"All good students have a touch of "obsessional" personality that helps them work hard to achieve. But that's different from an obsessional disorder that makes people inflexible and controlling and interferes with their lives..."
1 in 5 young adults has personality disorder
By LINDSEY TANNER
December 1, 2008
CHICAGO (AP) — Almost one in five young American adults has a personality disorder that interferes with everyday life, and even more abuse alcohol or drugs, researchers reported Monday in the most extensive study of its kind.
The disorders include problems such as obsessive or compulsive tendencies and anti-social behavior that can sometimes lead to violence. The study also found that fewer than 25 percent of college-aged Americans with mental problems get treatment.
...Experts praised the study's scope — face-to-face interviews about numerous disorders with more than 5,000 young people ages 19 to 25 — and said it spotlights a problem college administrators need to address.
Study co-author Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute called the widespread lack of treatment particularly worrisome. He said it should alert not only "students and parents, but also deans and people who run college mental health services about the need to extend access to treatment."
Counting substance abuse, the study found that nearly half of young people surveyed have some sort of psychiatric condition, including students and non-students...
"For many, young adulthood is characterized by the pursuit of greater educational opportunities and employment prospects, development of personal relationships, and for some, parenthood," the authors said. These circumstances, they said, can result in stress that triggers the start or recurrence of psychiatric problems.
The study was released Monday in Archives of General Psychiatry...
Personality disorders showed up in similar numbers among both students and non-students, including the most common one, obsessive compulsive personality disorder. About 8 percent of young adults in both groups had this illness, which can include an extreme preoccupation with details, rules, orderliness and perfectionism...
All good students have a touch of "obsessional" personality that helps them work hard to achieve. But that's different from an obsessional disorder that makes people inflexible and controlling and interferes with their lives, he explained.
Obsessive compulsive personality disorder differs from the better known OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, which features repetitive actions such as hand-washing to avoid germs.
OCD is thought to affect about 2 percent of the general population. The study didn't examine OCD separately but grouped it with all anxiety disorders, seen in about 12 percent of college-aged people in the survey...
Substance abuse, including drug addiction, alcoholism and other drinking that interferes with school or work, affected nearly one-third of those in both groups.
Slightly more college students than non-students were problem drinkers — 20 percent versus 17 percent. And slightly more non-students had drug problems — nearly 7 percent versus 5 percent.
In both groups, about 8 percent had phobias and 7 percent had depression.
Bipolar disorder was slightly more common in non-students, affecting almost 5 percent versus about 3 percent of students.