Prevalence of Mental Illness in Teens, Self Harm in Adolescents Illustrates Early Root of Psychological Disorders

A pair of recent studies concluded that approximately 8 percent of teenagers in the United States would be classified as having a serious emotional disturbance.  The research, based on national data and published this spring in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that the most common disorder among teens was anxiety, with females less likely than boys to have a behavioral disorder. These findings, along with those of  another recent study indicating that nonsuicidal self harm occurs in children as young as age 8, and in females far more than males, shows the need for continued awareness and education on the prevalence of psychiatric illnesses among adolescents.

Parents or family members of youth with serious emotional disturbances can get more information on mental illness, treatment options and support at the National Alliance on Mental Health Child and Adolescent Action Center.