CHINA / SOCIETY
Over 17 percent of children, adolescents suffer from mental disorders in China: survey
Published: Oct 10, 2021 09:59 PM
Play time helps both kids and adults in prevention and healing of depression, according to the book Stress in the City by Enoch Li. Photo: VCG

Play time helps both kids and adults in prevention and healing of depression, according to the book Stress in the City by Enoch Li. Photo: VCG

 

A nine-year epidemiological survey starting from 2012 shows about 17.5 percent of children and adolescents in China suffer from mental disorders and experts said many patients have missed the optimal treatment period due to a lack of knowledge of mental health and a sense of shame of their patients and family members.

The survey, the first national epidemiological survey of mental disorders of children and adolescents in China, was carried out among 73,000 children and adolescents aged between six and 16, based on epidemiological investigation and data analysis from over nine years of scientific research.

The results were released on Sunday, which marks the World Mental Health Day established by the World Health Organization.

The survey shows that the prevalence rate of mental disorders among children and adolescents is 17.5 percent. Among them, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) accounted for 6.4 percent, anxiety disorder for 4.7 percent, oppositional defiant disorder 3.6 percent, and major depressive disorder 2.0 percent. The four types of mental disorders had the highest prevalence among children and adolescents.

Mental health experts pointed out that primary and middle school students mainly have psychological problems such as lack of emotional stability and learning adaptation, while college students mainly show anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and depression, China Central Television reported on Sunday.

Due to families' lack of knowledge of mental health and a sense of shame of patients and family members, many patients have missed the optimal treatment period, said experts.

"If the awareness reaches 80 percent, then most children can be diagnosed and treated at an early stage. One of the biggest achievements of the epidemiological survey is to raise the public's awareness of mental disorders in children and adolescents," Zheng Yi, a chief expert of child psychiatry in Beijing Anding Hospital affiliated with Capital Medical University, said in an interview with CCTV.

The survey was led by Beijing Anding Hospital as a project under the Twelfth Five-Year science and technology support plan and was launched on December 4, 2012.
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