Am I Vulnerable to Severe Mental Illness ?

Mental illness today is never a problem that you can pass over.  Have you ever found that someone around you are more prone to get mental illness?  Psychotic disorders was considered as a mainly genetic disorder in the past. But at present, we should not miss the environmental factors that work in an extremely important way. Here is the latest finding about first-episode psychosis and its susceptible population.

First-episode psychosis, refers to that for the first time, someone experiences some severe mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, depression and  schizophrenia. And you may have the following problems as hallucinations, delusions and cognitive disorganization.

So, you may wonder: Who are more vulnerable to those severe mental illness? Am I one of them?

Young males, ethnic minorities and people living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas are more likely to experience first-episode psychosis, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry. The study was conducted among five European countries( England, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil), with 17 areas from urban to rural areas between 2010 and 2015.

It’s well-known that different regions and populations feature different incidence of first-episode psychosis. In this study, we can find that mental illnesses occur more frequent in large cities than smaller towns or rural areas. Moreover, it happens more in the ethnic minorities, such as black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.

As to the gender, male patients account for almost 70%. And all the patients are young, with a median age of 30, both male and female.  According to the study, the incidence of first-episode psychosis was higher among men aged 18 to 24 than among women in the same age group. The exact relations among sexes, age and the mental illnesses remains to be found. Cerebral maturation may be an important factor here. Since our brain matures between 20 and 25 years old, when men seem to be more vulnerable to mental disorders than women.

In addition, people among ethnic minorities and in relatively undeveloped areas are at higher risk of  first-episode psychosis. It means socioeconomic conditions and the living environment matters a lot in the development of mental illnesses. Except for the life histories and socioeconomic conditions, traumatic experiences, especially in your childhood can increase your risk of mental disorders.

Psychosis nowadays is totally a burden to the human health, just like the cancer, the heart disease and diabetes. Never ignore it and actively ask for professional and specialized care when you need it.

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