Why do people have mental health problems

Causes of Mental Illness

Basically everyone can get mentally ill. Mental illnesses * are very complex; there is never a single cause for the illness.

bio-psycho-social model

In the development of a mental illness, biological, psychological and social factors work together.

Greater vulnerability

Some people are more thin-skinned than others in the psychological area. Your vulnerability (= vulnerability) is higher than that of other people. This means that they react more sensitively to stressful events and stress factors and are more easily thrown off track by changes than other people.

Biological factors

The biological expression of a mental illness is an imbalance of the various messenger substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain. These messenger substances are essentially responsible for the transmission and processing of information (e.g. stimuli, sensory impressions). Psychiatric drugs try to correct this imbalance.

Life events

Psychological and social factors play a major role in the timing and course of the disease. A stressful event such as the loss of a job or a separation can trigger a flare-up of illness. People who have experienced great stress early in their lives are often more vulnerable to mental illness.


It is not a specific mental illness per se that can be inherited, but a higher level of vulnerability (vulnerability) in the mental area - see above. Whether an illness actually breaks out depends on the interplay of all these factors such as life situation, psychological resistance, life story, dealing with stress, etc.


Just as a person can be more or less vulnerable, he can also be more or less resilient. This explains why some people stay healthy despite great stress. For all of us, and especially for those people who are more vulnerable, it is important to strengthen the “mental immune system” (resilience).

* In the case of mental illnesses, we are talking about illnesses from the schizophrenic group such as schizophrenia or psychoses, depression, manic-depressive illnesses, personality disorders such as borderline disorders, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorders or an addiction.
Burnout is not a diagnosis of its own, but the severe states of exhaustion that can be summarized under the term burnout are also considered to be mental illnesses.

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