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:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures ... Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from ... avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this ... coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys are ... for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing within ... of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. Bloom, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People ... part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and ... an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... PUNE, India , June 24, 2016 ... "Pen Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety ... 12mm), Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase ... published by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for ... is expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher ... and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive ... provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- MedSource announced today that it has selected Datatrial,s ... choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment to ... by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture (EDC) ... the EDC platform of choice in exchange for ... long been a preferred EDC platform by our ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: