When do mental health issues start?

Fifty percent of mental illnesses begin at age 14 and three-quarters begin at age 24.The first onset of mental disorders usually occurs in childhood or adolescence, although treatment does not normally occur until several years later. While interventions with early emerging disorders could help reduce the persistence of primary disorders and prevent secondary disorders, more research is needed on appropriate treatments for early incipient cases and on long-term evaluation of the effects of early intervention on prevention. About 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in a given year. Mental illness can begin at any age, from infancy to the last years of adulthood, but most cases begin earlier in life.

While some of these mental illnesses can occur and be diagnosed in childhood, many cannot be diagnosed until adolescence or even later. Personality disorders, for example, cannot be confirmed until the personality is more fully formed. Usually, addiction does not develop in childhood, because adults control the substances that children have access to. Eating disorders also tend to develop during adolescence or later, because that's when you gain full control of your eating habits.

MacArthur Foundation, Pfizer Foundation, United States Public Health Service (R13‐MH066849, R01‐MH069864 and R01 DA01655), Pan American Health Organization, Eli Lilly and Company and GlaxoSmithKline. Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health disorders that affect mood, thinking, and behavior. Most mental illnesses don't get better on their own, and if left untreated, a mental illness can worsen over time and cause serious problems. The stigma of mental illness in this country is fading as more and more people discover that they have some form of mental illness and that their lives can improve with treatment.

Review recent epidemiological research on the age of onset (AOO) of mental disorders, focusing on WHO Global Mental Health (WMH) surveys. For these disorders, good mental health promotion, together with preventive and early intervention approaches, should focus on these periods of neurodevelopment, mainly during preschool and primary school periods. Co-primary outcomes were the proportion of individuals with onset of mental disorders before 14, 18, 25 years and the maximum age at baseline, for any mental disorder and in all diagnostic blocks of the International Classification of Diseases 11.Although promotion of good mental health, prevention and early intervention can be implemented throughout life, the benefits are greatest when targeting young people around the time of onset of mental disorders. More specifically, efforts through the Initiative aim to promote mental health and prevent mental health conditions.

Globally, it is estimated that 1 in 7 (14%) aged 10 to 19 suffer from mental health conditions (however, these remain largely unrecognized or treated). If you have any signs or symptoms of mental illness, see your primary care provider or mental health professional. The WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean has developed a mental health training package for educators to better understand the importance of mental health in the school environment and guide the implementation of strategies to promote, protect and restore mental health among its students. If there is one thing that the study clearly shows, it is that mental health problems in adolescents need to be treated seriously.

However, a mental health problem develops into a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect the ability to function. People often have the idea that most mental health conditions begin in adulthood and that only developmental disorders begin in childhood. Sometimes symptoms of a mental health disorder appear as physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains. .

Diana Anzaldua
Diana Anzaldua

Diana Anzaldua, LCSW - S, TYCT, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher in Central Texas. As the founder and owner of Austin Trauma Therapy Center, she teaches clients new skills for coping and adapting to the daily stresses of life so they can live the life they imagined by connecting them to their true authentic selves. Diana has been featured in industry magazines & websites such as Bustle, Hello Giggles, Yahoo, PBS, Allure, and more. Diana started this website to help answer FAQs for people interested in learning more about therapy around the world!