Most Teen Psychiatric Disorders Go Untreated

More than half of teens in the United States who have mental health disorders do not receive treatment, according to a new study. The findings come from an analysis of more than 10,000 teens. Of those teens who do receive help, most are not treated by a mental health professional, HealthDay reports. They are treated by pediatricians, school counselors or probation officers.

“It’s still the case in this country that people don’t take psychiatric conditions as seriously as they should,” lead researcher E. Jane Costello of Duke University said in a news release. “This, despite the fact that these conditions are linked to a whole host of other problems.”

Overall, in the past year, 45 percent of teens with psychiatric disorders received some form of service. The most likely to receive help were those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (74 percent), conduct disorder (73 percent) or oppositional defiant disorder (71 percent). Those least likely to receive services were those with phobias (41 percent) and any anxiety disorder (41 percent). Black teens were much less likely than white teens to receive mental health treatment.

Population of focus: Adolescents

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Date: 2013

Journal: Psychiatric Services