Mental Health Through The Eye Of Science

Mental Health Through The Eye Of Science

In the last 5 years, mental health issues have been widely discussed on various media platforms. This fact is inseparable from the rapid development of technology, especially social media. the increasing number of credible content creators in the mental health field, such as doctors, therapists, and others who create content specifically for mental health awareness, is a big contributor in this regard. Therefore, more and more people can easily access information about mental health from credible sources.

This is much different from 10 years ago, especially in our country, Indonesia, where psychiatric disorders are still associated with supernatural interference. even in some criminal cases where the perpetrator can be identified as a person with acute schizophrenia, it is still associated with supernatural interference, because the perpetrator hears whispers in his head to commit a crime. The challenge of this problem is, can science answer otherwise regarding mental health disorders, and what solutions can be offered? Let’s dive a little deeper to answer that questions.

Judging from the cause, mental illness is not only caused by a single factor, Instead, but they also have a variety of causes, called risk factors. The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop a mental illness. Sometimes, mental illness develops gradually. Other times, it doesn’t appear until a stressful event triggers it.

8 Factors Affecting Mental Health

There are many risk factors and triggers, but here are a few examples:

  • Mental illness often runs in the family.
  • Living in a stressful environment can make you more likely to develop a mental illness. Things like living in poverty or having an abusive family put a lot of stress on your brain and often trigger mental illness.
  • Childhood trauma. Even if you’re no longer in a stressful environment, things that happened to you as a child can have an impact later in life.
  • Stressful events: like losing a loved one, or being in a car accident.
  • Negative thoughts. Constantly putting yourself down or expecting the worst can get you stuck in a cycle of depression or anxiety.
  • Unhealthy habits: like not getting enough sleep, or not eating.
  • Drugs and alcohol: Abusing drugs and alcohol can trigger a mental illness. It can also make it harder to recover from mental illness.
  • Brain chemistry. Mental illness involves an imbalance of natural chemicals in your brain and your body.

As we already know that one of the risk factors is brain chemistry, that is where science stands, in regards to biochemistry. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, many researchers or scientists who study the brain believe that the development of most mental disorders is caused, at least in part, by an imbalance of chemicals within the brain, or neurochemicals. If an imbalance occurs, the brain cannot communicate with the body effectively, thereby inhibiting a healthy or safe response to various stimuli. Take a look below at several neurochemicals that can be unsafe if processed in incorrect amounts and may be associated with a variety of mental disorders.

4 Neuro-Chemicals Affecting Mental Health

  • Norepinephrine According to Everyday Health, norepinephrine is a hormone that helps mobilize the brain and body for action. Too little of this hormone may be related to a lack of energy or focus, symptoms commonly associated with attention disorders and depression. Too much may be related to anxiety, hyperactivity, and stress.
  • Serotonin According to WebMD, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. Too little of this neurotransmitter may be related to fluctuating hormones, high stress, and insufficient nutrients. Too much may be related to anxiety and anxiety disorders, depression, and obsessive actions and thoughts, a symptom commonly associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD.
  • Adrenaline/ Epinephrine According to the Hormone Health Network, adrenaline is a hormone that helps regulate muscle contraction, heart rate, and blood pressure. It also triggers the body’s stress response, often called the fight or flight response. Too much of this hormone can lead to chronic stress, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and fatigue, as well as anxiety and anxiety disorders.
  • Dopamine According to Psychology Today, dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward centers. too little of this neurotransmitter may be related to addictive behaviors such as alcohol or drug use, cravings, compulsions, depression, and loss of motor control. Too much may be related to attention disorders, autism, mood swings, and psychosis, a symptom commonly associated with schizophrenia.

For the treatment of scientists and doctors can perform the pharmacogenomic test. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s genes impact their reaction to drugs. It is a relatively new field that holds promise for choosing the most effective medications and dosages with the least likelihood of side effects based on a person’s genetic makeup. Doctors can use these tests to inform decisions about the best treatment options for mental health conditions like depression. This method also can be used to determine what kind of anesthesia is safest to use and to select the best treatment options for cancer, heart disease, neurological problems, and infectious diseases. By analyzing the genetic variations in your DNA, the test can provide information about genes that may impact how you break down or react to certain medications.

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