I have a very strong conviction that the etiology of mental illnesses is multifaceted.  I think that trying to isolate the cause of any mental illness to only biological, only environmental, only learned or any other “only” qualified factor is not only an exercise in futility, but an exercise in disrespect.  No single person or element of a person is the direct outcome of any single factor.

That being said, an article from the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing that reviewed a recent government report found that there are some early indicators of possible mental illness.  One of the most prominent ones was aggressive behaviors at an early age.  Teaching preschoolers appropriate ways to manage anger and frustration is one of the techniques that they suggested for preventing behavioral disturbances that can lead to mental illness.

I hope that someone is able to do a follow-up longitudinal study on outcomes in a preschool class that teaches these concepts.  It would be interesting to see how teaching nonviolence plays out in the development of mental illness.

Wiley-Blackwell (2009, July 30). Mental, Emotional And Behavioral Disorders Can Be Prevented In Young People. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/07/090729144028.htm

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