11 Causes of Mental Illness: How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

11 Causes of Mental Illness: How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Mental illness is a growing problem in the United States. As per the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 adults suffers from a mental illness each year. That’s more than 43 million people! The positive part is that there are things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from developing a mental illness. Following, we will discuss the 11 most common causes of mental illness. We will also provide tips on how to prevent these causes from affecting you or your loved ones.


Stress is the top cause of mental illness. Stress can be caused by a variety of factors, including work, relationships, finances, and health problems. Extreme stress makes the body release hormones that can affect your mood and make you more likely to develop a mental illness. To protect yourself from stress-related mental illness, it’s important to find healthy ways to cope with stressors in your life. This may include exercise, meditation, and spending time with supportive people.


Another common cause of mental illness is trauma. Traumatic events can include physical or sexual abuse, witnessing violence, or losing a loved one. If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, it’s important to get help from a mental health professional so that you can deal with the trauma in a healthy way. Usually, trauma survivors also attend group therapy Decatur sessions to meet people going through the same issues to relate better.

Chemical Imbalance

Mental illness can also be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This means that there is an imbalance of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help the brain communicate with itself. Due to the imbalance of neurotransmitters, symptoms of mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia can emerge.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can also cause or contribute to mental illness. These include thyroid problems, sleep disorders, and chronic pain. If there are any of these signs, it’s important to get treatment so that you can handle your symptoms and reduce your risk of developing a mental illness.


Genetics can also play a role in mental illness. With a family history of mental illness, you’re more likely to develop a mental illness yourself. This is because Mental illnesses tend to run in families. If you have a family member who suffers from a mental illness, you’re more likely to develop one yourself. This is because mental illnesses are often passed down through families. If you’re concerned about your risk for mental illness, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your risk and provide tips on how to protect yourself. Group counseling Decatur also helps in recovery if more than one person is suffering.

Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition can also lead to mental illness. Eating a healthy diet is essential for good mental health. Include sufficient fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein in your diet. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine. These substances combined contribute to anxiety and depression.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a major cause of mental illness. Drugs and alcohol alter the functioning of your brain, which can lead to serious mental health problems. If you or someone around you is encountering substance abuse, please seek professional help immediately.

Life Circumstances

Finally, certain life circumstances can increase your risk of developing a mental illness. These include poverty, social isolation, and chronic stress. If you’re facing any of these situations, it’s important to get help and support so that you can protect your mental health.

If someone in your circle or you have a mental illness, know that you are not alone. There are multiple resources available to make it easy for you to cope and get the treatment you need. For assistance, immediately consult your doctor or mental health professional. Remember, mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of – it’s a real medical condition that should be treated with care and compassion.

Leah Eli

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