An Unquiet Mind - Chapter 10 "Speaking of Madness" Summary & Analysis

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Jamison devotes a brief chapter to the semantics of mental illness, and ponders the influence of language on the public perception of psychiatric disorders. She recalls an angry letter she once received from someone offended at her use of the word "madness" in the title of a presentation. Without knowing that Jamison is herself a person with psychiatric illness, the letter writer excoriated her for her insensitivity toward the mentally ill and the fact that her choice of words would further stigmatize such people.

Political and medical correctness may obliterate such ancient and colorful expressions as "wacko" and "nut job" from common parlance, but Jamison wonders whether that will be an improvement. Rhetoric used to describe and refer to mental illness ranges from the clinical to the vulgar; and...

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This section contains 334 words
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Buy the An Unquiet Mind Study Guide
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