Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have a high rate of onset during early adulthood.Therefore, many individuals with psychiatric disabilities enter or complete college before first experiencing symptoms.There is much debate about preferred terminology for referring to individuals with psychiatric disabilities.Some commonly used terms are "the mentally ill," "person with a psychiatric disability," "mental health consumer," and "psychiatric survivor." However, we will use the term "person with a psychiatric disability" here because it emphasizes work functioning rather than medical symptoms or social identity.By definition, mental retardation begins before the age of 18.In contrast, the intellectual functioning of persons with psychiatric disabilities varies as it does across the general population.For many decades, people with mental illnesses were separated from the rest of society through institutionalization in mental hospitals.
Upon learning that an applicant has a history of psychiatric treatment, some employers may expect that the individual is likely to become violent.
There are many prevalent myths about individuals with psychiatric disabilities that reinforce negative, inaccurate stereotypes. The most recent estimates by the federal government indicate that 3.3 million American adults -- approximately 2 percent -- have a serious mental illness.
Myth #2: Mental illness is the same as mental retardation. A diagnosis of mental retardation is chiefly characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning, as well as difficulties with certain skills of daily life.
Public policies began shifting in the late 1950s and early 1960s as we realized that hundreds of thousands of American citizens were being confined unnecessarily.
Medications were discovered that helped to alleviate the symptoms of mental illness, and there was a gradual evolution toward the provision of treatment and rehabilitation services in the community.