A large number of Flemish teenagers suffer from psychological complaints, according to a study condusted by the KU Leuven.
Professor Germeys, head of the Centre for Contextual Psychiatry, questioned 1,913 teenagers of age 13, 15 and 17 across Flanders about their mental health.
"Adolescence is a period in which young people make important steps in their personal development, but it is also when they are most vulnerable to psychological issues like anxiety, depression or psychoses," said Germeys to VRT NWS.
The results show that almost half of the teens questioned suffer from mild psychological problems. One third have no complaints, while 15,4% have 'moderate' complaints, and 2,2% suffer from very serious issues.
"The same percentage have issues related to anxiety, and around 14% even have psychotic complaints, like hearing voices," said Germeys.
The results also show that the number of psychological issues increases when teenagers get older. 11% of 13-year-olds indicated that they had moderate to severe psychological issues. For 15-year-olds, that percentage has doubled, while 17-year-olds reach 27%, according to the report. "This shows that early intervention in case of psychological problems can be crucial in order to prevent later problems," added Germeys.
The Brussels Times