There are of course many theories as to HOW mental illness comes about and WHY it occurs. (Also, FYI, I dislike the term ‘mental illness’ but we can talk about that another day.)
Maybe it’s the so-called chemical imbalance.
Maybe it’s chronic inflammation.
Maybe it’s chronic stress leading to apoptosis in the hippocampus (that’s a mouthful).
Maybe it’s genetic.
Maybe it’s the whole glial-death thing.
Maybe it’s lack of resilience.
Maybe it’s environmental toxins.
Maybe it’s the gut-brain connection and how we trash our bodies with our poor nutrition.
What if it’s more? What if it’s bigger?
I believe mental illness is not a biological thing we can put our finger on. At least, not yet.
Whatever the real cause and reason for mental illness, I believe our failure to be healthy in all other areas of life (spiritual, financial, physical, relational, and intellectual) greatly exacerbates the illness.
Why do some trauma patients become agoraphobic while others become well-traveled public speakers with spouses and families?
Why do some folks with schizophrenia end up living in a group home, while others work and live independently?
Why do some people struggle with addiction their entire lives, while others are able to walk away from it and put 20 years in between them and their last use?
I don’t know.
The mental health community does not know for sure.
Which makes it all the harder to fight.
We will not stop trying.
Also, if you get this blogpost title, we are kindred souls. Backstreet Boys forever.