Definition of disturbed adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈstɜːbd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɜːrbd//
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  1. 1mentally ill, especially because of very unhappy or shocking experiences a special school for emotionally disturbed children His behaviour is deeply disturbed. Synonymsmentally illinsane neurotic psychotic disturbed unstableThese words all describe somebody who is suffering from a mental illness.mentally ill suffering from an illness of the mind, especially in a way that affects the way you think and behaveinsane [not usually before noun] (rather formal) suffering from a serious mental illness and unable to live in normal society:The question is, was the man insane when he committed the crime? In informal English insane can describe somebody who is not suffering from a mental illness, but whose mind does not work normally, especially because they are under pressure. This meaning is used especially in the phrases go insane and drive somebody insane.neurotic (medical) suffering from or connected with neurosis (= a mental illness in which a person suffers strong feelings of fear and worry) :the treatment of anxiety in neurotic patients In informal English neurotic is also used to describe somebody who is not suffering from a mental illness, but is not behaving in a calm way because they are worried about something:She became neurotic about keeping the house clean.psychotic (medical) suffering from or connected with psychosis (= a serious mental illness in which thought and emotions lose connection with external reality). In informal English psychotic is sometimes used to describe anyone suffering from a mental illness, but in correct medical usage it only describes people who have difficulty relating to external reality. It contrasts with neurotic, which describes people who are less seriously mentally ill and are still able to distinguish what is real from what is not.disturbed mentally ill, especially because of very unhappy or shocking experiences:He works with emotionally disturbed children.unstable having emotions and behaviour that are likely to change suddenly and unexpectedlyPatterns neurotic/​psychotic/​disturbed/​unstable behaviour neurotic/​psychotic illnesses/​disorders/​symptoms/​patients seriously mentally ill/​neurotic/​psychotic/​disturbed emotionally/​mentally disturbed/​unstable
  2. 2unhappy and full of bad or shocking experiences The killer had a disturbed family background.
  3. 3very anxious and unhappy about something I was deeply disturbed and depressed by the news. See related entries: Unhappiness
  4. compare undisturbed
    Extra examples I felt vaguely disturbed by the incident. Many of our patients are severely disturbed. emotionally disturbed children Some of the people on the ward are very disturbed. Their father seems to be seriously disturbed.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: disturbed

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