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

Brandon Towle, member of the board of directors for the southeast Texas chapter of AFSP, said 90 percent of people who die by suicide had been diagnosed for a mental illness at the time of death. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Foundation educates Cy-Fair community about suicide prevention," 30 Aug. 2019 All have been diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Suicide attempts are hard to anticipate. A study that tracks teens’ cellphone use aims to change that," 21 Aug. 2019 In 2017, only about 36% of Hispanics with a mental illness received treatment, according to data by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Time, "'Trauma Doesn’t Go Away By Itself.' How El Paso Is Tackling Mental Health Stigma After the Walmart Mass Shooting," 20 Aug. 2019 Santiago Ramirez, Gehovany’s brother, never went to prison, spared because of a mental illness. Azam Ahmed, New York Times, "Women Are Fleeing Death at Home. The U.S. Wants to Keep Them Out.," 18 Aug. 2019 But Trump’s comments regarding mental health have struck a nerve with those living with such illnesses, who say the discussion harms those with a mental illness. Jessica Seaman, The Denver Post, "Coloradans living with mental illness say comments after El Paso, Dayton mass shootings further stigmatize," 8 Aug. 2019 An underlying heart condition and a mental illness were factors in Black’s death, according to the report. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Family feels relief after Maryland revokes certification from police officer involved in Anton Black’s death," 6 Aug. 2019 There are many reasons for that, but the main one almost certainly is mental illness (and substance abuse as a subset of that). Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "What Noah Smith Gets Wrong about Poverty," 31 July 2019 Although court records don’t indicate whether Ellis has been diagnosed with a mental illness, he was sent to the Oregon State Hospital to be evaluated. oregonlive.com, "Man who randomly punched judge, prosecutor and others in downtown Portland gets 4 years," 6 June 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

2 Sep 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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