Causes of mental distress.

There are many suggestions about the causes mental distress. The causes of mental distress is part of a wider debate about what makes people the way they are, whether who they are is as a result of the life experiences they have been through, or whether it's determined by their genes, inherited from their parents. It's possible that some people are more vulnerable to mental health problems, which could be triggered by stressful or traumatic events.

The following are some of the possible causes of mental distress. It may be as a result of any one of these factors, or a compounding of them.

Difficult family background

People become highly unsafe and more vulnerable to mental distress when they grow up feeling not cared for, afraid of a parent, or having been sexually abused by someone. But when a child is excessively protected can also put a child at risk.

Hidden feelings

From a very early age, a child may have been discouraged from expressing his feelings. You may even have been penalized for getting angry, crying or laughing too Clamorously as a child. Your mental health is also affected by feelings that are restrained, which are not uttered.

Stressful life events

These may be traumatic events, such as the death of someone close, or longer-term struggles, such as being the victim of some form of harassment or oppression.


Your mind can be affected by your body chemistry. For example, a hormone called adrenalin is produced if you are frightened and it triggers the body's 'fight or flight' response. The body remains tense and the mind stays over-active, if physical activity doesn't use up all the adrenalin.


You inherit physical characteristics from your parents and can pass them on in the same way. Your personality can also be affected by your genes. Physical illnesses can be caused by genes. In the same way, there may be genes that predispose a person towards mental illness. The idea that one person may be more likely than another to develop a particular problem, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia is supported by some scientific evidence.