Mental health can be influenced by biological factors (e.g., hormones, age, gender, brain chemistry) and genetics (1).
Many mental health disorders have genetic components, and depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders have all been shown to be linked to genetic risk factors (2,3).
Biological factors, such as sex hormones, have also been linked to mental health difficulties. For example, the higher prevalence of anxiety in women has been linked to hormone levels (4).
Age can also affect mental health conditions. For example, younger age increases the risk for postpartum depression (5). In older adults, around one quarter experience depressive symptoms requiring treatment (6).
1. Haddad D. Biological Factors That Influence Child Development [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 14]. Available from: https://www.verywellfamily.com/biological-factors-affecting-child-development-2162219
2. Hyman SE. The genetics of mental illness: implications for practice. Bull World Health Organ. 2000;78(4):455–63.
3. Trace SE, Baker JH, Peñas-Lledó E, Bulik CM. The genetics of eating disorders [Internet]. Vol. 9, Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. Annu Rev Clin Psychol; 2013 [cited 2021 Jan 20]. p. 589–620. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23537489/
4. Li SH, Graham BM. Why are women so vulnerable to anxiety, trauma-related and stress-related disorders? The potential role of sex hormones. Vol. 4, The Lancet Psychiatry. Elsevier Ltd; 2017. p. 73–82.
5. Ghaedrahmati M, Kazemi A, Kheirabadi G, Ebrahimi A, Bahrami M. Postpartum depression risk factors: A narrative review. J Educ Health Promot [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2021 Jan 20];6:60. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28852652
6. Department of Health. No health without mental health. A cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2021 Jan 15]. Available from: www.dh.gov.uk/mentalhealthstrategy