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Epidemic? Half of US teens ‘meet criteria for mental disorder’

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WASHINGTON — Around half of US teens meet the criteria for a mental disorder and nearly one in four report having a mood, behavior or anxiety disorder that interferes with daily life, American researchers say.

Fifty-one percent of boys and 49 percent of girls aged 13-19 have a mood, behavior, anxiety or substance use disorder, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In 22.2 percent of teens, the disorder was so severe it impaired their daily activities and caused great distress, says the study led by Kathleen Merikangas of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).

“The prevalence of severe emotional and behavior disorders is even higher than the most frequent major physical conditions in adolescence, including asthma or diabetes,” the study says.

Mental problems do not get the same attention from public health authorities even though they cost US families around a quarter of a trillion dollars a year, according to the study.

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Around nine percent of all US children have asthma and less than a quarter of one percent of all people under the age of 20 have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Merikangas and a team of researchers analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement, which surveyed more than 10,000 US teens.

The study is the first to track the prevalence of a broad range of mental disorders in a nationally representative sample of US teens.

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They found that nearly a third of the teens met the criteria for the most common mental disorder among US youth, anxiety disorders, which include social phobia and panic “attacks”.

This class of disorder also had the earliest median onset age, occurring in children as young as six years old.

Behavior disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, were the next most common condition (19.1 percent), followed by mood disorders (14.3 percent) such as depression.

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Eleven percent of teens with a mood disorder, 10 percent with behavior disorders and eight percent who had anxiety disorders, especially social phobics, met the criteria for severe impairment, meaning their condition affected their day-to-day life and caused them great distress.

Teen mental disorder rates mirror those seen in adults, suggesting that most adults develop a mental disorder before adulthood, say the researchers, calling for earlier intervention and prevention, and more research to determine what the risk factors are for mental disorders in youth.


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US sanctions Chinese oil trader for violating Iran restrictions: Pompeo

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The United States is placing a leading Chinese oil importer on its sanctions blacklist for trading in Iranian crude, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday.

"As part of that maximum pressure campaign, I am announcing that the United States is imposing sanctions on the Chinese entity Zhuhai Zhenrong and its chief executive Youmin Li," Pompeo said in a speech.

"They violated US law by accepting crude oil," he said.

The announcement was the latest step by Washington to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran over its alleged military activities in the Middle East and its nuclear program by taking aim at business partners.

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Trump says he could win Afghanistan war ‘in a week’ by wiping country ‘off the face of the Earth’

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President Donald Trump said that he could win the war in Afghanistan in a week if the country was "wiped off the face of the Earth."

Trump made the remarks on Monday during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minsister Imran Khan, according to a White House pool report.

“I could win that war in a week," Trump reportedly said. "I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the Earth. I don’t want to go that route.”

Just in, Trump’s comments on Afgahanistan, via pooler @DavidNakamura: “I could win that war in a week. I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the earth. I don’t want to go that route.”

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French inventor to hover across English Channel on ‘flyboard’

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A French inventor aims to soar across the English Channel this week on a jet-powered "flyboard", despite authorities warning the stunt is a danger to shipping.

Former jet-skiing champion Franky Zapata has pledged to go ahead on Thursday on his device, which can reach speeds up to 190 kilometres an hour (118 mph).

It will come 10 days days after the entrepreneur wowed crowds when he flew above the Champs-Elysees boulevard in Paris in front of President Emmanuel Macron for the annual July 14 military parade.

But authorities are divided over the daredevil venture, which will mark 110 years to the day since Frenchmen Louis Bleriot made the first aeroplane flight across the Channel.

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