US Pharm. 2013;38(11):8.
Annually, according to CDC data, 13% to 20% of children aged 12 to 17
years develop a mental disorder. The interaction of mental disorders
with other factors can result in suicide, which in 2010 was the second
leading cause of death in children in this age group. The Healthcare
Cost and Utilization Project reported that mood disorders were among the
most common principal diagnoses for all hospital stays among children
and accounted for an 80% increase from 1997 to 2010 (jumping from 10 to
17 stays per 10,000 population). Forty percent of children with one
mental disorder developed at least one other mental disorder. The 2007
National Survey of Children’s Health assessed the presence of mental
health problems or conditions, namely, emotional and behavioral
Depression: Treatment for depression was sought
by 25% more girls than boys. About 39% of youths aged 16 to 17 years and
those aged 14 to 15 years received treatment for at least one major
depressive episode, in contrast to 32.7% of youths aged 12 to 13 years.
Children who did not live with either parent were most likely to
experience emotional and behavioral difficulties (36.6%), followed by
those who lived with their mother only (30.6%), lived with their father
only (22%), or lived with both parents (18.2%). There was a significant
discrepancy in the increase of serious emotional and behavioral
difficulties among children who lived with only one parent (mother-only
families, +118%; father-only families, +16%).
Anxiety: Anxiety disorders experienced by
children were specific phobia (19.3%), social phobia (9.1%), separation
anxiety (7.6%), posttraumatic stress disorder (5%), bipolar disorder
(2.9%), agoraphobia (2.4%), obsessive-compulsive disorder (2.3%), panic
disorder (0.4%), generalized anxiety disorder (0.3%), and
childhood-onset schizophrenia (0.014%). Thirty percent more boys than
girls experienced anxiety (3.4% vs. 2.6%). With progression of age, a
190% hike was observed between children aged 2 to 5 years and those aged
6 to 11 years, although the rate of increase decreased appreciably
among those aged 12 to 17 years (41%).
Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Oppositional defiant
disorder was reported in 4.6% of boys aged 3 to 17 years and in 2.2% of
girls in the same age range. The prevalence increased with age (age 3-5
years, 1.3%; age 12-17 years, 4.2%). The prevalence decreased with
higher household educational attainment (less than high school
education, 6.1%; more than high school education, 2.5%) and increases in
household income (7.3% vs. 2%), but was similar regardless of whether
or not the child had insurance coverage or which region of the country
the child lived in (both, 3.4%).
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