mental illness

noun
variants: or mental disorder or less commonly mental disease

Definition of mental illness

: any of a broad range of medical conditions (such as major depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, or panic disorder) that are marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, or emotions to impair normal psychological functioning and cause marked distress or disability and that are typically associated with a disruption in normal thinking, feeling, mood, behavior, interpersonal interactions, or daily functioning

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Other Words from mental illness

mentally ill adjective

Examples of mental illness in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Niesen said the nature of the crime raises the possibility of mental illness and a psychiatric assessment will be conducted. Washington Post, "Germany says suspected train pusher had psychiatric problems," 30 July 2019 Another common theme is the intersection of mental illness and law enforcement. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Biden’s Big, Obvious Ideas for Criminal-Justice Reform," 24 July 2019 People living outside have been mainly single, more than half of them men, ages 25 to 64, most suffering from mental illness and addiction, according to demographic numbers. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "Dunleavy budget vetoes will mean a sharp increase in people living in camps and cars, service providers say," 20 July 2019 Syd Barrett, the group’s founding frontman, had parted ways with his bandmates in 1968, after his struggles with mental illness and drug use had made working with him almost impossible. Jason Heller, The Atlantic, "The Apollo 11 Mission Inspired Pink Floyd’s Most Overlooked Song," 20 July 2019 What was his history or mental illness and diagnosis? Houston Chronicle, "Texas inmate who gouged his eye out with a plastic spoon suing over understaffing," 17 July 2019 But after his 1997 retirement from football, Walker opened up about his struggles with mental illness and multiple personality disorders. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This veteran sports psychologist has worked with the Packers and Bucks. Now he's speaking up about racism," 16 July 2019 During Fields' state trial, his attorneys focused on his history of mental illness and traumatic childhood. Denise Lavoie, Cincinnati.com, "Man sentenced to 2nd life term in Charlottesville car attack," 15 July 2019 During Fields' state trial, his attorneys focused on his history of mental illness and traumatic childhood. CBS News, "Man gets life plus 419 years in deadly Charlottesville car attack," 15 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mental illness.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mental illness

1724, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for mental illness

Last Updated

5 Aug 2019

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The first known use of mental illness was in 1724

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More Definitions for mental illness

mental illness

noun
variants: or mental disorder also mental disease

Medical Definition of mental illness

: any of a broad range of medical conditions (such as major depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, or panic disorder) that are marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, or emotions to impair normal psychological functioning and cause marked distress or disability and that are typically associated with a disruption in normal thinking, feeling, mood, behavior, interpersonal interactions, or daily functioning Some homeless families are also hindered by substance abuse and mental illness.— Ellen L. Bassuk, Scientific American, December 1991 Catatonia is usually an expression of mental disorders like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, but it could also come from other medical problems, such as a brain tumor.— Forrest Wickman, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 31 May 2012 mental diseases such as schizophrenia and manic depression may either involve more than one gene or may result from a complex mix of genetic predisposition and environmental rotten luck.— Natalie Angier, The New York Times Book Review, 12 Aug. 1990

Other Words from mental illness

mentally ill adjective
mentally ill patients Mental health workers … perform a wide variety of therapeutic, supportive, and preventative functions for persons who are mentally ill and developmentally disabled. — Barbara M. Swanson, Careers in Health Care, 1989

mental illness

noun
mental ill·​ness

Legal Definition of mental illness

2 : a mental condition marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, and emotions to seriously impair the normal psychological and often social functioning of the individual

called also mental disorder

More from Merriam-Webster on mental illness

Britannica English: Translation of mental illness for Arabic Speakers

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