Can someone, after having anger to a large level or anxiety to a large level, develop mental retardation?

In simple words, can someone being normal and mental sound, become mentally retarded in just a moment?

Let me explain it more clearly.

Suppose someone is normal but suddenly he sees something, which makes him very anxious and tensed. He has developed anger and lost the happiness he was having.

The thing that I am trying to ask you is: can some psychological causes (thinking, anger, etc.) instantly lead to mental retardation?

By retardation, I mean

the retarding of thinking ability, planning, cognitive behaviour, and all other parameters of a well-functioning brain.

I searched on Google & found in page 2 of https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/intellectual-disability-mental-retardation that genetics, child birth/pregnancy problems, or head injuries are common causes, but with two-thirds of all children who have intellectual disability, the cause is unknown.

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    $\begingroup$ That word you are using - I don't think it means what you think it means. $\endgroup$ Feb 21, 2021 at 2:13
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    $\begingroup$ I think there's a language problem here. The word "mad" in most English speaking countries means 1) angry or 2) insane. The term "mentally retarded" is completely different and means intellectually impaired. Insanity and mental retardation are very different things, so it's very unclear what you're asking. Please edit your question and clarify, and also spend some time in your favorite search engine looking up these disorders. We require questions here to demonstrate some degree of prior research. $\endgroup$ Feb 21, 2021 at 5:13
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    $\begingroup$ I think you still need to do more homework on mental retardation. You're not understanding what it is. It's not something a previously normal person can acquire through any psychological cause. You're either born with it or you develop it later in life due to a brain injury, but no amount of anger or stress can cause it. $\endgroup$ Feb 21, 2021 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ Just so you're aware, when you get this question in shape, I'm going to reopen it and then migrate it to the Psychology and Neuroscience exchange where it would be more appropriate. $\endgroup$ Feb 21, 2021 at 22:02

1 Answer 1



"Mental retardation", as the answer by Shaire elucidates, is generally congenital or the result of physical trauma, but psychosis can have symptoms that significantly interfere with life and can be simply psychologically triggered, which is in the spirit of the question you asked.

More info

Psychosis, while not directly a cause of mental "retardation", can create inability to function in life [0] during the episodes and faster decline in IQ than control [1], and it can be caused by stressful life events [3]. It is also sometimes comorbid with anxiety [2].

[0] https://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/117360/_PARENT/CC_layout_details/false

[1] https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2015/01/13/iq-takes-a-hit-with-longer-lasting-psychosis/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3283146/

[3] https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/psychosis/causes/

  • $\begingroup$ Just as I indicated to Shaire, it wasn't clear from a quick skim of the question, but the term "mental retardation" within the question is not the normally defined term. I have hopefully made it easier to spot. $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2023 at 7:21

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