0849 GMT February 15, 2019
Nearly 22 percent of Iranian children and adolescents suffer from behavioral disorders, according to Iranian Psychiatric Association’s report in the year to March 21, 2018, said a child and adolescent psychiatrist on Saturday.
Dr. Mohammad-Reza Mohammadi told IRNA that 24 percent of boys and 20 percent of girls between ages 6 to 18 have behavioral disorders.
The figures stand at 22 percent for children between ages six to nine, and 23 percent for those between ages 10 to 14, he added.
Mohammadi noted that according to the given statistics, depression disorder has a 21 percent decrease among the age group of 15 to 17— both in males and females — due to puberty and physical developments.
Nearly two percent of boys and girls suffer from mood disorders and depression, he said, adding mood disorders are more common among girls than boys. “Anxiety disorders in girls hit 14 percent — the highest level of anxiety disorder.”
According to the statistics released in the year to march 21, 2018, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) reaches four percent in children, the psychiatrist said, adding oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) together with conduct disorder (CD) and tic disorder hit eight percent of children and adolescents.
He said there are few children with no mental problem, adding school and family issues, friends and relatives as well as behavioral issues affect children’s mental health.
“When parents encounter such problems in their children, they should consult a counselor and a psychiatrist.
“Children’s separation from their parents in primary school can cause depression in them, because their dependence on their mothers as well as separation from home can lead to anxiety disorders, social anxiety, social phobia and even animal phobias.
“These can cause severe problems for the children if not addressed on the part of parents.”
Mohammadi said separation anxiety, constant fear, severe anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder are some of the diseases that may occur at this stage, and if left untreated, they cause depression and, if repeated, lead to bipolar disorder.
He added some parents, regardless of their children’s behavior, considers them as normal; however, mental disorders develop as the child grows up.
“It is easy to treat behavioral disorders the child suffers from at school or home by behavioral therapy and play therapy, if only initial treatment is undertaken. Otherwise the child’s anxiety, depression and ADHD exacerbates, thus long-term treatment by a counselor or a psychiatrist is required.”