Why do adolescents visit psychiatric outpatient department?

Deepika Abhainath Singh, Jahnavi Kedare


More and more adolescents are seeking psychiatric help. In U.S. today, one in ten children(10-19 yrs) suffer from mental disorders leading to impairment. Psychiatric morbidity among adolescents in other countries has been reported between 10-40%. There are not many Indian studies describing statistics on this. The present study was conducted to evaluate sociodemographic and diagnostic profile of adolescents retrospectively attending the psychiatric outpatient department of a government run tertiary care hospital as well as to study stressors reported by them at the time of evaluation. Adolescent patients between 13 to 19 yrs were included in the study. Data was obtained from the outpatient department (OPD) case papers of these patients during the course of 1year. In our study, there were 516 adolescent patients attending psychiatry OPD with 328 patients being females and 188 males. More number of females were married as compared to males. 65.11% patients were students while 48.64% patients were secondary school educated. Conversion disorder was the commonest diagnosis. Psychotic disorders were second commonest diagnosis followed by depression and anxiety disorders. Exam related stress was the commonest stressors observed, followed by interpersonal stress and family conflict. Early diagnosis and treatment would definitely help in timely intervention which would thus improve the quality of life of adolescent patients. Identifying risk factors in the form of stressors would help in primary and secondary prevention.


Keywords: Adolescent, Psychiatric, Mental health

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