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

Meanwhile, about 25 percent of men and 65 percent of women in state prisons have some sort of mental illness. Ryan Faircloth, Twin Cities, "Unarmed and outnumbered, MN corrections officers use crisis intervention to defuse tense encounters," 5 July 2019 Nearly five days later, officials began to notice Wesley's increased delusions and symptoms of mental illness. Sydney Czyzon, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mental health advocate sues county, says it failed to provide mental illness medication to her son in jail," 3 July 2019 Some elements have aged badly in the real world, particularly its often stereotypical and surface-level depictions of mental illness. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2’s creators want the game to grow up — but stay weird," 20 June 2019 Officials said Szymanski had an extended history of mental illness and was shooting a firearm inside his home during an hour-long standoff with police. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Shot at their house: 3 men who died after confrontations with police," 19 June 2019 The numbers 5150 refers to the state code which calls for the temporary, involuntary psychiatric commitment of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others due to signs of mental illness. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cal State San Marcos police chief quits without a public explanation 2 years after taking job," 13 June 2019 The diagnosis of mental illness would be a major part of Hernandez's defense. CBS News, "Etan Patz case: 1979 disappearance of NYC boy continues to haunt investigators," 8 June 2019 Men with violent injuries were more likely to show symptoms of mental illness than those with non-violent injuries. Aneri Pattani, https://www.inquirer.com, "Nearly half of men hospitalized with physical injuries develop depression or PTSD, study suggests," 6 June 2019 Maybe with these new treatments, the stigma of mental illness will finally fade. Minhae Shim Roth, Glamour, "Postpartum Depression Treatment Made Me Feel Helpless—Women Deserve Better Options," 25 Mar. 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

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for mental illness

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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