Mental health disorders are very prevalent worldwide, to the point that research has concluded that one in two people will develop one of these diseases throughout their lives and that At age 75, 50% of the population will suffer from at least one of the 13 DSM-IV mental disorders that were evaluated.
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Queensland and Harvard Medical School together with scientists from 27 other countries, who have analyzed the data from 156,331 adults residents of 29 countries between 2001 and 2022, who responded to face-to-face interviews for the World Health Organization’s Global Survey of Mental Health initiative. Their results have been published in The Lancet Psychiatry.
“The most common were mood disorders, such as major depression o to anxiety”, declared the profesor John McGrath of the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland (UQ) and lead author, who added: “We also found that the risk of certain mental disorders differed by gender.”
“The peak age of first onset [del trastorno mental] It was at age 15, with a median age of onset of 19 for men and 20 for women.
In fact, the three most common mental health disorders among women were depression, specific phobia (a crippling anxiety that interferes with daily life), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); while in the case of men alcohol abuse, depression and specific phobia prevailed.
Mental health disorders usually appear in childhood or youth
The researchers have said that the results provide valuable information about the frequency and timing of mental disorder onset in many different populations. For example, another relevant finding from the study was that mental health disorders typically first manifest in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. “The peak age of first onset was 15 years, with a median age of onset of 19 for men and 20 for women,” said Professor McGrath, who believes this demonstrates the importance “of investing in basic neuroscience to understand why these disorders develop.”
The teacher Ronald Kessler from Harvard Medical School and another lead author has highlighted that investment in mental health services was also needed at a particular focus on youth: “Services need to be able to detect and treat common mental disorders early and optimize to fit patients in these critical parts of their lives,” he says, explaining that knowing the age at which these disorders typically appear allows “tailor public health interventions and allocate resources to ensure that people at risk have adequate and timely support”.