"The Cause of Mental Health Disorders" Finally Answered
We used to think that mental health disorders just happened randomly and that anyone could develop them, regardless of their background or personality. However, new studies show that this belief was wrong. Recent findings suggest that mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, addiction, and ADHD are typically caused by a combination of three factors:
- Biological factor - this is rooted in an individual's genetic and neural makeup regarding their dopamine
- Social factor - this points to how childhood neglect and abuse (trauma) significantly contribute to poor mental health
- Psychological factor - this is in the form of temperament, an individual's tendencies to give in to their emotions without control.
We know what causes mental illness - Now what?
Knowing what causes mental health problems can help us deal with them better because we would be targeting the root cause. Then, we wouldn't always have to use indirect psychotherapeutic means to diagnose mental health patients. When we don't target the actual cause because of ignorance, the success rate of treatments would be relatively low.
But most importantly, we'd be able to intervene early enough when we know a person is at risk of a mental disorder due to their biological, social, and psychological attributes.
The research, conducted by scientists at McGill University, is the first to combine trauma, temperament, and dopamine factors in a mental health study.
Before now, similar studies only focused on each of the factors separately. As a result, the findings weren't all that comprehensive or conclusive.
Jean Séguin and Michel Boivin, authors of this new research, decided to take things forward by combining all three factors.
They observed 52 participants from birth using brain imaging scans to measure their dopamine reward pathways. The brain activities were then combined with information regarding their temperaments and childhood.
It's fascinating that by putting together these three factors, researchers were able to predict with over 90% accuracy which participants had a history of mental illness or developed it during the 3-year study.
The study was so accurate and important that more money has been put into it. The researchers plan to make the study even better by increasing the number of people involved and keeping track of them until they reach their mid-20s.
Without a doubt, this is a major breakthrough in psychiatry. If everything goes well, there will be fewer blurry areas for psychiatrists and therapists trying to offer assistance to mental health patients in the near future.
They can now determine, even predict, which individuals battle mental health challenges due to their dopamine response, childhood history, and temperament.
This will make interventions relatively easier and more effective because a considerable part of the challenge has been eliminated.