Definition of mental disorder

The relevant definitions and exceptions are to be found in s1:

"mental disorder" means any disorder or disability of the mind


"learning disability" means a state of arrested or incomplete development of the mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning.

The only full exception is that:

Dependence on alcohol or drugs is not considered to be a disorder or disability of the mind ...

In addition, for specified purposes:

a person with learning disability shall not be considered by reason of that disability to be ... suffering from mental disorder ... requiring treatment in hospital for mental disorder ... unless that disability is associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on his part.

Before the MHA 2007 amendments, s1 split mental disorder into four classifications (mental illness, psychopathic disorder, mental impairment and severe mental impairment) but this is no longer the case.


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