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Atlas of Variation

In England, one in six adults and one in ten children and young people (CYP) experience a common mental disorder at any one time. These mental health problems range in severity – from mild, moderate and severe – but the most prevalent conditions are depressive and anxiety disorders. In these cases, around half of all people diagnosed tend to recover after 18 months, although if life adversities are present then time to recovery increases considerably. Other types of mental health problems can be severe and enduring. This can include psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder. These illnesses often present earlier in the life course during late adolescents and recovery rates differ depending on treatment and social circumstances. Research suggests that for people diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis, around 25% of people with recover following their first episode, 10-15% will experience long-term difficulties and the remainder will experience recurrent episodes. Mental health problems can present at any time across during the life course but in three quarters of all lifetime cases, a diagnosis is made before the age of 25 and in half of all lifetime cases, excluding dementia, a diagnosis is made before the age of 14.