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Causes Of Mental Illness In Adolescence: Things You Should Know As A Parent

It’s a common assumption that young people care a lot less about life than adults. However, they too face emotional turmoil in their lives. That has been revealed in the statistics related to the mental health of teens and adolescents. As per the data, at least one in five teenagers and adolescents require a diagnosis for mental illness. Aside from that, almost half of all cases tend to develop by the time a child turns 14. 75% develops at 24. The most common mental illnesses can be categorized into stress-related disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorders, as well as disruptive-behavioral disorders. As a parent, you need to be aware of the causes of mental illness in their adolescent child. The following points will discuss them.

Biological Factors

Biological factors are concerning anything physical that has a detrimental impact on the mental health of an individual. Mental illness has a long history based on biological evidence. This is quite likely as in reality, activities in the brain trigger human behavior. Therefore, it is quite easy to understand the simple fact that the feelings of fear, happiness, sadness, etc. all originate in the brain. Similarly, if there is an irregular balance in the brain’s chemicals, i.e. the neurotransmitters, it leads to mental health disorders. A few other biological factors that can lead to mental illness are mentioned below.


Genetic factors have a lot to do with any kind of mental disorder in adolescents as well as those who are not. Genetics can cause mental illness in three ways. First, genes can cause abnormalities or any organic change inside the brain which can eventually lead to the development of Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia in adolescents and an eventual diagnosis. Second, genes can be the reason behind the development of an adolescent, either before or after they are born. Chromosomal mutations can be the cause of mental disorders. Third, genes might have a lot of influence on an individual’s vulnerability to anxiety, depression, personality, as well as disorders related to substance abuse.

Brain Injury

Any brain injury can play a major role in the development of mental disorders in an individual. This is because the brain controls the nervous system. As per several studies, brain injury can be the cause of trauma, mood disorders, substance abuse, etc. a traumatic injury to the brain can cause brain tumors.

Infection or Disease

Though this happens to be the most mysterious area as far as causes of mental illness are concerned, there are a few studies that consider some infectious diseases or viruses as the reason behind mental illness. Extra research on the link between mental disorders and infectious diseases is required if the phenomena need to be understood in detail.

Prenatal Damage

If a fetus is harmed or injured while being in the mother’s womb, the harm or injury is called prenatal damage. This type of damage can contribute to the development of a mental illness in teenagers and adolescents in all probability. The womb will be exposed to prenatal damage if a pregnant woman consumes alcohol or drugs or fall ill/gets infected. If a pregnant woman faces trauma during that period or is under a lot of stress, the damage caused will be considered prenatal damage. In addition to that, a lack of proper supply of oxygen to the brain or a risky birth process can also lead to prenatal damage.

Substance Abuse

The long-term substance can be a key reason for mental illness in teenagers and adolescents. Alcohol abuse and depression have had a strong connection, as per various studies. Abuse of drugs like amphetamines correlates with anxiety disorders. Also, caffeine abuse for years can lead to the development of stress and anxiety.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors are based on psychological evidence. Common factors that lead to the development of stress in adolescents are trauma, bullying, pressure at school or workplace, early loss of a parent or a sibling, obesity, accidents, natural disasters, anger, loneliness, low self-esteem, unsafe surroundings, domestic violence, violent acts, etc.

As a parent, you must know what your child is going through, behaviorally as well as emotionally. Every child is different from the other. Therefore, their response to life experiences, stress, and emotions are different.

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