John Libbey Eurotext

L'Information Psychiatrique


Social representation of "mad", "mentally ill", and "depressive" persons Volume 79, issue 10, Décembre 2003

Praticien hospitalier Praticien hospitalier, Chef de service, Directeur du Centre collaborateur OMS EPSM Lille. Métropole, Centre Frontières, 211 rue Roger‐Salengro, 51260 Lille‐Hellemmes , Jean‐Luc Roelandt
  • Key words: mental health, perceptions, epidemiology, cultures.
  • Page(s) : 887-94
  • Published in: 2003

A textual analysis was carried out on the responses of 10,882 persons in France and the Indian ocean to the three questions : "in your opinion, what is a mad person ?", "in your opinion, what is a mentally ill person ?" and "in your opinion, what is a depressive person ?". Computer processing of this mass of data not only reveals cultural differences from one place to another but also sheds light on public perception of mental illness, in the widest sense. This data constitutes a tool for understanding the public‘s attitude to mental health and therefore each individual‘s relationship with his or her illness.