One in five American kids suffers with a mental disorder


As many as 20 percent of American children suffer with a mental disorder.

Over the past decade, that number has been increasing at a rate that is causing concern for families and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Emotional and financial toll of juvenile mental health challenges

In a new report from the CDC, the topic of mental disorders in children was discussed for the first time. They found that one in five children aged between three and 17 is affected, and the cost of their disability is around $247 billion a year in medical expenses, juvenile justice and special education needs.

Childhood mental illness was defined as serious changes in the ways children handle their emotions, learn or behave. Not surprisingly, children with mental disorders are three times as likely to be defined as bullies, a worrisome behavior which has also increased in recent years.

Mental and physical health mutually affected

Mental health disorders may last a lifetime and influence physical health. Sleep deprivation, unusual hormone counts and illnesses associated with stress and anxiety are all tied to mental health issues.

For children, early detection and treatment could be the difference between a life filled with personal struggle and a life of positive contribution to self and society. Schools are key to identifying many of the problems and also supportive in providing services. However, health care providers and families need to be aware and diligent since many of these conditions can operate below the radar.

Most common conditions found

Boys were more likely than girls to report a mental health condition. ADHD was the most prevalent diagnosis among children within the test range at 6.8 percent. The number of children possessing a mental illnesses rose as the age increased. A notable exception was autism, which peaked at the 6-to-11-year-old range.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, CDC


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