ERIC Number: ED274110
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Mental Illness in Persons with Mental Retardation: ARC Facts.
Weber, Linda R.; Wimmer, Sharon
This brief factsheet presents information on mental illness in mentally retarded persons. The most prevalent disorders found in this population are schizophrenia, organic brain syndrome, adjustment disorders, personality disorders, depression, and behavioral problems. Few standardized methods of assessment exist for the diagnosis of mental illness in mentally retarded persons; professionals must rely on specific signs or actions rather than on the report of specific symptoms, and caution must be used when diagnosing mental illness in persons with severe or profound retardation because of the difficulty of distinguishing adaptive behavior problems from mental illness. About 20 to 35 percent of the mentally retarded people who live in the community suffer from emotional disturbance. The social conditions to which mentally retarded people are exposed, plus the presence of physical limitations, often place stress on the ability of the individual to cope, making it more likely that a retarded person may develop emotional disturbances. The lack of social interactions and a high frequency of central nervous system impairments may also be factors contributing to emotional disturbances. Treatment for mentally retarded people with mental illnesses focuses upon either psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, behavior management, or social skill training. Presently, a variety of treatment sites exist in selected communities but are not available throughout the United States. Hospitals, specialized group homes, foster homes, day programs at hospitals and clinics, and regular group homes may provide treatment sites, depending on the level of illness. (CB)
Descriptors: Adaptive Behavior (of Disabled), Clinical Diagnosis, Coping, Disease Incidence, Emotional Disturbances, Mental Disorders, Mental Retardation, Multiple Disabilities, Therapy
Assocation for Retarded Citizens National Headquarters, 2501 Avenue J, Arlington, TX 76006.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Retarded Citizens, Arlington, TX.