What Is Impaired Judgement?

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Impaired judgement is a medical condition that results in a person not being able to make good decisions because of an underlying medical problem, environmental factors, diet or drugs/alcohol, according to WebMD. It is often accompanied by impaired social skills, impulsive or inappropriate behavior. Impaired judgement can be a symptom of a disease or be the primary medical problem, and can also result from normal aging.

According to WebMD, there are a host of conditions that have impaired judgement as a symptom, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, intoxication, depression, schizophrenia, child abuse, ALS dementia and epilepsy.

The Mayo Clinic notes that many people with impaired judgement suffer from mild cognitive impairment, which also causes impairment in memory, language and thinking skills. Many older adults will suffer mild cognitive impairment without any other symptoms. The severity of MCI is less than that of dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases, though those with mild cognitive impairment have an increased risk of developing those diseases.

Stress can also cause individuals to suffer impaired judgement, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is because stress makes it difficult for people to think things through before making decisions. Studies also show that individuals over the age of 70 have an increased risk of suffering cognitive impairments such as impaired judgement if they consume a diet high in carbohydrates and sugar.