Monday, February 7, 2011

Kids with ADHD Likely to Suffer from Additional Mental Health Issues

Data recently analyzed from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health shows that children suffering from Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (or ADHD)  have a high chance of suffering from at least one other mental illness and other debilitating conditions.

The new research published in Pediatrics showed that 67 percent of kids with ADHD also had at least one other mental illness, like depression and anxiety disorders. The kids also dealt with other developmental issues. Furthermore, 18 percent of the kids were dealing with three or more conditions on top of their ADHD, including speech problems and learning disabilities. As adults, those who had ADHD were almost three times more likely to develop depression than those without it.

A problem with the data is that it only came as a result of a survey from parents, so there are no official medical records to back up the survey data. Richard Milich, a University of Kentucky psychology professor, said he wasn't surprised by the researcher's outcomes. "It's extremely rare to see a kid with ADHD and nothing else," he said.

A kid dealing with ADHD needs parents and doctors to make sure they don't slip into a mental illness such as depression, which can further hurt their schooling. Parents especially should work with their children and support them in any way they can. School is already hard for them, but dealing with an additional condition will make it even harder. They are at such a high risk to develop something like anxiety problems that they need support to help them deal with these issues so they can not only perform their best at school, but also have the chance to have a normal childhood.

Children and teenagers are too young to be suffering from so many overwhelming mental health issues that can dampen their growth as an individual.

-Tim Bowman

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