7 Key Causes Of Mental Health Decline

Tuesday, March 28, 2023


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Health is a major global issue, but one aspect of it that has progressively come to the fore in the last decade is mental health. According to research, mental health affected 52.9 million people as of 2020, with this figure only representing mild cases. In response, there has been much advocacy and awareness for mental health issues. However, there is room for improvement as mental illnesses rise, raising questions about triggers and causes. Below are seven key causes of mental health decline.

Trauma and abuse

Reports indicate that 70% of US adults have dealt with trauma at some point. The truth is that trauma is multi-faceted, and abuse is just one aspect of it. However, one thing that ties these two together is mental health. According to data, trauma, and abuse are the leading causes of mental health decline. Unfortunately, some people are completely unaware of their traumatic experience until it becomes a mental health issue later in life. For example, few people know that sexual exposure in early childhood can be the cause of recurrent mental health problems in their adult years. Other traumatic experiences like domestic violence, emotional abuse, and neglect often become the foundation on which mental health decline thrives. Without timely and appropriate help, things can spiral out of control and become even more difficult to treat. A National Institute of Mental Health report stated that the effects of unmanaged trauma and abuse could remain hidden until something triggers it. That’s why it’s vital to get specialist help when battling depression, sudden anger bouts, and other mental health symptoms. There might be an underlying trauma responsible for the recurrence.

The role of genetics

Some people are more susceptible to mental health disorders, and that is due to the role of inherited genes. It explains why mental health issues run in some families and don’t in others. For mental disorders believed to run in families, research has proven that certain environmental or external factors may trigger a gene carrying the disorder. For example, when your biological parents have been clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia, the chances of developing it are increased. In other words, a recessive gene may be triggered when a susceptible person experiences depression. The latter is often caused by external influences like grief, divorce, terminal illness, and so on. Although science cannot explain why some families have recurrent cases of specific mental health disorders, it’s worth noting that genes may play a role. Therefore, when you notice a mental health trend like bipolar disorder and chronic depression in your family, learning more about the potential triggers may be advisable.

Substance abuse

Most substances like alcohol and illicit drugs have psychoactive compounds responsible for the change in brain chemicals. By definition, anything described as psychoactive can affect the brain and behavior, which can cause mental health decline in you. Moreover, because these substances tend to suppress emotions, they can target the brain without resistance. It also doesn’t help that 37.9% of 20 million substance addicts developed mental health issues in 2022, as revealed by research. All indications lead to a possible rise by the end of 2023, making it essential to take proactive steps. If you identify any habits or addictions you must overcome to protect your mental health, consider professional rehab facilities by researching sites like https://rdoutpatientrehab.com/. This way, you can identify the most effective solutions and start your recovery journey, enhancing your mental health.

Social isolation

Many factors cause social isolation, the fundamental reason for rising mental health deterioration. Physical impairments, grief, and living far from family and loved ones are possible causes of social isolation. Humans are social creatures, and constant isolation from others can naturally cause mental health issues. The problem with prolonged social isolation is the risk of it escalating into a full-blown depression. Depression is a mood disorder under mental illness, with studies revealing that many people have it worldwide. At the peak of the COVID pandemic, several people felt socially isolated because of government-imposed restrictions. The numbers show that 5% of the global population has chronic depression. In the US alone, 7.8% of the population experiences this depression, with many more people undiagnosed. It stems from believing people can snap out of depression without therapy. However, it is not always the case. In many situations, you need external help to build lasting coping mechanisms. That is one way to resolve self-imposed social isolation. Moreover, because emotions heavily influence such withdrawals, it would help to seek help from a therapist or counselor. Also, try as much as possible to have social support systems and maintain regular interactions with others.

Chronic illness

A Cleveland Clinic report says one-third of people with chronic illness also deal with mental health issues. Being in constant pain, taking medications daily, and dealing with the reality of a compromised quality of health can be challenging. Everybody wants to live a disease-free life, but it’s not always the case. Terminal diagnosis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are some chronic illnesses giving rise to mental health decline. Learning to cope with the physical symptoms of such medical conditions can be difficult. However, it is even more challenging when you entertain self-pity, increasing your risk of falling into a depressive state. Mental health experts also say there is a high chance of relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms, including substance abuse and other negative habits. It would be helpful to research stress-relief activities when you’re managing chronic illness.

Financial stress

Admittedly, many people are struggling to keep up with rising living standards. Even worse is that the pandemic led to many people losing their jobs and livelihoods, inadvertently having a ripple effect ranging from compounding debts to financial insecurity, anxiety, and general distress among affected populations. Indeed, the cyclical link between your finances and your mental health is easy to understand. Suppose you’ve experienced a stage where you had little money to survive. Your many responsibilities against insufficient income will most likely keep you constantly on edge. Financial insecurity may cause high anxiety levels, eventually affecting your mental wealth. There are different ways to deal with financial stress, but that depends on your situation. It is advisable to consult with financial professionals to explore ways to alleviate your money situation. You can also assess your spending and identify areas to reduce expenses. Being more conscious about saving money can give you something to fall on during a rainy day. Remember to budget so you can identify which expenditures you must prioritize and which ones you can forfeit. Knowing that you’ve put these measures in place will give you peace of mind, protecting your mental health.

Environmental factors

Research has shown that air, sound, and other pollution impact your mental health greatly. A Psychiatry Online report indicated that exposure to lead and mercury in the environment often causes insomnia, impacted cognitive functions, and neuro-behavioral disorders. So, how do people come into contact with these things? Food, air, water, and soil are some places where you can get exposed. Moving away from typical environmental factors, consider another crucial element, such as poor housing conditions. If you’re grappling with less-than-ideal housing conditions, research has shown that your mental health can be at great risk of decline. That is why when people experience an upgrade in housing conditions, reports indicate a sudden positive turnaround in their mental health.

Keeping these key causes of mental health decline in mind will help you be mindful of your daily habits, so you can protect your mental health and enjoy good health and quality of life.

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