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Why Mental Health Disorders Emerge In Your Late Teens To Early 20s

I've watched some of the greatest people I've ever known become a shadow of their former selves when mental disorders took control of their minds and totally ruined their lives.

And whether they were diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia there was one constant- their mental disorders began to emerge during their late teens to mid-20s.

So why do these disorders appear at such a specific time in a young person's life? VICE spoke with a postdoctoral fellow Dr. Johanna Jarcho, Ph. D. from the National Institute of Mental Health to find out:

Yeah, the vast majority of mental health disorders do emerge during one's adolescence or early 20s. If you're going to have an anxiety disorder as an adult, there's a 90% chance that you'll have had it as an adolescent. Basically, you're not going to develop an anxiety disorder as an adult. You're going to develop it as a kid and then it'll carry through to adulthood. Emerging research suggests that this is because adolescence is a time when the brain is changing to a great degree. We once thought that the brain didn't change that much after earlier childhood, but what we've seen is that the brain continues to undergo really profound changes up until your early 20s. It's still quite malleable, so being exposed to different influences in your social environment can really have a profound impact on the way that your brain continues to develop.

Read Why Mental Health Disorders Emerge In Your Early 20s here (NSFW language)


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