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What Causes Mental Illness?

Mental illnesses are invisible illnesses that are inside the brain. They are common. About 1 in 4 people have one.

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Visit these pages to learn about specific mental illnesses! Each page has text that will help you learn more about different illnesses. There will even be videos and stories along the way!

Mental illnesses are complicated. They don’t usually have just one cause. And no one knows for sure who will get a mental illness.  Scientists have tried for hundreds of years to understand what causes mental illnesses. They found that if you have a family member with a mental illness, you are more likely to get one. This does not mean that you will  get one for sure. And there are many ways to avoid mental illnesses.

Doctors and therapists help people treat and avoid mental illnesses. You can avoid mental illnesses by learning certain skills. Recognizing mental health problems is one skill. Another skill is learning how to cope when you are feeling sad. Knowing who to call for help can also be important. Risk factors increase the chance of getting a mental illness. These are bad things like drugs, alcohol, and violence. Staying away from these things can help you avoid mental illnesses.

Is Mental Illness Contagious? 

No mental illness is known to be contagious. This means that you cannot “catch” mental illness by being near someone who has a mental illness. You can’t catch it by kissing or hugging people with it either. Sometimes, it can be stressful to live with a person who has a mental illness. But, this does not mean that you are “catching” the illness.