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Mental health disorders—prevalent among teens?

by Tory Wolk, blogger

If you had to estimate how many teenagers are affected by mental health, what would you guess? If you don’t know anyone suffering from a mental disorder, or even if you do, you would probably underestimate this percentage.
One in five teenagers in the United States have a mental disorder that significantly impacts their daily life, according to a new study by the National Institute of Mental Health. This is the first study involving the prevalence of mental disorders in American teens.

The disorders were assessed after 13,210 teenagers from 13-18 filled out surveys and were interviewed by psychologists. Over 31 percent of the participants were assessed with anxiety disorders, like panic disorders and social phobia. Nineteen percent of teens had behavior disorders, like ADHD. Then, 14 percentwere affected by mood disorders like depression, and another 11 percent had substance use disorders.
In 22.2% of the teenagers in the study, these disorders were serious enough to interfere with daily life. The researchers have not yet identified the risk factors for mental disorders in teens, and do not know if the disorders will continue later in their live.