Data_Sheet_1_The Mental Health Ecosystem: Extending Symptom Networks With Risk and Protective Factors.docx
Inspired by modeling approaches from the ecosystems literature, in this paper, we expand the network approach to psychopathology with risk and protective factors to arrive at an integrated analysis of resilience. We take a complexity approach to investigate the multifactorial nature of resilience and present a system in which a network of interacting psychiatric symptoms is targeted by risk and protective factors. These risk and protective factors influence symptom development patterns and thereby increase or decrease the probability that the symptom network is pulled toward a healthy or disorder state. In this way, risk and protective factors influence the resilience of the network. We take a step forward in formalizing the proposed system by implementing it in a statistical model and translating different influences from risk and protective factors to specific targets on the node and edge parameters of the symptom network. To analyze the behavior of the system under different targets, we present two novel network resilience metrics: Expected Symptom Activity (ESA, which indicates how many symptoms are active or inactive) and Symptom Activity Stability (SAS, which indicates how stable the symptom activity patterns are). These metrics follow standard practices in the resilience literature, combined with ideas from ecology and physics, and characterize resilience in terms of the stability of the system's healthy state. By discussing the advantages and limitations of our proposed system and metrics, we provide concrete suggestions for the further development of a comprehensive modeling approach to study the complex relationship between risk and protective factors and resilience.