Causes of Psychiatric Disorders

To diagnose heart disease, a doctor performs blood tests and other procedures. Psychiatric disorders are not as simple. Researchers have spent decades trying to understand the biological basis of mental illness. There is no identified one-size-fits-all approach. However, most scientists agree that biology contributes to the development of psychiatric disorders.

Researchers have found structural and functional differences in the brain of those diagnosed with a mental health disorder compared to those who are not. For example, certain areas of the brain may be enlarged or overactive.



Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and form new pathways and connections.

Young brains tend to be more sensitive and responsive to experiences than older brains.

    • This means that adolescence is an important time to take care of your brain-by learning and trying new things, getting adequate sleep, and being careful about substance use, among other helpful behaviors.

Researchers have even found that mental health treatment can actually change the form and function of the brain in positive ways!

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Causes of Psychiatric Disorders

Many factors such as biology, genetics, and environment contribute to the development of mental illness.

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Role of Environment

Your environment and life experiences can impact your mental health.

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