mental health

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Syn: mental hygiene. The branch of health care and public health concerned with prevention and control of diseases of the mind. It is classified as conditions in which brain function is affected from birth or as a consequence of environmental or other factors that operate after birth. It includes various levels of mental retardation; conditions in which the affected person retains intellectual contact with the real world, loosely classified as neuroses; conditions in which the affected person lives in a world that has lost contact with reality, loosely classified as psychoses (See psychosis); and conditions in which the affected person's previously intact intellectual and emotional functions are lost, progressively or suddenly, loosely classified as dementia.

Subjects: History.

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