Mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms and manage symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan. Mental illness may affect a person at any time in their life, at any age. It affects persons of any level of intelligence, although they may have trouble functioning at a normal level due to illness. Individuals may fluctuate between normal and irrational behavior. Mental illnesses can include, but are not limited to: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder.
A developmental disability is caused by a mental or physical impairment or a combination of those impairments. developmental disabilities are not illnesses; they are conditions, and as such, cannot be cured. However, with specialized training, individuals may learn to improve and develop their abilities. They may be present at birth or occur before the individual reaches age 22. Brain injury can also cause developmental disabilities. Developmentally disabled individuals have a below average intellectual functioning (standard IQ below 70) but can usually be expected to behave rationally at their functional level. Developmental disabilities can include several types of conditions including, but not limited to: Autism, Down Syndrome, brain injury, Asperger’s Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.