Poor mental health in children and adolescents has been described as an epidemic and "escalation crisis".
The number of children seeking help from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) in England has more than doubled in the last two years.
However, it is difficult to determine how much of this represents an actual increase in the problems of young people and how much is due to a better awareness of symptoms and diagnoses.
Now that we are in England, it is best to look at a representative sample of the entire population, not just those who have come into contact with mental health services.
An NHS poll among young people in England, selected from GP records, did just that.
She found a small but real increase in diagnosable emotional disorders, such as depression and anxiety, especially in girls.
This was based on complete psychiatric assessments of approximately 1
The researchers found that the proportion of under-16s suffering from any mental disorder increased from 11.4% to 13.6% between 1999 and 2017.
This includes things like anxiety and depression as well as behavioral problems and hyperactivity.
"It was smaller than we thought," says Professor Tamsin Ford, a child psychiatrist and researcher who developed the survey.
"It's not huge, not the epidemic you see."
Older adolescents were included in the survey for the first time in 2017, and it was suspected that young women aged 17-19 were two-thirds more likely than younger girls and twice as likely as their male counterparts to be a poor one Suffering from Mental Health
There is a huge gap between the increase in the number of children who have been diagnosed with mental disorders for almost two decades and the increase in referrals to Camhs in just two years. This suggests that a significant part of the rise is due to more people seeking help, not just that more people are sick.
But that does not mean that all these people will receive help.
The number of adolescents claiming to be mentally ill is also increasing, according to national surveys conducted throughout the UK each year. Self-reporting among young people increased sixfold in England, doubled in Scotland, and increased by more than half between 1999 and 2014 in Wales.
That's once again the case that researchers were unable to. A formal psychiatric assessment shows a corresponding increase in numbers with signs of psychological distress.
This is probably due to the fact that children – and their parents – are better able to recognize difficulties, resulting in a "gap narrowing" between existing problems and reported problems, "according to Prof. Ford's findings.
Es It is also possible that some children recognize distressing emotions as disorders, even if they have no diagnosable condition.
And Diagnostic Methods Also, mental illnesses are not perfect as they try to put a clear line [between having a condition and not] in anything other than unambiguous is where ordinary anxiety becomes an anxiety disorder or where a bad feeling due to circumstance is reflected in a clinical depression.
It's not just that young people are more likely to say they have difficulty mental health. In England, the number of hospital admissions for Self-damaging girls have almost doubled since 1997 (although boys did not see a corresponding increase).
A NHS Digital spokesperson said the gender difference meant that the increase was unlikely to focus solely on improvements in intake.
But even when it comes to symptoms, hospital records are not necessarily a perfect yardstick for more people harming themselves.
A better understanding of professionals has led to more cases being reported as self-harm, says Prof. Ford, while previously individuals may have been treated for their wounds without self-inflicted nature being included.
This may be the case One has to confine oneself to the reduction of the stigma – most self-harms are hidden, and therefore more people presenting in the hospital do not necessarily mean that more self-harm is actually taking place.
A "surprising number of people" still hurt seriously Never go to the hospital, she explains.
Although evidence that children's and adolescents' mental health is deteriorating is contradictory, according to Lorraine Khan of the Center for Mental Health, "there are some signs of a decline in the well-being of young women," supported by recent NHS figures that need to be examined.
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