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Psychiatric Diagnostics and Treatments a Growing Concern in Children

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A large federal study that was done over a period of sixteen years has now shown a major concern with increased diagnoses of psychiatric concerns in children within the U.S. The issue has nearly doubled since 1995 to 2010 as well as an increase in those older than 21, but the increased psychiatric therapy for children is of more concern. Psychotherapy in youths has moderately increased within these years, but only has mildly increased for adult populations. The biggest health care area that was utilized according to this study for mental health care was outside of office visits in psychiatry. Most mental health care issues have been addressed with pediatric doctors that have obtained specialized mental health training.

The largest diagnoses concern among children seems to be with disruptive behavior problems, along with mood disorders. These mood disorders included anxiety, psychosis, and developmental disorders. The rates for diagnosing these disorders have nearly doubled in every category except 'other.' When researchers examined groupings of children within ages of 0 to 13 and adolescents 14 to 20, it was found that most children with psychiatric concerns ended up being diagnosed with a disruptive behavior disorder more so than the mood disorders.

Because more pediatricians, family and general doctors are becoming more common in prescribing and maintaining psychotropic medications, more psychiatrists and mental health professional consults will be needed in order to make sure that diagnostics and symptom managements are being utilized appropriately.

Another recent concern is the rising diagnoses of ADHD in children. In the U.S., one in every 10 children is suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a recent CDC survey. Although, the increase of ADHD diagnoses seems to be slowing down a bit, but 11 percent of school-ages kids have been diagnosed with ADHD, making it 6.4 million children that are diagnosed since 2011 by a health care provider. The numbers are higher in boys than in girls; boys being 1:5 and girls 1:11. The ADHD medicated rise was at 28 percent in the years of 2007-2011. The CDC has also noted that health care practitioners have been over-run with a multitude of diagnoses cases since 2003-2011 as well.

So the question is, why the increases of disruptive behavior and ADHD diagnoses within children? It's really hard to say, but it could be that more psychiatric illnesses are being caught earlier with a better understanding of the problems they cause. But there is also a lingering thought that makes one wonder if there is something going on within our society that is affecting such numbers as well.

By Tina Elliott

MedPage

RTT News

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