Biological factors

include things like neural processes in the brain and our genetic predisposition to different disorders. Some people have a higher risk of developing some mental disorders, as a result of their genetic predisposition. Children and adolescents with a mentally ill parent are up to four times more likely to develop such an illness themselves. Age and sex are also important biological determinants of mental health. For example, independent of other factors, females appear to be at a higher risk of depression while disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders are more often among boys.


Mental illnesses tend to be associated with abnormal levels of neurotransmitters, like serotonin or dopamine in the brain, a decrease in the size of some areas of the brain, as well as increased activity in other areas of the brain. Illnesses around puberty may relate to the fluctuating hormones.


Chronic physical ailments and disabilities are also potential causes of mental illness.


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