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Psychology

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Mental wellness depicts adequate cognitive, emotional and behavioural adjustment. As such, the prognosis of being mentally healthy is not as easily achieved as that of being physically healthy.

Mental wellness depicts adequate cognitive, emotional and behavioural adjustment. As such, the prognosis of being mentally healthy is not as easily achieved as that of being physically healthy.

Many who are community leaders, bosses at workplaces, fathers and mothers, and even professionals in various areas suffer from poor mental health. Nevertheless, unlike many physical ailments (e.g. diabetes), mental illness can be hidden until something triggers it. This means that many people with mental health problems are not aware of their condition, so also their relatives.
Still, how healthy one is mentally influences the individual's actions, thoughts as well as feelings. It affects people's ability to cope with stress and make good choices. Mental wellness forms the bases for interpersonal relationships; how one interacts with others, perceive their comments and actions, interpret silent moments and respond to others behaviours. Again, the appropriateness of the decision a person takes in a certain context is also a mark of how mentally healthy the individual is.
People Prone to Mental Illness
Considering the points above, it is important to note the factors in a person's life that could predispose the person to mental illness. Psychiatry and Psychological science points to the following;
·    Gene
·    Biological or Organic disorder
·    Stress
·    Life Style
·    Cultural and Religious factors
·    Social and interpersonal factors among others.

Gene and Your Mental Health
The role of genes in the development and expression of mental illness is something we (the Igbo's) believe in very much, though one cannot say they are knowledgeable about it. Nevertheless, the issue of mental health history of an individual does come up in matters of considerable importance like marriage and leadership. You must have heard of one or two marriage proposals that failed because of a suspected case of mental illness in the family of one of the couples (even when such incidence is quite distant to the individual concerned). In other cases, an insistence to marry someone from a family with existing mental illness cases leads to family disunity or conflict at best. Also, for elective leadership positions, people mostly shy away from voting individuals with known or presumed mental health problems.
Is genetic impact on mental health a myth or a reality? To what extend can the gene be blamed for the incidence of mental illness? Truly, psychiatric science points to possible genetic contribution to development of mental illness. Science reveals that an average of 62% of our general cognitive ability can be inherited but that genes can account for less than half of the explanation for mental illness. Again, the type of mental illness is also important. For example, while genetic contribution might be up to half in the case of schizophrenia (Madness), it may not have any contribution at all in the case of alcoholism. So, yes, genes can contribute to mental illness, but left on their own, inherited genes associated with a mental illness may remain dormant all through a person's life. On the other hand, in the presence of environmental factors (e.g. pain, fear, worry, frustration, stress, bitterness, trauma, physical injury, etc) that could trigger, turn on, or activate these genes, an individual with these genes is more likely to develop mental illness compared to another without the said genes. Based on this scientific finding, the likelihood of developing mental illness is like this:
ü    Among identical twins, there is close to 50% chance that the other twin will develop the same mental illness as the other
ü    Among first degree relatives (that is, parents vs children, siblings, or non-identical twins) the chances are 12.5% or less

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