Every fifth child in US is afflicted by some type of mental disorder

18 May 2013, 03:10
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Every fifth child in US is afflicted by some type of mental disorder

The CDC report comes in the time of heated discussion about mental disorders, how they should be classified and understood by scientific community and general public.


There are many outdated stereotypes that produce misunderstanding and stigmas and therefore have to be broken down. In case of children who can not be responsible for their treatment, there is a dire danger of medication overuse, as well as substance abuse.


The federal report claiming that one in every five people under the age of 17 may be mentally unstable in some way revolves around the study based on six major areas.


The divisions included autism related disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, substance abuse, Tourette syndrome, anxiety and mood disorders, and behavioural disorders.


The results showed 3,5 per cent of children are affected by behavioural issues, 3 per cent could be diagnosed with anxiety disorder, 2 per cent with depression, and 1 per cent with autism related problems.


Tourette syndrome was found the least common with only 2 children per one thousand, whereas ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was found to be the most common. One in every 15 children in the sample group were found to have this condition.


"Boys are more likely than girls to have most of the disorders overall," the team leader for child development studies at the CDC, Ruth Perou, said. "On the other hand, girls are more likely to have depression or an alcohol-use disorder".


This report reveals an increasing rate of mental illnesses, which could be due to a lot of factors. One reason, the most direct reason, would be that children are developing more mental illnesses than ever before.


Another reason could place blame on the fact that mental illness diagnoses today are a lot easier than before, leading to more children being diagnosed who might not need to be.


One more reason could be that since the stigma behind mental illness is not as negative as before, more parents are willing to get their children treated.


The report could not pinpoint exactly why diagnoses are up, but the researchers sated that regardless of the reasons, treatment for mental illnesses have improved and thus, children who are diagnosed early could be treated effectively.

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