There are examples at dictionary.com on uses of 'schadenfreude'.

But what is the correct way to describe a person that has/uses/suffers from schadenfreude as part of a personality disorder/mental illness?

She suffers from schadenfreude? She's diagnosed with schadenfreude? She delights in schadenfreude? (probably not as the word itself tells us of the delight) She engages in schadenfreude? She commits schadenfreude?

I've no idea how to describe someone's mental illness where the primary symptom of this illness is schadenfreude.

What is the correct way to say this?


I see from the comments/answer that the question is wrong - I've asked correctly with more details here: Term for ASPD Specific for Causing Pain to Others

  • $\begingroup$ I don't think schadenfreude is an illness or something other you can suffer. The way I understand, it's simply being able to laugh about painful situation, such as slapstick humour $\endgroup$ May 9, 2017 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ Schadenfreude isn't a mental illness. It's an emotion ("I feel schadenfreude"). $\endgroup$
    – mrt
    May 9, 2017 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @mrt et al. Can one of the commenters turn their views into an answer? It's perfectly reasonable to explain the difference between an emotion and an illness and/or point OP to an incorrect question premise. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    May 12, 2017 at 7:06

1 Answer 1


Schadenfreude is an emotion only the German language has a word for. Put simply it is a person enjoying someone else’s misfortune. It does not matter if its monetary, a divorce, a failed exam, or the person being yelled at by the boss…

Link Definition:https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/schadenfreude

Definitely not a mental illness. (for details on mental illness see ICD-10 Fxx.xy. Link: http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/)


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