Mental Health Care Treatments Past to Present

Words We Use Today That Come From Mental Illnesses

by on Feb.13, 2014, under Uncategorized

There are a few words out there that we use today, whether for the mentally ill or not, that originated from a few interesting sayings and superstitions from the past. Here is a list:

  • Lunacy
  • Lunatic
  • Crazy
  • Insane
  • Psychiatry

We’ll go from past to as close to the present as we can get.

The words Lunacy and Lunatic are the earliest words we can trace back to when mental illnesses first started to show up. People had to explain why others were suddenly going mad. So they decided that it must be from the phases, positions and movements of the moon. Then there’s the latin word ‘Luna’ for moon and thus Lunacy and Lunatic.

Next words are Crazy and Insane, these words are ones used to explain/define the mentally ill. Crazy comes from the Middle English word “Cracked” and Insane comes from the Latin word “Insanus” meaning unhealthy.

Last there is Psychiatry which was a disciplinary form used first in 1808. The word was devised by a German physician known as  Dr. Johann Christian Reil.

So next time you use the word crazy, or Lunatic you can remember that those words came into use thanks to mental illness.


N.p., 3rd Apr 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. <>.

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