There is increasing recognition that people with a mental handicap who also suffer from psychiatric disorder will need specialised services. Those with major psychiatric disorders may need periods of hospital in-patient care but treatment as out-patients or day-patients may be more appropriate for those with neurotic disorders, behaviour or conduct disorders, problems of adjustment or personality problems. Many such psychiatric difficulties are amenable to treatment by therapies commonly used in general psychiatry. However, the treatment process can be prolonged and may need modifying so that there is always a ‘concrete’ or ‘practice’ base for handicapped persons who may have limited or no ability to conceptualise abstract ideas, although able to gain insight and modify their behaviour when taught appropriate skills and strategies.
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