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Young Said Vulnerable to Emotional Woes

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NEW YORK, Jul 31, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Psychiatrists say it should come as no surprise that children are as vulnerable to emotional problems as serious as those affecting adults.

They have, after all, little control over the world in which they live and when they are very young they cannot really understand why things happen. It's not that unusual for a 2-year-old to need time on a psychiatrist's couch, a little person with big person problems, say doctors interviewed by ABC News.

According to the Office of the Surgeon General, one in 10 children under the age of 18 "suffer from mental illness severe enough to cause some level of impairment."

The National Institute of Mental Health cited studies that found as many as 2.5 percent of children and 8.3 percent of teenagers suffer from depression.

The subject is still controversial, but some child psychiatrists interviewed said that children as young as two can suffer from full-blown depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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