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Table 2 Terms for madness

From: Concepts of madness in diverse settings: a qualitative study from the INTREPID project

Chengalpet Ibadan Tunapuna-Piarco
• gunam marattam (a change in behavior that is not acceptable or is different from usual behaviours)
• loosu (a colloquial term-possibly from the English word, loose-meaning can range from someone who is stupid to someone who is mentally ill.)
• mad
• manaa kolaaru (a problem with the mind)
• manaa kulapam/kozhapum (confusion in the mind)
• manaa maarudhal (a change of mind in decisions related to any activity)
• manaa nalam baathika pattavar (a person whose mental wellness has been affected-often used in context of a precipitating event)
• manaa nellai seri illathavar (someone whose state of mind is not alright)
• manaa noi (mental illness)
• manaa noiali (mentally ill)
• manasu kattupai (mental irritation)
• manasu seri illathevur (one who is mentally not well)
• manavalarchi kundriyavar (one who’s growth of mind is retarded)b
• mental
• mentally affected
• moolai valarchi kummi (poor growth in mental functioning)b
• moolai valarchi illathavar (someone who does not have adequate growth of the mind)b
• narambhu thalarchi (“nerve weakness,” a term preferable to one that indicates mental illness).
• noi vandhirichi (one who is affected by an illness)
• paithiyam (colloquial term for being mad/crazy)
• pazhuthugal (word most commonly used to imply repairs in machinery. In this context it could mean a reference to the mind being in “repair.”)
• psycho (colloquial term)
• abisinwin (going mad after giving birth)
• afise (externally induced act or predicament)
• aisan (sickness/illness of the brain)
• alanganna (a person with odd/abnormal behaviour)
• alarun opolo (person with mental disease)
• arun apolo (brain sickness)
• asinwin (insane/madness)
• crazy
• didinrin/odoyo (imbecile/fool)
• elesimirin (mentally retarded)
• mad
• ode ori (hunter of the head)
• oku oru (in the dead of night)
• schizophrenia
• iwin (spirit creature)
• siwin (being mildly insane)
• warapa (epilepsy)
• were (mad person/madness)
• were kannakanna (mad, psychotic)
• were onigbo (madness in which the person wants to be isolated)
• ya were tan (gone completely mad)
• altered state
• anxiety
• attacks
• breaking down
• challenged
• crack up
• crazy
• curious
• demonic possession
• depression
• dunce
• dysfunctional
• emotional problem
• foolish
• going out of mind
• gone off
• loco
• lose their minds
• mad
• madman
• madness
• mental disorder
• mental problem
• mentally sick
• mentally unstable
• nerves gone bad
• not whole within
• oppression
• psychological problem
• schizophrenia
• sickness
• spiritual problem
• spiritually affected
• spiritually disturbed/spiritual disturbance
• strange
• stressed
• trip off
• eh bête
  1. a mind
  2. b terms refer to persons with less intelligence