As world views change, so too do the ways we communicate, providing new definitions to antiquated aspects of our language. However, words can evolve imperceptibly gradually, leaving people perpetuating outdated terms without even realizing. We see this profusely in regards to social issues, such as gender and sexual orientation. Yet, mental illness differs because even today with all we have learned on the topic, there is much less agreement of how to accurately define it, creating frequent misuse of the label. There is a long history of the term “mental illness” being misapplied to various groups of people in ways that lent towards discrimination, and medical professionals still struggle to recognize the myriad of ways mental problems can manifest.
Christopher Issac, Arcadia University
"The Evolution of Mental Illness Definitions and Its Effect on Media Representations: A Literature Review,"
The Compass: Vol. 1
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarworks.arcadia.edu/thecompass/vol1/iss3/5