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ERIC Number: ED051514
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Apr
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Meanings of 'Mental Illness.'
Barnhart, J. E.
The author spells out seven meanings of the phrase mental illness and elucidates some of the controversy which surrounds it in legal, political, therapeutic and moral circles. These seven are: (1) unusually low performance level; (2) powerlessness; (3) excessive and fruitless conflict with others; (4) immorality; (5) excessively deviant taste; (6) reality distortion; and (7) lack of motivation and meaning. The judgmental nature of labeling behaviors is broached. The author draws several conclusions: (1) different behaviors, labeled as mental illness, must be treated in different ways; (2) the term "illness" is more appropriate to some cases of mental illness than to others; (3) each of the seven meanings entail deviation from some norm or standard; and (4) those involved in the institutionalization of individuals on the grounds of mental illness are obligated to spell out what norms or standards form the basis for their judgment. (TL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Texas State Univ., Denton.
Note: Paper presented at the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology Conference in Athens, Georgia, April 8-10, 1971