Mental retardation and psychiatric illness

B. Vitiello, D. Behar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although traditional diagnostic criteria are accepted for use with mentally retarded persons, diagnosis of psychiatric disorders in this population is often complicated by clinicians' ignoring or underestimating such disorders and by patients' communication problems. The revision of DSM- III and changes in policies of third-party payers have sensitized clinicians to the presence of psychopathology among mentally retarded persons. The authors discuss the relationship between mental illness and mental retardation and review recent research on the diagnosis of specific psychiatric disorders in these patients. Some problems, such as behavioral disruptiveness, psychoses, and phobias, are more prevalent among mentally retarded persons than among other populations, whereas other problems, such as alcoholism and suicide, may be less common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-499
Number of pages6
JournalHospital and Community Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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