Psychopathology and intellectual disability

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide an update on recent trends and developments in the study of psychopathology in persons with intellectual disability. This topic is of considerable importance to mental health professionals as rates of psychopathology are much higher for persons with intellectual disabilities relative to the general population. RECENT FINDINGS: The number of studies on this topic is growing. The development of several areas is of particular significance. These topics include the impact of the burgeoning study of autism; the development of more specialized measures of psychopathology specific to particular forms of psychopathology, levels of intellectual disability and age; the development of psychologically based treatments, specifically the rise of functional assessment; the recognition that pharmacotherapy treatments are best aimed at core symptoms of classic forms of psychopathology such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression versus behavioral equivalents of psychopathology such as aggression, self-injurious behavior, property destruction, and pica; and establishing co-occurring patterns of personal features as they relate to psychopathology and intellectual disability. SUMMARY: A better understanding of psychopathology and how to assess and treat it in persons with intellectual disability is occurring. However, much is yet to be learned in this relatively new field of study.

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Current opinion in psychiatry

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