A new study makes a point out of restating that mental health in children is a serious issue and must be treated accordingly. After just a few days ago, the WHO called for more investment in mental health care and treatment, this new results come to further emphasize the world’s need for these problems to be accounted for.
The study, which was appeared in JAMA Psychiatry, has been closely monitoring a group of 1,420 children spread across eleven rural counties in North Carolina. The researchers performed annual tests on the kids beginning at the age of 9 and ending with the age of 16.
They looked for signs of common psychiatric disorder, be it emotional or behavioral. The results showed that 26 percent of them did suffer from such conditions as anxiety, ADHD, or depression, with 31 percent displayed some symptoms which could not provide a significant answer.
Dr. William Copeland, of the Medical Center at Duke University, and the lead author of the paper says that people expect kids to be the healthiest, in general. Therefore, we often forget that the central processing units of our little ones are as prone to disorders as much as those of adults, since it is not necessary that these conditions be developed because of other health problems.
Kids, and especially teens, are sometimes even more likely to develop some kind of disorder since they have to constantly deal with their communication problems. These problems can lead to depression very easily, due to a consistent feeling that nobody understands what they are going through – just ask your teenage daughter, or son, or any other teenage relative you may have. Or try to remember how you were like back then.
It is easy to see why adolescents often develop a behavioral problem.
Back to the point of the study, the researchers looked at 1,273 of the initial group later in life to find if there is any sort of connection between childhood disorders and problems later on in life. They considered that problems were all the negative events in life like dropping out of school, incapability of holding a steady job, or worse, incarceration. For this, they chose three specific ages – 19, 21, and 25. The first two, they said are the ages at which criminal behavior is most likely to appear, or peak. The latter one is the age at which things start to go normally, people get jobs and start living a socially acceptable way of life.
The results: 60 percent of those who had had problems while young reported problems in adult life. As a test group, of the others who had not had issues growing up, just 20% reported adult life difficulties. Also, 42 percent showed reversed effects, even if 60 percent said they had problems. Apparently, 2 percent thought they had problems, but were okay compared to the rest.
The conclusion this study pushes towards is that mental health in children is not to be taken lightly, and if your child starts showing more strange behavioral issues, he should be taken to therapy.
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