Navigation Links
Half of U.S. Kids With Mental Issues Are Getting Help
Date:12/14/2009

Depression and anxiety often go unrecognized, experts say

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A little over half of the children in the United States who have mental problems, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, get professional help, federal health officials report.

However, "you could look at it the other way -- that half don't," said Kathleen Merikangas, a senior investigator at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and lead researcher of a study published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

Depression and anxiety often go undiagnosed and untreated, the study found.

"We have a substantial number of kids in America who are suffering from a current [mental] disorder," Merikangas said. The researchers found that 13 percent of the 3,042 children and adolescents in the study had at least one mental disorder and about 2 percent had more than one, usually a combination of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder.

The data came from youths aged 8 to 15 whose families participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2004. The youths were interviewed, and parents and caregivers also provided information about their children's mental health.

The researchers looked at six mental problems: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, eating disorders, depression, ADHD and conduct disorder. They found:

  • 8.6 percent had ADHD, including more boys than girls.
  • 3.7 percent had depression, more common among girls.
  • 2.1 percent had a conduct disorder.
  • 0.7 percent had an anxiety or panic disorder.
  • 0.1 percent had an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.

Children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were found to be more likely to have a disorder, particularly ADHD. Those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to have an anxiety disorder, the study found.

Mood disorders were significantly higher among Mexican-Americans than whites or blacks, but overall there were few ethnic differences in the rates of disorders.

Among children and adolescents with mental problems, 55 percent had seen a mental health professional. However, only 32 percent of those with anxiety disorder had gotten treatment.

Merikangas said that anxiety and depression are the most neglected problems.

"It is not immediately evident that a child with anxiety is really suffering because they don't make trouble," she said. "If anything, those are the children who are quiet in class, they don't respond, and teachers are not aware that these children are suffering."

In addition, black and Mexican-American children were much less likely to seek help than were white children, highlighting the need, according to the researchers, to identify and remove barriers to treatment for minority children.

"We need to be more aware of these conditions at the primary levels where we have our contact with kids -- that's the school system," Merikangas said.

Parents and teachers need to be aware of these conditions and make a judgment whether children need help so their condition "doesn't interfere with their educational, social and personal development," she said.

And the earlier mental health problems are identified, the better the chance of success in resolving them, she said.

"The earlier you can intervene, the less likely you are to see the consequences of these conditions, such as kids developing substance abuse, suicide, kids dropping out of school and kids not being able to function in their social roles," Merikangas said.

Dr. Jon Shaw, a professor and director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, agreed that anxiety and depression in children often go unrecognized.

But he said there are probably many more children with these problems than the researchers found. "Most children with anxiety disorders go unrecognized," he said.

Shaw noted that teachers and parents "are much better observers of misbehaviors and poor observers of children who have internalizing disorders, such as anxiety and depression."

Depression and anxiety in children can lead to mood disorders in teenagers, he said.

More information

The U.S. National Mental Health Information Center has more on children's mental health.



SOURCES: Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D., senior investigator, U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.; Jon Shaw, M.D., professor and director, child and adolescent psychiatry, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami; Dec. 14, 2009, Pediatrics, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental anti-cancer drug made from corn lillies kills brain tumor stem cells
2. College Mental Health Expert and Sister of Student Who Died By Suicide Available to Discuss College Mental Health Issues
3. HHS Announces $75 Million in Supplemental Funding to States for Pandemic Flu Preparedness
4. Virginia Tech Review Panel Calls For Reform of Mental Health Treatment Law
5. Therap Services Continues to Hire Experienced Developmental Disability Industry Clinicians for its Customer Support Team
6. The Philadelphia Walk Now for Autism Expected to Draw 10,000 Walkers and Raise $1 Million to Help Find Answers About the Nations Fastest-Growing Developmental Disorder
7. How Best to Treat Preschoolers With ADHD? The Harvard Mental Health Letter Discusses the Options
8. Experimental Antidepressants Offer Faster Relief
9. Environmental stress probed in cardiovascular disease, diabetes
10. UCLA receives $22.5 million to explore the fundamental biology of mental disorders
11. Mental Health Woes Strike Half of Cancer Patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... After years as an active staff surgeon ... and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Wayne Carman transitioned to chief of the Division of Plastic ... first three-year term as chief and began a second three-year term in January of ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Regular gym users know the routine: each January, they see ... the treadmills. It’s a predictable trend. After the excesses of November and December, people ... by joining gyms, starting new walking or running routines, or signing up for Zumba. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Dr. Justin Scott and Dr. Lydia Muccioli of ... Dental Day to individuals in need. The event is scheduled to take place on ... Day is to provide dental care to community members in need. Each patient will ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Health and wellness ... relevant to individuals in the event they are experiencing an illness. Migraines are a ... Americans that are afflicted with migraines would not wish the pain on their worst ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... –This week, Atascadero water heater company First Call Plumbing ... To view the report, click here or see below. , There ... pros and cons, the type chosen is almost entirely up to personal preference. However, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016  Syneron Medical Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... announced today that William Griffing , Chief ... scheduled to participate in the Leerink Partners 5 ... 11, 2016 in New York City ... to meet with the Mr. Griffing and will ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016  As people age, it is natural ... recommended screenings and tests that are linked with certain ... for the majority of aging individuals, hearing health is ... the 37.5 million American adults who report some trouble ... make hearing health a 2016 healthy aging priority.[1] ...
(Date:2/5/2016)...  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Aralez") today announced the completion ... Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. ("Tribute") following approval of the transaction ... combined company will operate under Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Aralez"), ... Canada , Ireland ... the terms of the Agreement and Plan of Merger ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: