A tale of mental illness | Elyn Saks

Important Vocabulary Words From The Video


Sombrely means solemnly or with a sense of weight. When he said sombrely that he was sorry, he meant it was really serious.

  • The funeral was sombrely attended.
  • The movie was sombrely received by the critics.

When someone speaks or writes in an incoherent manner, they don't make sense. They might not be able to string together a series of coherent words.

  • His speech was full of incoherence and errors.
  • The article was full of incoherent sentences and grammatical errors.

When someone is unkempt, they are not properly dressed or groomed. They might have dirty hair, a messy desk, or clothes that are not clean.

  • He looked unkempt and he didn't have any clean clothes.
  • The house was unkempt and dirty.

gibbering is a type of speech that is characterized by incoherent or meaningless words. It's usually used when someone is extremely upset or scared.

  • He was gibbering and shaking uncontrollably.
  • The victim was gibbering and incoherent after the attack.

To swoop is to move quickly and forcefully towards something. When the birds swoop down to eat worms, they are taking advantage of their speed and strength to get the job done.

  • The birds swooped down to eat the worms, and they quickly got the job done.
  • The company swooped in to buy the company that was going bankrupt.

To aspirate is to breathe in a lungful of air. When you aspirate, you breathe in all of the air that you can.

  • He aspirated when he coughed up the blood.
  • The baby aspirated when he coughed up his food.

Schizophrenics are people who have a mental illness that causes them to experience hallucinations and delusions. These hallucinations and delusions can be very confusing and scary.

  • He was diagnosed with schizophrenia a few years ago, and it's been difficult ever since.
  • She has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and she experiences a lot of hallucinations.

To criminalize something is to make it illegal. When the government criminalizes drugs, they are making it illegal to use or sell those drugs.

  • The government is criminalizing the use of drugs.
  • The government is criminalizing the sale of drugs.