Do you believe nature (biology/physiology), nurture(environment), a mix, or something else has an impact on mental health?
I believe that to some degree, my mental health problems were inborn. Even as a child, I displayed symptoms which later developed and came to play a significant role in my day-to-day life. For example, from the age of 9 I was convinced that I was being watched by invisible cameras. As I grew older, the belief grew with me. Partially due to the “cameras” I was hospitalised at 14.
The early development of symptoms lead me to understand my bipolar disorder as, in a sense, inevitable. Something was always going to happen. I remember being told in hospital at 14, that if my self-harm and mood were not trauma related, they were a “warning sign”. I believe that now.
In terms of nurture, there was nothing significant in my family life that would account for my mental health problems. I do recognise, however, that some events outside my home life may have triggered something that was already there.
I think that the fact that chemical treatment has proved the most effective in improving my life, proves that a chemical imbalance of some sort has affected my mental health. I would never come off the meds in exchange for “talking therapies” for example, because I do not feel that these would be adequate on their own for treating bipolar disorder.