The Roots of Mental Illness

The Roots of Mental Illness: Understanding the Causes of Mental Health Concerns

Mental health is essential to overall health and well-being, and it is important to understand the underlying causes of mental health concerns. These causes can trigger from childhood itself. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17.4% of children in the US in the age group of 2-8 years suffer from some mental disorder.

This article will explore the various roots of mental illness. It will discuss how these different factors can create mental health issues and provide insight into how we can best address them.

Early Life Experiences

Early life experiences can have a significant impact on mental health. Studies suggest that children who experience abuse, neglect, and trauma may be at higher risk of developing mental illness later in life. In fact, childhood trauma has been linked to anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression later in adulthood.

Sadly such traumatic incidents have become more and more common. According to an article from CDC, 1 in 7 American children have faced child abuse and neglect. Moreover, around 1,750 children died in the US in 2020 due to abuse and neglect.

Examples of traumatic childhood experiences include:

  • Physical abuse such as hitting or punching by parents/guardians, being kicked or punched by siblings, being threatened with weapons by family members, having objects thrown at you by your parents/guardians, and feeling unsafe in your home environment because of violence between adults living there
  • Sexual abuse, such as unwanted touching from someone else who is older or stronger than you


Divorce can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. Losing their parents’ marriage can lead to mental health issues for children. Children of divorce are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than those from intact families, according to a study published in the BMC Journal.

You may also find yourself struggling with financial and emotional problems when you’re going through a divorce. You will likely have less money coming into your household now that there are two households instead of one. If there was an issue with income before the divorce, it could get even worse once everything is settled legally between you and your ex-spouse.

The stress of this situation can take its toll on both adults and children. If left untreated over time, it could result in severe psychological issues like PTSD or clinical depression, which may require treatment from professionals like psychologists who specialize in treating people experiencing these types of mental health concerns.

However, it is best to take measures before divorce happens. Many couples therapists can help you manage your relationship problems. You can easily find them in places with high divorce rates, such as New York City (NYC). A recent study shows that the divorce rate in New York is 9%. This means a good business opportunity for couples therapists here, making it easier to find them in NYC.

You can do basic online research or get references from your network to find a couples therapist. Getting couples therapy in NYC can reduce your chances of divorce. Therapy helps you open a communication channel that can get you talking about your problems and finding solutions. Hence, therapy sessions can improve your relationship and may prevent a divorce.

Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress are widespread in today’s society. Stress can affect our mental health, so it is important to understand the causes of these problems. Stress can be caused by many things, including work, family, financial problems, and other issues.

There are many ways to reduce stress in your life. These can include the following:

  • Improving your diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Sleeping more than seven hours per night
  • Spending time with friends or family members who make you happy
  • Learning meditation, deep breathing exercises, or any such relaxation techniques
  • Talking about what’s bothering you with someone who cares about you

Substance Abuse

Many people have substance abuse problems. Some negative experiences in life can trigger the use of substances. Many people use them for recreation, and many use them to deal with their problems. According to data from the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, over 37 million Americans aged 12 and over were illicit drug users as of 2020.

Substance abuse is a significant cause of mental health problems. It can lead to poor judgment, decision-making, and physical symptoms like nausea, headaches, and even organ damage. In extreme cases, it can also result in death from overdose or accidents caused by intoxication.

In addition to these immediate risks, substance abuse can have long-term effects on your brain, making it difficult for you to recover from any underlying mental health issues you might have developed earlier in life or during adolescence. If you’re thinking about giving up alcohol or drugs now because they’re causing problems at home or work, good idea.

But remember that there’s no point trying to “go cold turkey” overnight. Quitting abruptly will only worsen since withdrawal symptoms include agitation, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea/vomiting, etc. All these are likely to trigger more cravings than ever before, so take things slowly instead.

Loneliness and Neglect

Loneliness and neglect are also known to be a factor in the development of mental health concerns. For example, if you have been isolated from others for a long time or neglected by your family members or friends, this can lead to depression and hopelessness.

Loneliness is more than just being alone. It’s about how much social support you have in your life. If you feel like people don’t care about what happens with your life or aren’t interested in spending time with you, then this may be causing feelings of loneliness that can lead to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

The loneliness has further deepened due to the pandemic. According to recent research by Harvard University, around 36% of Americans face severe loneliness. This means that they face loneliness very often due to the pandemic.


We hope that by understanding the causes of mental health concerns, you can be more prepared to help someone in your life who may be struggling with them. These root causes of mental health problems can be avoided with little care. Hence, understanding them might help you prevent any long-term mental health issues.