Ask the Doctor Q and A: I disagree with your “mental illness is more normal” advertising around Baltimore

To Whom It May Concern,

I live in Baltimore MD where there are several advertisements throughout the city & county reading something of the sort…”Mental
illness is More Normal Than You Think.” However, I disagree totally.

Mental illness is not normal at all. Normal means “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural or average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment, free from any mental disorder; sane.” If a person has a mental illness or mental disorder, then they are not sane, meaning normal.

The message that you all are displaying, I am sure, is to inform society that there are many mentally ill people with normal traits; yet, these people are not at all normal, due to the complexity of their illness.

Thank You.

Thank you for writing. Your point is definitely a good one. Our intent was to indicate in a succinct and hopefully “catchy” way that mental illness occurs more frequently – is less uncommon – than most people think. In this way we hope that the general public will recognize that the problems of mental illness and its treatment are important – due to the number of people affected. Also, it is our wish to reduce the stigma of having a mental illness by pointing out that many people suffer from illness of this type.

Posted in Ask the Doctor Q&A.