Expert Talk: 7 Factors That Affect Mental Health

Mental health includes our overall emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Read ahead to know the factors that affect our mental health.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaUpdated at: Oct 09, 2022 19:12 IST
Expert Talk: 7 Factors That Affect Mental Health

Mental health includes our overall emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is important at every stage of life, be it childhood and adolescence, adulthood or old age that we keep our mental health in check.

In an exclusive interaction with OnlyMyHealth Dr Shambhavi Jaiman, Consultant Psychiatrist Fortis Healthcare explains that there can be multiple factors and situations throughout our life which can affect our mental health, these factors can be either internal factors or external factors or a combination of both. They can also be divided under biological factors, psychological factors and social factors. Some of these factors are enlisted below.

7 Factors That Affect Mental Health

1. Biological factors

Biological factors includes genetic makeup and brain chemistry. Imbalance of various neurotransmitters can lead to various mental health disorders however recent research on the same is inconclusive.

2. Lifestyle factors

Lifestyle factors includes sleeping pattern, diet, physical activity and substance use.

3. Family history of mental health disorder

If there is history of mental health disorder in the family there are chances that one can develop mental health disorder as well. The propensity of one developing a mental health disorder is proportional to the closeness of the relation with the affected family member. For e.g. chances of one having mental health are more if their first degree relative is affected by mental health disorder.

4. Life experiences

History of negative life experiences such trauma, physical and sexual abuse can increase the chances of one experiencing mental health disorders. Long term care for a family member suffering from a terminal physical health concern can also lead to mental health concerns in the care giver. Bereavement is another condition which can lead to disturbance in our emotional and mental health. 

7 Factors That Affect Mental Health

Also real: Expert Talk: First 5 Signs Of Mental Illness

5. Physical health concerns

Certain physical health conditions which are long term or terminal illnesses can also contribute to one developing mental health concerns.

6. Post partum mental health concerns

Post-partum period (4-6 weeks post delivery) is known to cause disturbances in mental health of an individual which can vary from mild port partum blues to severe condition called as post partum psychosis.

7. Medications

Certain medication used for physical health related conditions can also affect our mental health. e.g. medications used in dermatological conditions, anti-tubercular medications etc. 

It is important that we take into consideration the changes in our behavior, sleep patterns, eating habits and functioning as they are indicators of status mental health. If we experience changes in the following it is always advisable to consult a mental health professional for the correct diagnosis and treatment.