A new study conducted by researchers from Duke University has found that people who struggle with mental health issues during childhood may have a difficult time finding success during adulthood.
The study results have shown that children who battled conditions such as depression, anxiety and / or behavioral problems had a chance six (6) times bigger than no with no mental health issues to encounter difficulties during their adult years.
The study researchers warn that some of the most frequently encountered issues include alcohol addiction, drug addiction, difficulty getting and / or keeping jobs, early pregnancy, criminal charges, education failures and / or instability in regards to housing.
What’s worse, the authors point out that not even children who’ve only experienced mild cases of passive episodes of mental illnesses can escape this fate.
For their study, the team from Duke University looked at data collected from more than 1.400 subjects who resided in 11 different North Carolina counties. The researchers followed them from childhood and through adulthood, with most subject currently being in their 30s.
Out of all of them, 26 percent (26%) experienced either depression, anxiety or behavioral disorders during their childhood years, 31 percent (31%) experienced mild forms of the same conditions, meaning that they showed some signs and symptoms but not enough to merit a diagnosis, and 43 percent (43%) experienced no mental health problems whatsoever during their childhood years.
When the research team looked at the subjects who had been diagnosed with a mental disorder during childhood, they found that 59 percent (59%) of them faced one serious challenge during adulthood, and that 34 percent (34%) of them faced more than one problem.
When the research team looked at the subjects who only experienced mild forms of a mental disorder during childhood, they found that 42 percent (42%) of them faced one serious challenge during adulthood, and that 23 percent (23%) of them faced more than one problem.
William Copeland, study author and assistant clinical professor with an expertise in psychiatry as well as behavioral sciences, gave a statement in a new release saying that “When it comes to key psychiatric problems — depression, anxiety, behavior disorders — there are successful interventions and prevention programs”.
He went on to add that while the experts do indeed have the required tool to address these issues, they are not yet widely implemented. The consequences of having these mental heath struggles during the childhood years are then seen later, during a person’s adulthood years, when they manifest as costly public health issues and social issues.
The authors said that their study illustrates the need to treat these mental health issues early in life. Unfortunately current statistics inform that only 40 percent (40%) of children who have diagnosed with a mental disorder receive the appropriate treatment. The percentage is even lower for those who only experienced mild forms of a mental disorder.
It’s also worth noting that the researchers did not find a cause and effect connection between poor mental health during childhood and a difficult time finding success during adulthood, however there was an undeniable association.
The study was published earlier this week, on Wednesday (July 15, 2015), in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Image Source: livescience.com