Half of US teens have mental health issues19th October 2010
As much as one half of teenagers in the United States may have a mental disorder, according to a recent study.
The researchers found that over 50% of boys and just under half of all girls between the ages of 13 and 19 had problems regulating their moods, behaviour, or anxieties.
The study is the first of its kind, tracking a broad assortment of mental disorders in a representative sample of US teens.
The researchers said that the rates seen in US teens mirrored those usually seen in adults, suggesting that the problems of most US adults developed well before they reached adulthood.
For more than 20% of all teens, such disorders were so severe as to cause stress on a daily basis and impair other activities.
The study authors wrote that the prevalence of severe emotional and behaviour disorders was even higher than the most frequent major physical conditions in adolescence, including asthma or diabetes.
Even though mental problems are very costly, causing families to spend around a quarter of a trillion dollars every year, they do not receive adequate attention from public health authorities.
For the study, the researchers surveyed data on over 10,000 US teenagers.
Furthermore, just under 20% of US teens had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and just under 15% had depression or a related mood disorder.
Based on the data, the researchers judged about 10% of all the teenagers studied to be severely impaired.
The high-risk children consisted of some 11% of teens with mood disorders, 10% of teens with behaviour disorders, and 8% of teens with anxiety disorders.
The fact that children as young as six years old demonstrate symptoms of social phobia and panic attacks was among the surprising conclusions the researchers were able to draw from the data.
More than 30% of all teens had experienced either social phobia or panic attacks.
Upon first experiencing a panic attack, some people fear they are having a heart attack or a nervous breakdown.
The experience is said to be intensely frightening, upsetting and uncomfortable.
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Title: Half of US teens have mental health issues
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 16447
Date Added: 19th Oct 2010