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Mental Health

MENTAL DEFICIENCY / RETARDATION

DIAGNOSIS

Mental Deficiency is a condition characterized by intellectual retardation, social inadequacy and persistent social dependency. This condition is evidence of arrested development that is apparent from birth or at an early age.

Diagnosis of mental deficiency/ retardation is established in the pre school child by evidence of delayed maturation in areas of adaptive, cognitive, social and verbal behaviours. Mental deficiency in a person is assessed on the basis of :

    • – Mental status
    • – Speech pattern
    • – Behaviour and habits
    • – Learning capacity
    • – Personal hygiene

In persons with mental deficiency the need for protective supervision persists beyond the normal age of self-dependency. The key difference between individuals with mental deficiency and others is the lack of ability to utilize the cues from surrounding environment as appropriate guidance to behaviour. It refers to “significantly sub average intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behaviour, manifested during the development period.”

CAUSES OF MENTAL DEFICIENCYIQ OF MENTALLY DEFICIENT CHILDREN SEVERITY OF MENTAL DEFICIENCY

From the aspect of etiology, the mentally deficient are classified into prenatal onset, perinatal onset and postnatal onset. Prenatal causes include chromosomal disorders, inborn errors of metabolism, development disorders of brain formation. Perinatal causes include intrauterine disorders and neonatal disorders.
Postnatal causes include head injuries, infections, toxic metabolic disorders, degenerative disorders and malnutrition. Children with mental deficiency are classified in terms of mental age or intelligence quotient (IQ) score. An IQ score of 70 or below denotes mental retardation.

  • – IQ between 55-70 Mild
  • – IQ between 40-54 Moderate
  • – IQ below 40 Severe

The above classification is indicative only, as it is based on individually administrated tests of general intelligence, and each test reflects the constructor’s view of intelligence.
The combination of low IQ and limited adaptive behaviour results in different levels of learning difficulties in mentally deficient persons.

MANAGEMENT

Mental retardation is not an illness but a disorder with limited mental capacity. The main emphasis lies in assessing the degree of mental deficiency and planning of activities to optimize / improve the capacities present. While there is no cure to make these persons completely normal, mental capacity of these persons can be improved with special education by professionals / parents and regular therapy of Learnol Plus.

Children and adults with mild to moderate mental deficiency (IQ of approximately 40 to 70) usually show improvement with therapy of Learnol Plus and special training. Ayurveda, traditional Indian system of medicine gives considerable importance to mental health and elaborate guidelines are given for treatment of excitable states (unmada) and memory impairment (aspasmara).

Based on this framework, Learnol Plus has been developed after externsive research by Dalmia Centre for Research and Development in collaboration with Centre of Psychosomatic and Biofeedback Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India Special education by professionals and affectionate interaction by parents and family play a crucial role in improving and optimizing quality of life for mentally deficient children and adults MENTAL HEALTH AND AYURVEDA and Department of Psychiatry, National Institute for Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Bangalore, India.

SYMPTOMS OF ADHD

Children with ADHD generally show the following (not all of these) symptoms :

Lack of attention, easily distracted impulsive behaviour, falling behind academically, poor organizing skill, low self-esteem and hyperactivity.

Symptoms of ADHD are grouped into three behavioural aspects (Based on DSM IV*){Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), American Psychiatric Association.}

  • – Inattention
  • – Hyperactivity
  • – Impulsivity

WHAT CAUSES ADHD

There is rarely any single cause for ADHD. A combination of psychological, biological and environmental factors probably all contribute to this disorder.

  • – Brain injuries due to birth trauma or pre-birth problems.
  • – Family stress
  • – Educational difficulties
  • – Imbalance in the chemicals of the brain and neurological system of the child.
  • – The child’s temperament, as this contributes to his attitude and personality.

MANAGEMENT

Attentio therapy requires a minimum period of three months to show perceptible improvements and at least a period of nine months to one year to show distinct improvements. The period may vary from child to child.

Guidance by professionals / teachers and affectionate interaction by parents plays a major role in improving children affected by ADHD.

Children with ADHD generally grow up to be normal youngsters and adults with professional help and supportive therapy of Attentio.

IMPULSIVITY

Some of the following symptoms that persist atleast for 6 months :

  • – Often blurts out answers before the questions have been completed.
  • – Often fails to wait in lines or await turns in games or group activities.
  • – Often interrupts or intrudes on others.

HYPERACTIVITY

A child suffering from ADHD exhibits at least 3 of the following symptoms over a period of 5 to 6 months.

  • – Often runs around excessively.
  • – Often unduly noisy or has difficulty in engaging in leisure activities quietly.
  • – Leaves seat in class or where seated is expected.
  • – Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms on seat.
  • – Often appears driven or “on the go”.
  • – Often talks excessively.

MENTAL HEALTH & AYURVEDA

Ayurveda, traditional Indian system of medicine gives considerable importance to mental health and elaborate guidelines are given in this regard.
ADHD is basically related to medha/ buddhi. The faculties of medha have been covered under sadhak patta in Ashtang Hridya and Asthang Samgraha.
Based on this framework, Attentio has been developed after extensive research by Dalmia Centre for Research and Development in collaboration with Centre of Psychosomatic and Biofeedback Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, India.

Mental HealthATTENTION DEFICIT / HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)

Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) refers to a range of problem behaviours associated with poor attention span, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

ADHD often prevents children from learning and socializing well.

ADHD is classified into three subtypes, based on whether hyperactivity or inattention is the predominant symptom.

The three classifications are :

  • – ADHD – predominantly inattention type.
  • – ADHD – predominantly hyperactivity type.
  • – ADHD – predominantly combined type.

Usually children of school age are keen to learn new things all the time. Their power of observation and memory increases, and their ability to learn sharpens. If a child is comfortable in school and gets on well with children and teachers, parents are happy that their child is settled and learning.

Some families are not so lucky. Children may encounter problems that the parents did not expect. If the child’s performance compares poorly with other children this also causes unexpected problems

In case of children with ADHD, a major responsibility is placed on parents as well as on teachers.

A number of children with ADHD have high energy levels. With proper management they can be highly creative and productive.

It is generally difficult to establish a diagnosis of ADHD in children younger than four or five years as their personality and behaviour pattern is still developing.

INATTENTION

A child exhibits some or all of these symptoms over a period of 5 to 6 months to an extent that is unusual for his or her age and level of intelligence.

  • – Often fails to pay close attention to details.
  • – Often fails to finish task or sustain attention.
  • – Often seems not to listen to what is said to him / her.
  • – Very often disorganized about tasks and activities.
  • – Often avoids tasks that require sustained mental effort.
  • – Often forgetful about daily activities.
  • – Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
  • – Forgetful.
  • – Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities.