What you should know about developmental disorder and mental disorder

1. What are developmental and mental disorders?

The term mental disorder refers to difficulties in lifestyle function due to certain symptoms affecting one’s mental state or behavior. There are many different mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, and

sufferers can display a great number of symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions, a depressed mood, and anxiousness. Developmental disorders isa type of mental disorder, and include conditions such as autism spectrum disorder,

learning disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These disorders may involve abnormalities to the brain functions controlling social interaction, reading and writing, and attention, and it isusually first noticed in early childhood. Higher brain dysfunction and intellectual disabilities are also included as mental disorders.Many mental disorders are caused by unknown factors. It is believed that biological factors (brain function), psychological factors, and social factors affect the development and progress of these disorders, but the certain causeof these is quite different depending on the disorder.

2. When interacting with a person who has a developmental or mental disorder

The best ways to interact with a person who has a certain mental disorder or displays certain symptoms differ depending on

the person’s individual characteristics and situation, so it is difficult to summarize the way to interact. The following

describes the types of interaction that are believed to be positive for a relatively large proportion of people with

mental disorders.

Understanding that these disorders are illnesses
Mental disorders do not appear because a person is ‘spoiled’ or ‘mentally weak’. They are, fundamentally, illnesses,and nobody develops a mental disorder out of choice. Interacting with a person with a mental disorder while believing that they are ‘spoiled’ or ‘mentally weak’ will affect the attitude you approach them with. We should interact with the sufferer in a normal manner, having understood that the sufferer has an illness which is causing him or her trouble.

◆Creating an atmosphere that encourages sufferers to seek advice
Many people with mental disorders having a ploblem trouble with communication due to the intrinsic symptoms of their disorder that affect social behavior, or the depressed mood or anxiety that appear as symptoms. As a result, they tend to internalize their problems or concerns, which ends up worsening the situation. Therefore, it is desirable that we create an atmosphere which makes sufferers feel that they can easily seek advice.

◆Do not attempt to solve the situation alone
For a mental disorder sufferer, the most helpful thing is having someone they can turn to who understands them well. However, if this person thinks that they must do something to fix the situation, they may begin to worry alongside the sufferer and start to feel that providing advice is a burden. We recommend that advice givers only do what they can, within their own abilities. We should also ensure that the burden is not concentrated on any one person around us.

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