Mental Illness

People experiencing homelessness will develop signs of mental illness due to their environmental stress. The stress of not having a place to sleep at night causes sleep deprivation, immense fear that ultimately leads to paranoia, anxiety, depression and lack of motivation. While many believe that severe mental illness is a leading cause to homelessness, studies show that only 6% of the homeless population is homeless due to a mental health condition. The four most common signs of a person developing mental health conditions while experiencing homelessness are; inability to cope with daily problems and activities, frequent outbursts of anger, abuse of drugs and/or alcohol and excessive worrying or anxiety.

What is Mental Illness? Mental illnesses are disorders of the brain that disrupt a person’s thinking, feelings, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are brain disorders that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of daily life. Mental illnesses are NOT the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or a poor upbringing.  Mental illness cuts across all levels of society and can affect people of any age, race, religion, or education or income level.

Causes of Mental Illness: The exact cause of most mental illnesses is not known, but research suggests that a combination of factors, including heredity, biology, psychological, trauma and environmental stress may be involved.