Nature VS Nurture: Mental Illness Triggered By Life Events And Not Through Genetics

One in four people is diagnosed with mental health problem, having depression as the most common. Psychologists argue that mental illness is usually caused by life events rather than having it genetically acquired.

Researchers are usually focused on the genetic causes of mental health issues, with little to no studies done though the environmental aspect as to how it is acquired, Mad in America reported. The researchers linked depression, which is one of the most common mental health problems to job loss and tragic life events.

Kinderman then added that despite the fact that genetics can potentially influence the individual’s mental health, he pointed out that traumatic events are still considered as the most influential factor. Social factors should be looked upon when it comes to digging deeper into the root cause of the mental health issue. “It detracts from the idea that trauma in childhood is a very very powerful predictor of serious problems like experiencing psychotic events in adult life, so of course the brain is involved and of course genes are involved, but not very much, and an excessive focus on those issues takes us away from these very important social factors”.

According to Peter Kinderman, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool, negative life events greatly affects an individual’s well-being. Kinderman pointed out that unemployment rates is one of the most influential causes of depression, resulting to suicide as per The Telegraph.

“Of course every single action, every emotion I’ve ever had involves the brain, so to have a piece of scientific research telling us that the brain is involved in responding emotionally to events doesn’t really advance our understanding very much,” Kinderman stated during his interview with BBC Radio. “And yet it detracts from the fact that when unemployment rates go up in a particular locality you get a measurable number of suicides.”


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