1. Mental Retardation
  2. Level of Mental Retardation
  3. Symptoms of Mental Retardation
  4. Causes of Mental Retardation
  5. Treatment of Mental Retardation
  6. Support the Patient for Mental Retardation
  7. Management of Mental Retardation

1. Mental Retardation

Mental retardation means a low level of intelligence and skills required for everyday tasks. It develops in that the brain does not function properly within the normal range. It affects two main areas

These are as follows:

  • Intelligence Quotient
  • Adaptive behaviour

Intettigence Quotient:

It is measured by a standardised test. It is defined as the ability to think, learn and solve problems. The normal IQ of a person is 100 and below 70 or 75 is considered disabled.

Adaptive Behaviour:

In this area, necessary life skills include such as socialization, communication and taking care of oneself. The person suffering from this disease will have difficulty functioning in everyday life as well as learning skills. Some intellectual disabilities include Down syndrome and Cerebral palsy.

2. Level of Mental Retardation

  • Mild mental retardation
  • Moderate mental retardation
  • Sever mental retardation

Mild Mental Retardation:

They are known as “morons”. Their IQ is 51 70 and their mental age is between 7 to 12 years. They are slow learners and perform poorly.

Moderate Mental Retardation:

They are known as “imbeciles”. Their IQ is 26-50 and their mental age is between 3 to 6 years. They are an extremely slow learner. They are not capable of supporting themselves.

Sever Mental Retardation:

They are known as “idiots”. Their IQ is 0-25 and their mental age is between 2 years or maybe less. They cant protect themselves from danger.

3. Symptoms of Mental Retardation

Symptoms of Mental Retardation vary according to level.

The common ones include:

  • Aggression
  • Dependency
  • Depression
  • Attentionseeking
  • Impulsiveness
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Short attention span
  • Frustration
  • Seizures
  • Having problems with reading and writing
  • Epilepsy
  • Physical disability

Need for Medical Advice:

When your child is facing the symptom above or you may notice any change in behaviour, emotional state and physical abnormalities. Then there is a need to seek medical advice. Consult the doctor as soon as possible.

4. Causes of Mental Retardation

The causes can be divided into three groups:

  • Prenatal factors
  • Natal factors
  • Postnatal factors

Prenatal Factors:

It may include hereditary and acquired factors which are as follow:

  • Downs syndrome 
  • Hydrocephaly 
  • Malnutrition of mother 
  • X-ray and radiations 

Natal Factors:

These may include:

  • Premature birth 
  • Prolong labour
  • Brain injury due to instrumental birth

Postnatal Factors:

It may include:

  • Head injury
  • Convulsion
  • Toxaemia
  • Infection of the brain, such as encephalitis

5. Treatment of Mental Retardation

The treatment of mentally retard patient depends upon their level. If the patient experience mild mental retardation then the treatment is intervention and medication to manage the symptoms. The medication improves the symptoms but cant cure the causes.

Some commonly prescribed medication are as follow:

  • Antidepressants
  • Antianxiety
  • Mood-stabilising drugs
  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Anti-epileptic drugs 

Another option is psychotherapy, in which a person meets with a psychotherapist and discusses their mood, feeling, behaviour and personal condition. Therapists can reduce your stress and teach you how to handle problems in an effective manner. Some other therapies include physical therapy, speech therapy and rehabilitation (for substance abuse).

6. Support the Patient for Mental Retardation

The patient should be approached in a friendly manner. He should not be disturbed when he did not want anybody’s presence. An attendant is always in the room. Crowding around the patient should be avoided.

The patient should not have access to any sharp things with which he may injure himself. The patient should be observed constantly to avoid any mishaps. Reassure the patient to give him a sense of security.

7. Management of Mental Retardation

Ensure moderate eating. Avoid alcohol. The patient should be encouraged to pay attention to his/her personal appearance and habits. If possible try to motivate him to carry out some responsibility and simple type of occupation.

Avoid emotional strain. Encourage socialization so his mind may get diverted. Help the patient to combat fears. Try to make the patient feel as if they are wanted. Educate the family and friends about the patients condition.

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