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Chapter 8 - Diagnosis of Co-occurrent Mental Health Problems in Persons with Intellectual Disability, Major Communication and Insight Difficulties, and Stressor-Related Disorders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2024

Andrea Fiorillo
University of Campania “L. Vanvitelli”, Naples
Peter Falkai
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Philip Gorwood
Sainte-Anne Hospital, Paris
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The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among patients with intellectual disability (ID) and low-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is higher than in the general population. The available reports on this comorbidity vary depending on the adopted methodologies, the size of the examined ID population, and the criteria used to diagnose mental disorders. Multiple factors contribute to the significantly different presentation of psychopathological symptoms and syndromes in people with ID and ASD compared to the general population, including cognitive and communicative impairments, developmental peculiarities, and neuro-autonomic vulnerability. Because they have a hard time conceptualizing and articulating their mental states, the diagnosis of their psychopathology must rely on firsthand observation of behaviors in the context of daily life as well as third-party accounts. As a result, diagnostic criteria designed for the general population are ineffective when used in these groups, so for them specific diagnostic procedures and instruments should be a significant determinant of psychiatric diagnosis validity.

Mental Health Research and Practice
From Evidence to Experience
, pp. 122 - 134
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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