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 And potholes are things like trauma, job loss, loss of a parent, grief, mental illness, abuse, poverty, even privilege. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "‘The motivation to hate people isn’t the ideology’: Talking with WBEZ’s ‘Motive’ podcast host, former Skinhead about the growth of white supremacy in Chicago," 7 Oct. 2020 Minor said a family experience contributes to their concern about police mishandling confrontations with people with autism, mental illness, or a mental disability. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Alabama native carries state motto to Portland protests," 22 Sep. 2020 The official story was debilitating mental illness—housebound, couldn’t write—but clearly her fairy patrons had come for her, to reclaim their erstwhile princess. Jason Kehe, Wired, "The Madness of Susanna Clarke, Fairy Princess," 21 Sep. 2020 In the interview, Gaga opened up about her latest music, mental illness, her thoughts of suicide, and working with Ariana Grande. CBS News, "Lady Gaga on her stage persona and why she gave up on herself," 17 Sep. 2020 Under this program, the Eugene Police Department contracts with a nonprofit to respond to calls involving mental illness, homelessness, addiction, welfare checks, and suicide threats with a medic and crisis worker trained in mental health treatment. Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Imperial Beach weighs alternative policing methods in wake of George Floyd murder," 12 Sep. 2020 Those with a history of mental illness, trauma and abuse are even more at risk. Special To The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Feds ban solitary confinement for kids in prison, but state juvenile facilities still use isolation," 8 Sep. 2020 But his concern was for the 4 percent of the adult population with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. John Hirschauer, National Review, "D. J. Jaffe, RIP," 27 Aug. 2020 Isolation can be especially harmful for people with a history of substance abuse, mental illness, or trauma, mental experts say. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "The pandemic problem tech can’t solve: Physical touch," 23 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for mental illness

Time Traveler

The first known use of mental illness was in 1724

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Statistics for mental illness

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mental illness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental%20illness. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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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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