Mental disorders in children are quite common these days, occurring in about one-quarter of this age group in any given year per research.
The most common childhood mental disorders are Anxiety disorders, Depression, Autism and spectrum disorders and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders). Although less common, other mood disorders like Bipolar depression, developmental disorders (learning deficits, Cerebral palsy) and Psychotic disorders in children, can have a lifelong impact on the child and his or her family.
As in any age group, there tends to be no single cause of psychiatric/ mental illness in children or even in adult or geriatric population.
In addition to the specific symptoms of each mental disorder, children with behavioral issue can exhibit different or unusual signs that can be attributed, to their age and developmental status.
Establishing the diagnosis of a mental illness in children usually involves the combination of getting comprehensive medical history, developmental history, and mental health assessments.
There are varieties of treatments available for managing mental illness in children, including several effective medications, educational or occupational interventions, as well as different forms of psychotherapy.
Children with mental health or developmental problems can have lower educational achievement, need more social support and care.
Research on mental illness in children focuses on a number of issues – increasing the understanding of how often these illnesses occur, the risk factors, most effective treatments, and how to improve the access that children have to those treatments.
Common rates of mental health issues in most populations –
ADHD- 8%-10% of school-aged children;
Major Depression – about 2% during childhood and about 4%-7% during adolescence and up to about 20% of adolescents till they reach adulthood.
Drug addictions, eating issues/ disorders, Bipolar disorder and less often early onset schizophrenia may manifest more frequently in teenage years than in younger children.