When people think of mental and behavioral disorders in children, ADHD is what commonly comes to mind. According to a new survey, they are correct in assuming there is a prevalence of this specific mental disorder in youth.
In a new survey by the National Institute of Mental Health, 8.6 percent of respondents ages 8 to 15 had ADHD. There were 3,042 participants. Although that may not seem like a large percentage of the population, the fact is that ADHD is the most prevalent mental disorder tracked for the survey. Looking at the whole United States or even global population might show an even greater significantly affected group.
It is almost expected that most children, especially boys, will have some symptoms associated with ADHD, such as concentration and distraction problems, fidgeting, excessive talking and generally acting hyper.
However, ADHD is when all those symptoms are more severe and cause a disruption in the life of the person affected. The symptoms must also be present for at least six months and they must occur in at least two environments, like home and school or work, according to EmpowHER’s encyclopedia entry.
The fact that the survey was conducted from 2001 to 2004 suggests that the current population might have even more problems. The discussion of mental disorders has become less taboo and more people are generally willing to admit they have a mental disorder or just know enough about them to know they have one now, so it is not far off to say that following studies will probably show an even greater increase in mental disorders like ADHD.
ADHD was not the only prevalent mental disorder. Depression was the next most common disorder at 3.7 percent. Five other mental disorders were tracked, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, eating disorders, depression and conduct disorder.
Another aspect of the survey explored the rate at which children and adolescents seek professional help for mental disorders. Surprisingly, 55 percent overall who had a disorder found professional help, or at least discussed their issue with a professional.