Mental Health Conditions

Mental Health Conditions and Learning Disability

People with Learning Disabilities suffer from the same mental illnesses as do the rest of the population. However, there are some important differences.

Most major mental illnesses are approximately three times as common in people with Learning Disabilities. This also applies to less serious mental disorders.

The manifestations and symptoms of mental disorders are generally similar in presentation but can be very different, especially in people with more severe levels of learning disability and fewer verbal skills, where diagnosis is guided more by changes in behaviour.

Even in those with milder levels of disability, the persons description of his or her experiences, can be more subtle, due to the service user's cognitive and communication limitations.

A most important difference in management of mental disorder in Learning Disability is that medication needs to be used more cautiously, as side-effects are often more common and can add be difficult for the service user to report.