There is some research that shows that early brain damage could be a factor in the development of mental health disorders. Please keep in mind, however, that this is just one school of thought. There are many, many opinions on the subject. Others argue that mental health disorders are completely unrelated to brain damage and that they are caused entirely by environmental circumstances. Other schools of thought contend that mental health disorders are genetic. The fact is that no one knows for certain what causes mental health disorders.
Brain damage may have made you more susceptible to mental illness but other factors may have had an effect. For instance, you mentioned that you lived in a “war zone” until you were approximately 28 years old. I’m taking this to mean that you had a very difficult life. It is plausible that these difficulties could have contributed to a mental illness. It is difficult to tease out causation. The truth is you may never really know.
Perhaps for purely intellectual reasons, knowing whether brain damage could contribute to or cause mental illnesses would be helpful. But I believe what’s most important is not necessarily the cause but the actual treatment of a mental illness. My advice would be to focus on your recovery rather than trying to pinpoint the cause of your problems.
Having said that, I can appreciate your desire to learn more about this subject. If you’d like to research this topic more thoroughly, I would suggest going to the library or reading psychiatric journals. There is a good chance you’d find many, many resources on this topic. Below are some suggestions of where to look for research materials.
High Wire Press (free access to academic research articles)
Hanover College has a comprehensive list of free psychiatric academic journals.
I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thanks for writing.