Interdisciplinary Review of General, Forensic, Prison and Military Psychiatry and Psychology and the related subjects of Behavior and Law with the occasional notes and comments by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova).
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Huffington Post THU MAY 16TH, 2013EMMA MUSTICH Mental Disorders In Children: CDC Releases First-Ever Report
By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) - Up to 20 percent of children in the United States suffer from a mental disorder, and the number of kids diagnosed with one has been rising for more than a decade, according to a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In the agency's first-ever study of mental disorders among children aged 3 to 17, researchers found childhood mental illnesses affect up to one in five kids and cost $247 billion per year in medical bills, special education and juvenile justice. Children with mental disorders - defined as "serious deviations from expected cognitive, social, and emotional development" - often have trouble learning in school, making friends, and building relationships later in life, the report said. They are more likely to have other chronic health problems, such as asthma and diabetes, and are at risk for developing mental illnesses as adults. "This is a deliberate effort by CDC to show mental health is a health issue. As with any health concern, the more attention we give to it, the better. It's parents becoming aware of the facts and talking to a healthcare provider about how their child is learning, behaving, and playing with other kids," Dr. Ruth Perou, the lead author of the study, told Reuters in an interview. "What's concerning is the number of families affected by these issues. But we can do something about this. Mental health problems are diagnosable, treatable and people can recover and lead full healthy lives," Perou added. The study cited data collected between 1994 and 2011 that showed the number of kids with mental disorders is growing. The study stopped short of concluding why, but suggested improvements in diagnoses as one possible explanation "Changes in estimated prevalence over time might be associated with an actual change in prevalence, changes in case definition, changes in the public perception of mental disorders, or improvements in diagnosis, which might be associated with changes in policies and access to health care," the study said.