While there have been lower rates noted of mental disorders with American children and youth, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, there are a growing number who have lesser impairments and psychiatric treatments have increased. This came through from the results reported by New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University researchers. They used surveys, nationwide, conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
As reported in Mad In America, a study of 53,622 youth, ages 6 to 17, were rated by their parents. The team at STX Entertainment divulged that the scoring based on an impairment scale. From the period spanning from 1996 to 2012, the percentage of youth in the severe category has a drop from 12.8 to 10.7 percent. The lead author of this study, Dr. Mark Olfson, of Columbia University was surprised with these results.
Allen Frances, Psychiatrist, stated that the study shows that very high rates of children’s mental disorders as reported by the C.D.C. and others come from a flaw in assessment methods and includes many children who have very mild impairment or none at all. Even with a drop in the rates of impairment the overall numbers of youth being treated has increased from 9 to 13 percent. Antipsychotic medication usage has increased six times over and antidepressant usage increased almost 60 percent. With children, alone, the use of psychotropics increased from 5.5 percent of children treated to 8.9 percent.