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The Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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Definition of “mental disorder” and related expressionsN.I.

3.—(1) In this Order—

  • “mental disorder” means mental illness, mental handicap and any other disorder or disability of mind;

  • “mental illness” means a state of mind which affects a person's thinking, perceiving, emotion or judgment to the extent that he requires care or medical treatment in his own interests or the interests of other persons;

  • “mental handicap” means a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning;

  • “severe mental handicap” means a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning;

  • “severe mental impairment” means a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning and is associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the person concerned.

(2) No person shall be treated under this Order as suffering from mental disorder, or from any form of mental disorder, by reason only of personality disorder, promiscuity or other immoral conduct, sexual deviancy or dependence on alcohol or drugs.

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