Adolescent Mental Health By The Numbers
November 18, 2010 · Posted in Adult Children, Mental Health · Permalink

The National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) attempts to assess the levels of psychiatric illness in American children ages 13 to 18 years old.  The most recent study of approximately 10,000 children showed that close to 50% of teens would meet the diagnostic criteria for a psychiatric illness at some time during adolescence. According to Childpsych.net researcher Nestor Lopez-Duran, PhD,

“At first this sounds like an alarming number that could not possibly be true. However, remember that this refers to “life time prevalence.”  The number does not suggest that 50% of 18 year olds have or even received a psychiatric diagnosis, but that 50% experienced enough symptoms sometime in the past to meet the diagnostic criteria for at least 1 psychiatric diagnosis.”

“The table below presents the “life time prevalence” by age 18 of each disorder for females, males, and the entire sample. The life time prevalence means the percentage of adolescents that meet the diagnostic criteria for each disorder sometime during their lives by the age of 18.”

Life time prevalence of psychiatric disorder by age 18

Diagnosis Females Males Everyone
Any 1 Disorder 51 48.1 49.5
Depression 15.9 7.7 11.7
Bi-Polar 3.3 2.6 2.9
Anxiety (GAD) 3 1.5 2.2
Social Phobia 11.2 7 9.1
Specific Phobia 22.1 16.7 19.3
Panic Disorder 2.6 2 2.3
PTSD 8 2.3 5
ADHD 4.2 13 8.7
ODD 11.3 13.9 12.6
Conduct Disorder 5.8 7.9 6.8
Alcohol Abuse/Dep 5.8 7 6.4
Drug Abuse/Dep 8 9.8 8.9
Eating Disorders 3.8 1.5 2.7

We need to be attentive to the mental health needs of our children and not just write off lasting symptoms to phases. For a host of reasons many of our children have or will suffer with some form of psychiatric illness. Early intervention, family support, therapy and medicine can make a huge difference and help a child stabilize and get back on track.

Bookmark and Share
Buy Our Book, 'A Mother's Circle'
Facebook  RSS

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346