Up to One Fifth of the World’s Children Have Mental Problems

An estimated 10 to 20 percent of children worldwide have one or more mental or behavioral problems. Many disorders commonly found among adults, such as depression, can begin during childhood, the World Health Organization reports. Categories specific to childhood and adolescence include disorders of psychological development, including dyslexia and autism, as well as behavioral and emotional disorders, such as attention deficit/hyper activity and conduct disorders.

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“Call me Ishmael.”

When I turned twenty-two — I was about to graduate from college in Boston — I started experiencing intense anxiety. I was always a worrier with deep envy for people who have unyielding optimism for life. But what descended on me then was much worse than my usual worries.

Afternoons became petrifying and I had to stay inside, away from the windows and the setting sun. To this day, I don’t know why it was in the afternoon that I felt such anguish.

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