Cornell University Law School states that the term "competence" applies to an individual who is legally "capable of entering into a binding contract, transferring assets, or participating in a legal proceeding." According to LGCSC Legal, different states have their own assessment procedures that they use to determine an individuals' mental competence and capacity and which rights are able to be removed from an individual who is classified as mentally incompetent.Know More
According to Alec Buchanan, PhD MD, in his National Library of Medicine article "Mental capacity, legal competence and consent to treatment," when a patient refuses medical treatment, those wishes are required to be respected under U.K., U.S. and Canadian law unless the patient can be shown to be not legally competent.
Buchanan states that the mental capacity required for legal competence increases or decreases depending on the seriousness of what is at stake, and so legal competence is specific to the task at hand. Legal competence requires the mental capacities to "reason and deliberate, hold appropriate values and goals, appreciate one's circumstances, understand information one is given, and communicate a choice."
Buchanan explains that because laws recognize that mental capacity is a constant quality that can change over time and present to a greater or lesser extent, medical procedures that require consent over long periods of time often require repeated assessments to ensure that the legal mental capacity of a patient remains the same and that no legal rights are being withheld or mishandled.
Cornell University explains that there are legal standards through which those who are mentally ill can be forced to receive treatment against their will. Because involuntary commitment severely infringes on a person's right to be free from government restraint and the right to not be unnecessarily confined, statutes for involuntary commitment are subject to the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.Learn more about Mental Health
If substance abuse is not treated in an individual with bipolar disorder, mood swings between mania and depression are hard to manage, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is difficult, and medications used to treat the mental illness are rendered less effective, according to WebMD. Addiction relapses worsen the bipolar disorder.Full Answer >
A schizophrenic is an individual who suffers from schizophrenia, a type of mental disorder depicted by delusions, hallucinations, social isolation, and disorganized speech and behavior, according to Dictionary.com. The word "schizophrenia" derives from the Greek words "skhizein," meaning "to split," and "phren," meaning "mind," notes the Online Etymology Dictionary.Full Answer >
An individual with dissociative identity disorder, or DID, may experience emotional and neurological symptoms such as depression, memory loss, anxiety attacks, delusions, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, headaches and substance abuse, reports the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. DID is often referred to as multiple or split personality disorder because the individual shifts between different personality states with distinct identities and behavioral patterns.Full Answer >
The prognosis for successfully managing the mood swings of bipolar disorder is poor if the individual also has an untreated and active substance abuse problem, according to WebMD. Individuals with bipolar disorder and an addiction have a dual diagnosis and a greater risk for violence and suicide, reports Mayo Clinic.Full Answer >