While much of the focus in our culture today is on physical health, our mental health is just as vital to a high quality of life. Unfortunately, mental illness is an extremely common problem in the U.S., affecting one in five adults annually, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Three-fourths of those conditions develops by the time an individual reaches the age of 24. Mental illness has a profound impact on every aspect of your life, from your personal relationships to your professional aspirations.
Mental illness and substance abuse are often closely intertwined. People struggling with disorders like depression or generalized anxiety may turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of dulling those feelings. While this might help in the short-term, substance use can quickly turn to substance abuse and a host of additional issues. Substance abuse can also lead to the onset of a mental illness or exacerbate one that has been diagnosed.
Causes of Mental Illness
There is not usually one single cause of mental illness.
Instead, a variety of factors might contribute to its onset, including:
It is not unusual for mental illness to be handed down through the generations in some families. This means that if your father, mother or another family member has been diagnosed with a condition like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), you might have a higher chance of being diagnosed with it also. However, a family history does not necessarily guarantee you will have this disorder.
Influences in Utero
If you are exposed to certain substances in utero, such as alcohol, drugs or nicotine, it may increase your risk of developing a mental illness at some point in your life. In some cases, the problems may be present shortly after birth, while others might see a condition develop later in life. Exposure to these substances may or may not mean you will be diagnosed with a mental illness, as many who are exposed in utero never experience issues.
The chemical makeup of a person’s brain with a mental illness may look different than the brain of someone that does not have a condition. Often the chemistry can fluctuate through hormonal imbalances or other factors throughout a person’s lifetime, increasing the potential for a mental illness.
Many events in life, such as the death of a family member, divorce or being the victim of violence can have a significant effect on both physical and mental health. While one event will not usually result in the onset of a mental illness, a series of events over an extended period could increase the risk. At the same time, these events may trigger a condition that has been previously lying dormant or gone undetected.
At New Vista Behavioral Health, we treat a broad range of mental health conditions, including the following:
- Anxiety disorders
- Disruptive behavioral disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
We address mental illness both as a primary condition or a co-occurring disorder with drug or alcohol addiction at our treatment facilities. We offer both residential and outpatient options, depending on your treatment needs. To find out more about our mental health service options, contact New Vista Behavioral Health today at 888-316-3665.