Mental illness in younger children on the rise

SABC News Depression Reuters - Mental illness in younger children on the rise

The prevalence of mental illnesses is on the rise in younger children, this according to Kimberley-based child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr Keith Kirimi.

He says children as young as 12-years-old are seeking treatment owing to environmental factors including bullying, social pressures and broken family situations.

Furthermore, adults who are diagnosed with mental illnesses show signs that they’ve been living with these illnesses for longer than they’ve received treatment.

Kirimi says the trend in childhood mental illness is showing no signs of slowing down.

“You’ll find virtually a huge percent of mental illness in adults, those illnesses actually started in childhood. Somehow they are not diagnosed. We need to deal with those illnesses early because when you start management, when you identify and start to treat mental illnesses early, the prognosis tends to be much, much better in that respect,” says Kirimi.

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