of multiple events or circumstances. The causes of mental illness do not just determine who would be likely to develop a condition. These factors also impact the severity of symptoms and when symptoms may occur.2
Social determinants are factors that include general conditions of a person’s life. These factors may include a person’s work, education, and home life, which impact overall health and quality of life. Social communities can play a significant role in mental health along with related factors such as financial stability.
Environments that create high-stress conditions have the potential to harm a person’s mental health.2 In general, social determinants play a large role in not only a person’s mental health but health overall.
Incidents or experiences that are distressing or dangerous can be traumatic. Responses to traumatic events or experiences vary from person to person. It is relatively common for individuals who have experienced trauma to show symptoms of a mental health disorder. Children who experience trauma are 1.3 times more likely to develop mental illness than adults.2
Genetics and biology also play a significant role in mental health. Genes impact how a person’s brain and body develop and ultimately function. While no single gene can determine mental illness, many genes contribute to brain development. Brain development and brain health are often a factor in a person’s mental wellbeing.
Along similar lines, biology plays a role in a person’s mental health. Biology and brain chemistry directly impact mental health. Individuals with chemical imbalances in their brains are susceptible to certain types of mental illness.2 Chemicals such as dopamine can affect a person’s mood greatly.
Lastly, a person’s lifestyle and habits play a role in their mental health. The importance of caring for the body and mind cannot be understated. Everyday choices can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health.2 Common factors that influence mental health are: