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List of Useful Psych Terms

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List of Useful Psych Terms

Postby orion13213 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:59 am

Warning: potential triggers for persons with PD's or mental illness/other conditions.
Was looking through some of my e folders, and I found this excellent list of psych terms, useful for those with personality disorders, or their significant others, families and friends. Mostly from a prior post by Moderator Wineaux, from the BPD forum, July 2012. Thanx Wineaux! 8)
If you have constructive comments or additions, PM me with them, so the list can be periodically revised.

ABUSIVE CYCLE - The Abusive Cycle describes the characteristic rotation between destructive and constructive behavior that typically exists in dysfunctional relationships and dysfunctional families.

ALIENATION - Alienation means interfering or cutting a person off from relationships with others. This can be done by manipulating the attitudes and behaviors of the victim or of the people with whom they come in contact. The victim's relationships with others may be sabotaged through verbal pressure, threats, diversions, distortion campaigns and systems of rewards and punishments.

ALWAYS AND NEVER STATEMENTS - "Always" & "Never" Statements are declarations containing the words "always" or "never". They are commonly used but rarely true.

ANGER - People who suffer from personality disorders often feel a sense of unresolved anger and a heightened or exaggerated perception that they have been wronged, invalidated, neglected or abused. In objective terms this can be exaggerated, or justified. Their significant others, friends and family members can also become angry.

AVOIDANCE - Avoidance is the practice of withdrawing from relationships with other people as a defensive measure to reduce the risk of rejection, accountability, criticism or exposure.

BAITING AND PICKING FIGHTS - Baiting and Picking Fights is the practice of generating a provocative action or statement for the purpose of obtaining an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another person.

BELITTLING, CONDESCENDING AND PATRONIZING - Belittling, condescending & patronizing speech is a passive-aggressive approach to giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness.

BLAMING - Blaming is the practice of identifying a person or people who is actually or allegedly responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying constructive ways of dealing with the problem.

BULLYING - Bullying is any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.

CATASTROPHIZING - Catastrophizing is the habit of automatically assuming a "worst case scenario" and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.

CHAOS MANUFACTURE - Chaos Manufacture is the practice of unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess (also see SABOTAGE).

CHEATING - Cheating is sharing a romantic or intimate relationship with somebody when you are already committed to a monogamous relationship with someone else. Cheating can be at least emotional (symbolic), and/or involve physical sexual contact.

CHRONIC BROKEN PROMISES - Repeatedly making and then breaking commitments and promises is a common trait among people who suffer from personality disorders.

CIRCULAR CONVERSATIONS - Circular Conversations are arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no real resolution (also see MANIPULATION).

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE - Cognitive Dissonance is a psychological term for the discomfort that most people feel when they encounter information which contradicts their existing set of beliefs or values. People who suffer from personality disorders often experience cognitive dissonance when they are confronted with evidence that their actions have hurt others or have contradicted their stated morals (also see CONFIRMATION BIAS).

CONFIRMATION BIAS - Confirmation Bias is the tendency to pay more attention to things which reinforce your beliefs than to things which contradict them (also see COGNITIVE DISSONANCE).

CONTROL-ME SYNDROME "Control-Me" Syndrome describes a tendency that some people have to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or "acting-out" nature.

CRUELTY TO ANIMALS - Acts of Cruelty to Animals have been statistically discovered to occur more often in people who suffer from personality disorders than in the general population. In some cases of Anti-social Personality Disorder, cruelty to animals is a self-teaching precursor to future cruelty to human beings.

DENIAL - Denial is the practice of believing or imagining that some painful or traumatic circumstance, event or memory does not exist or did not happen.

DEPENDENCY - Dependency is an inappropriate and chronic reliance by an adult individual on another individual for their health, subsistence, decision making or personal and emotional well-being.

DEPRESSION - When you feel sadder than you think you should, for longer than you think you should - but still can't seem to break out of it - that's depression. People who suffer from personality disorders are often also diagnosed with depression resulting from mistreatment at the hands of others, low self-worth and the results of their own poor choices.

DISSOCIATION - Dissociation is a psychological term used to describe a mental departure from reality. Wikipedia further explains that “it is often experienced as a wide array of experiences, from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experience. It is commonly displayed on a continuum. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality – rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis. In mild cases, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism or defense mechanisms in seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress – including boredom or conflict. At the non-pathological end of the continuum, dissociation describes common events such as daydreaming while driving a vehicle. Further along the continuum are non-pathological altered states of consciousness. More pathological dissociation involves dissociative disorders, including dissociative fugue and depersonalization disorder with or without alterations in personal identity or sense of self. These alterations can include: a sense that self or the world is unreal (depersonalization and de-realization); a loss of memory (amnesia); forgetting identity or assuming a new self (fugue); and fragmentation of identity or self into separate streams of consciousness.”

DIVIDE AND CONQUER - Divide and Conquer is a method of gaining and advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.

DOMESTIC THEFT - Domestic theft is consuming or taking control of a resource or asset belonging to (or shared with) a family member, partner or spouse without first obtaining their approval.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE - Emotional Abuse is any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of Fear, Obligation or Guilt (FOG).

EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL - Emotional Blackmail describes the use of a system of threats and punishments on a person by someone close to them in an attempt to control their behaviors.

ENGULFMENT - Engulfment is an unhealthy and overwhelming level of attention and dependency on a spouse, partner or family member, which comes from imagining or believing that one exists only within the context of that relationship.

ENTITLEMENT - Entitlement or a 'Sense of Entitlement' is an unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.

ESCAPE TO FANTASY - Escape to Fantasy is sometimes practiced by people who present a facade to friends, partners and family members. Their true identity and feelings are commonly expressed privately in an alternate fantasy world.

FALSE ACCUSATIONS - False accusations, distortion campaigns & smear campaigns are patterns of unwarranted or exaggerated criticisms which occur when a personality disordered individual tries to feel better about themselves by putting down someone else - usually a family member, spouse, partner, friend or colleague.

FAVORITISM - Favoritism is the practice of systematically giving positive, preferential treatment to one child, subordinate or associate among a group of peers.

FEAR OF ABANDONMENT - Fear of abandonment is a pattern of irrational thought exhibited by some personality-disordered individuals, which causes them to occasionally think that they are in imminent danger of being rejected, discarded or replaced by someone close to them. Fear of abandonment is particular observed in people affected with Borderline Personality Disorder, but it can also be seen in other personality-disordered individuals.

FEELINGS OF EMPTINESS - Some personality disordered individuals experience a chronic and acute sense of nothingness or emptiness, so that their own existence has little worth or significance outside of the context of strong physical sensations and relationships with others. Their inner sensation is like a void.

FRIVOLOUS LITIGATIONS AND FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS - Frivolous Litigation and Frivolous Lawsuits are methods of withholding support, harassing or prolonging conflict by bringing unsubstantiated accusations, merit-less appeals or diversionary process into a relationship or a former relationship using the court system as a proxy. This behavior often occurs in association with divorce and child-custody legal episodes (also see PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME).

GASLIGHTING - Gaslighting is the practice of systematically convincing an individual that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term "Gaslighting" is taken from the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”.

HARASSMENT - Harassment is any sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior from one individual to another (also see STALKING).

HIGH AND LOW FUNCTIONING - A High-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is able to conceal their dysfunctional behavior in certain public settings and maintain a positive public or professional profile while exposing their negative traits to family members behind closed doors. A Low-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is unable to conceal their dysfunctional behavior from public view or maintain a positive public or professional profile.

HOARDING - Hoarding is the practice of accumulating items to an extent that it becomes detrimental to quality of lifestyle, comfort, security or hygiene.

HOLIDAY, ANIVERSARY & MEMORY TRIGGERS - Mood Swings in personality disordered individuals are often triggered or amplified by emotional events such as family holidays, significant anniversaries and events which trigger emotional memories.

HOOVERS & HOOVERING - A Hoover is a metaphor, taken from the popular brand of vacuum cleaners, to describe how an abuse victim, trying to assert their own rights by leaving or limiting contact in a dysfunctional relationship, gets "sucked back in," when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.

HYPER VIGILANCE - Hyper Vigilance is the practice of maintaining an unhealthy level of interest in the behaviors, comments, thoughts and interests of others.

HYSTERIA - Hysteria is inappropriate over-reaction to bad news or disappointments, which diverts attention away from the problem and towards the person who is having the reaction. Hysteria is also the Freudian diagnosis for what might be today considered a less severe variation of Histrionic Personality Disorder.

IDENTITY DISTURBANCE - Identity disturbance is a psychological term used to describe a distorted or inconsistent self-view.

IMPOSED ISOLATION - Isolation from friends, family and supportive communities is common among victims of abuse. Isolation is sometimes caused by an abusive person who does not want their victim to have close relationships with others who may challenge their behavior. Often, isolation is self-imposed by abuse victims, who out of a sense of shame or guilt, fear the judgment of others (also see GASLIGHTING).

IMPULSIVENESS AND IMPULSIVITY - Impulsiveness - or Impulsivity - is the tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning.

INFANTILIZATION - Infantilization is the practice of treating a child as if they are much younger than their actual age, thus stunting the maturation process of the child. An Infantilizer often has a personal conscious or unconscious psychological agenda which motivates them.

INTIMIDATION - Intimidation is any form of veiled, hidden, indirect or non-verbal threat.

INVALIDATION - Invalidation is the creation or promotion of an environment which encourages an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless.

LACK OF CONSCIENCE - Individuals who suffer from personality disorders are often preoccupied with their own agendas, sometimes to the exclusion of the needs and concerns of others. This is sometimes interpreted by others as a lack of moral conscience.

LACK OF OBJECT CONSTANCY - A lack of object constancy is a symptom of some personality disorders. Lack of object constancy is the inability to remember that people or objects are consistent, trustworthy and reliable, especially when they are out of your immediate field of vision. Object constancy is a developmental skill which most children do not develop until 2 or 3 years of age.

LOW SELF-ESTEEM - Low Self-Esteem is the common term used to describe a group of negatively-distorted self-views which are inconsistent with reality.

MANIPULATION - Manipulation is the practice of baiting an individual or group of individuals into a certain response or reaction pattern for the purpose of achieving a hidden personal goal.

MASKING - Masking describes the practice of covering up one's own natural outward appearance, mannerisms and speech in dramatic and inconsistent ways depending on the situation.

MIRRORING - Mirroring is a term which describes imitating or copying another person's characteristics, behaviors or traits.

MOMENTS OF CLARITY - Moments of Clarity are spontaneous, temporary periods when a person with a personality disorder is able to see beyond their own world view and can, for a brief period, understand, acknowledge, articulate and begin to make amends for their dysfunctional behavior.

MOOD SWINGS - Mood swings are unpredictable, rapid, dramatic emotional cycles which cannot be readily explained by changes in external circumstances.

MUNCHAUSEN’S and MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY SYNDROME (MBPS) - Munchausen's Syndrome is a disorder in which an individual repeatedly fakes or exaggerates their own illness or medical symptoms in order to manipulate the attentions of medical professionals or caregivers. Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (MBPS) is a similar syndrome in which another individual, commonly a child, is substituted for the patient and made the focus of inappropriate medical attention.

NAME-CALLING - Name-Calling is a form of Verbal Abuse which people sometimes indulge in when their emotional thought processes take control from their rational thought processes.

NARCISSISM - Narcissism is a term used to describe a set of behaviors characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, self-centered focus, need for admiration, self-serving attitude and a lack of empathy or consideration for others. The name comes from the Greek Mythological Character Narcissus, who rejected love from others and fell in love with his own reflection in the water. These characteristics are common in people who suffer from personality disorders, especially Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

NEGLECT - Neglect is a passive form of abuse in which the physical or emotional needs of a dependent are disregarded or ignored by the person responsible for them.

NOT MY FAULT SYNDROME - "Not My Fault" Syndrome is the practice of avoiding personal responsibility for one's own words and actions.

NO-WIN SCENARIO - No-Win Scenarios and LOSE-LOSE SCENARIOS are situations commonly created by people who suffer from personality disorders where they present two bad options to someone close to them and pressure them into choosing between the two. This usually leaves the non-personality-disordered person with a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" feeling.

OBJECTIFICATION - Objectification is the practice of treating a person or a group of people like an object.

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR - Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior is characterized by an inflexible adherence to arbitrary rules & systems or an illogical affinity to cleanliness and orderly structure.

PANIC ATTACKS - Panic Attacks are short intense episodes of fear or anxiety, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as hyperventilating, shaking, sweating and chills.

PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME - Parental Alienation Syndrome is a term which is used to describe the process by which one parent, who is typically divorced or separated from the other biological parent, uses their influence to make a child believe that the other estranged parent is bad, evil or worthless (also see FRIVOLOUS LITIGATIONS AND FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS).

PARENTIFICATION - Parentification is a form of role reversal, in which a child of a personality-disordered parent is inappropriately given the role of meeting the emotional or physical needs of the parent and/or of the other children.

PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR - Passive Aggressive behavior is the expression of negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive, passive way (such as through procrastination, stubbornness, and intellectual arguments).

PATHOLOGICAL LYING - Pathological lying is persistent deception to serve one's own interests with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.

PERFECTIONISM - Perfectionism is the practice of holding oneself or others to an unrealistic, unsustainable or unattainable standard of organization, order or accomplishment in one particular area of living, while sometimes neglecting common standards of organization, order or accomplishment in others.

PHYSICAL ABUSE - Physical Abuse is any form of voluntary behavior by one individual which promotes pain, disease or discomfort on another or deprives them of necessary health, nutrition and comfort.

PROJECTION - Projection is the act of attributing one's own feelings or traits onto another person and imagining or believing that the other person has those same feelings or traits.

PROXY RECRUITMENT - Proxy Recruitment is a way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing you up, speaking for you or "doing your dirty work" for you.

PUSH-PULL (OR PULL-PUSH) - Push-Pull is a chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness a relationship without appropriate cause or reason.

RAGING, VIOLENCE AND IMPULSIVE AGGRESSION - Raging, Violence and Impulsive Aggression are explosive verbal, physical or emotional elevations of a dispute. Rages threaten the security or safety of another individual and violate their personal boundaries.

RANKING AND COMPARING - Ranking is the practice of drawing unnecessary and inappropriate comparisons between individuals or groups for the purpose of raising one's own self-esteem or lowering someone else's sense of self-worth relative to a peer group.

RIDING THE EMOTIONAL ELEVATOR - The Emotional Elevator is a way of describing how people who suffer from personality disorders and those closest to them sometimes take a fast track down to different levels of emotional maturity. A somewhat similar term, that refers more to emotional ups and downs, is “riding the roller coaster.”

SABOTAGE - Sabotage is the spontaneous disruption of calm or status quo in order to serve a personal interest, provoke a conflict or draw attention (also see CHAOS MANUFACTURE).

SCAPEGOATING - Scapegoating is the practice of singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.

SELECTIVE MEMORY and SELECTIVE AMNESIA - Selective Memory and Selective Amnesia is the use of memory, or a lack of memory, which is selective to the point of reinforcing a bias, belief or desired outcome.

SELECTIVE COMPETENCE - Selective Competence is the practice of demonstrating different levels of intelligence, resourcefulness, strength or competence depending on the situation or environment.

SELF-AGGRANDIZEMENT - Self-Aggrandizement is a pattern of pompous behavior, boasting, narcissism or competitiveness, designed to create an appearance of superiority.

SELF-HARM - Self Harm, also known as self-mutilation, self-injury or self-abuse is any form of deliberate, premeditated injury inflicted on oneself, common among adolescents and among people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. Most common forms are cutting and poisoning/overdosing. In particular, cutting can release analgesic endorphins, which paradoxically can produce a feeling of well-being in the affected person.

SELF-LOATHING - Self-Loathing is an extreme self-hatred of one's own self, actions or one's ethnic or demographic background.

SELF-VICTIMIZATON - Self-Victimization or "playing the victim" is the act of casting oneself as a victim in order to control others by soliciting a sympathetic response from them or diverting their attention away from abusive behavior.

SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION - Sexual Objectification is the act of viewing another individual in terms of their sexual usefulness or attractiveness rather than pursuing or engaging in a quality of personal relationship with them.

SHAMING - The difference between blaming and shaming is that in blaming someone tells you that you did something bad, in shaming someone tells you that you are something bad.

SILENT TREATMENT - The Silent Treatment is a passive aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence.

SITUATIONAL ETHICS - Situational Ethics is a philosophy which promotes the idea that, when dealing with a crisis, the end justifies the means and that a rigid interpretation of rules and laws can be temporarily set aside if a greater good or lesser evil is served by doing so. However, situational ethics can be dangerous when combined with the distorted, crisis-prone thinking of those who suffer from personality disorders.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION - Sleep Deprivation is the practice of routinely interrupting, impeding or restricting another person's sleep cycle.

SPLITTING - Splitting is a psychological term used to describe the practice of thinking about people and situations in extremes and regarding them as completely "good" or "bad".

STALKING - Stalking is any pervasive and unwelcome pattern of pursuing contact with another individual (also see HARRASSMENT).

STUNTED EMOTIONAL GROWTH - Stunted Emotional Growth is a difficulty, reluctance or inability to learn from mistakes, work on self-improvement or develop more effective coping strategies (also see INFANTILIZATION).

TARGETED HUMOR, MOCKING & SARCASM - Targeted Humor is any sustained pattern of joking, sarcasm or mockery which is designed to reduce another individual's reputation in their own eyes or in the eyes of others.

TESTING - Testing is the practice of repeatedly forcing another individual to demonstrate or prove their love or commitment to the relationship. Somewhat similar to the term, “sh_t test.”

THREATS - Threats are written or verbal warnings of intentional, inappropriate, destructive actions or consequences.

THOUGHT POLICING - Thought Policing is any process of trying to question, control, or unduly influence another person's thoughts or feelings.

TRIGGERING - Triggers are small, insignificant or minor actions, statements or events that produce a dramatic or inappropriate response.

TUNNEL VISION - Tunnel Vision is the habit or tendency to only see or focus on a single priority while neglecting or ignoring other important priorities.

VERBAL ABUSE - Verbal Abuse is any kind of repeated pattern of inappropriate, derogatory or threatening speech directed at one individual by another.

Additional important terms:

ADJUSTMENT DISORDERS
Adjustment disorders are behavioral or emotional problems that start within 3 months after the onset of a stressor and end within 6 months after the stressor is removed. If the stressor continues, the problems may also continue and still be classified as an adjustment disorder.

AFFECT
Affect is displayed emotion. A person with flat affect does not display emotion; depressed people display sad, unhappy, affect. Psychosis is sometimes accompanied by inappropriate affect, for example by laughing when most people in the situation would be crying. Patients in the manic phase of bipolar disorder display overexcited, overoptimistic, exaggerated, affect.

AGORAPHOBIA
Agoraphobia was named after phobia (fear) of the agora (marketplace), but its modern meaning is fear of any open places.

AMNESIA
Amnesia is loss of memory; it is retrograde if memories before a fixed event are lost, and anterograde if memories after a fixed event are lost. An individual may have both kinds of amnesia.

ANTIANXIETY DRUGS (ALSO CALLED HYPNOANXIOLYTICS)
Drugs that have sedative effects (hence, "hypno") and reduce anxiety (hence, "anxiolytic"). All or nearly all of them are benzodiazepines or barbiturates.

ANXIETY
Anxiety is fear brought about by anticipation of a negative event; normal anxiety may be adaptive because it heightens alertness and prepares an individual for action. Abnormal, unrealistic anxiety is a miserable condition that paralyzes the victim and prevents normal behavior. Anxiety involves bodily changes as well as subjective experience.

COGNITIVE DISORDERS
Cognitive disorders are any disorders whose primary symptom is disordered thinking, as in dementia, delirium, or amnesia.

COMPULSIONS
Behaviors individuals engage in to control or reduce their obsessive thoughts/worries (see below). Typical compulsions involve hand washing to reduce the worry about germs, or mirror checking to reduce the worry that some physical characteristic is too noticeable. For the behavior to be considered a compulsion, however, it must interfere with normal functioning. For example, the person is late to work because each time he/she is about to leave the house he/she feels the need to do the behavior again, just one more time.

CRAVING
In the context of mental disorders, cravings, or strong desires, are usually for forbidden substances or behaviors. The former include illegal drugs (or sometimes prescription drugs), and legal drugs like nicotine and alcohol. The behavioral category includes hand-washing and eating compulsions, forbidden sexual behavior, and gambling.

DELIRIUM
Delirium is a severe disturbance in consciousness and thought that is not better accounted for by dementia. Delirium is likely to have a sudden onset, be variable, and have a better chance of remission than dementia.

DELUSIONS
Fixed beliefs that are not based in reality. In addition, this fixed belief cannot be changed by someone who provides evidence that it is incorrect. Typical delusions: being persecuted (persecutory delusion), being capable of incredible feats (grandiose delusion), etc.

DEMENTIA
The dementias are severe disturbances in thought and memory. The onset of dementia is usually gradual, and, as things stand in the year 2000, most, but not all, cases are irreversible.

DISORGANIZED BEHAVIOR
Behavior that erratically changes from one type to the next, such as suddenly from happy to angry. Usually the behavior is extreme, whatever it is, and inappropriate to the situation.

DISORGANIZED SPEECH
Speech that erratically changes from one subject to the next. It may be nonsensical or not, but it is unrelated to the situation. Inhibits the person's ability to communicate and to make his/herself understood.

DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS
The essential feature of dissociative disorders is a splitting, or dissociation. The splitting may be a splitting off of part of memory, in which case the victim loses a period of time or memories of a specific topic; it may be of the personality, in which case the person may seem to have multiple identities; or it may be a splitting from the environment, in which the person no longer seems to be "in the world."

DSM-IV
(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition). The DSM-IV is the reference book used by mental health professionals in the United States and in other countries to diagnose mental health disorders. Because of this, we used it as the basis for our descriptions of the various mental health disorders on this site. The diagnoses in DSM-IV were coordinated with those in the International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10) in order to facilitate communication between mental health professionals in different countries. We rearranged the presentation slightly to make it easier for you to find information on our web site, but nearly all of the Disorders in DSM-IV are, or will be, indexed on this web site.

DYS-
Dys is a syllable meaning "ill" or "bad" that combines with other elements that specify what it is that is bad; for example, dystonia means bad muscle tone, which sometimes occurs as spasms that result from taking antipsychotic medications. Ego-dystonic refers to conditions that the person finds unpleasant, or inconsistent with his or her picture of himself or herself.

DYSSOMNIA
Dyssomnia is the general name for any kind of sleep disorder, whether it involves difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, getting restful sleep, or the opposite, difficulty staying awake.

EATING DISORDER
The best-known eating disorders are those of adulthood, anorexia nervosa and bulimia, but there are also serious eating disorders of childhood; pica and rumination are the most dramatic examples.

ECHOLALIA
Echolalia is speech that echoes what was just heard; echolalia occurs frequently in autistic children.

FACTITIOUS
Artificial or contrived; hence a factitious disorder is "made up," not genuine.

GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID (GABA)
GABA is a neurotransmitter that usually inhibits brain activity. The primary action of most benzodiazepines is that they enhance the effects of GABA.

GENERIC DRUGS
Generic drugs are drugs whose "copyright" has expired. The names reflect the chemical structure of the drug, but they are not formal chemical names. The same drug, once it is eligible for generic status, may be manufactured under different brand names by different companies.

HALLUCINATIONS
Perceptions of something that is not real. For example, the person hears voices others cannot hear (auditory hallucinations), sees things others cannot see (visual hallucinations), smells odors others cannot smell (olfactory hallucinations), feels he/she is being touched by something others cannot see, or tastes something he/she has not ingested.

HYPERSOMNIA
means sleeping too much (also see INSOMNIA)

HYPERVIGILANCE
A person who is hypervigilant is extremely anxious and worried that something bad will happen. He/she therefore is excessively aware of his/her surroundings, so as to "catch" the harm that is approaching.

HYPNOANXIOLYTICS (see antianxiety drugs)

IDEAS OF REFERENCE
Involve the belief that one is the point of reference for whatever surrounds us. Typically, a person with ideas of reference believes that the people that are talking on television or the radio are speaking directly him/her, or that people, even strangers, are talking about him or her, although other types are also found.

INAPPROPRIATE AFFECT
When a person's emotional state is not related to the situation, he/she is said to have inappropriate affect. For example, the person may laugh in the presence of pain or suffering.

INSOMNIA
is difficulty in sleeping (also see HYPERSOMNIA).

MOOD
"Mood" usually connotes a longer-term emotional tone than does "affect." Mood may also be taken to mean a more internal and less observable state than affect. When we say we're in a bad mood, we mean that our state has endured for a while and makes our experience of external events more negative; a "good mood" does the opposite. Depressed people have enduring sad, negative, often guilt-ridden, moods.

MONOAMINE OXIDASE INHIBITORS (MAOIs)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) increase the activity of serotonin by preventing its breakdown by monoamine oxidase. Thus these anti-depressants increase neural activity by inhibiting an inhibitor of serotonin.

NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS
Refers to symptoms of schizophrenia. Negative symptoms involve absence of behaviors or "less" of the behaviors. Examples are flat affect, apathy, less movement, or social isolation.

OBSESSIONS
Thoughts/worries that one cannot get out of one's head. The obsession occupies the person's thoughts constantly. The person may find that engaging in certain behaviors calms the obsession, and therefore begins to have compulsions. For example, a person obsessed with germs cannot function in his/her daily life because every activity is evaluated as to the danger of being exposed to germs. Such individuals may engage in frequent hand washing (a compulsion) to calm the thoughts and worries about germs.

PANIC ATTACKS
Panic attacks are experiences of great fear, accompanied by physiological changes like rapid respiration, heart rate, high blood pressure, flushing, and sweating. The attacks may be precipitated by either real or imaginary events, but in either case are abnormally extreme reactions to the situation.

PARANOIA
When a person is suspicious of people and situations, and that suspiciousness has no basis in reality, he/she is said to be experiencing paranoia. Paranoia involves paranoid ideas (paranoid ideation) that is delusional (see "delusions").

PARAPHILIA
A paraphilia is a sexual practice that is socially prohibited, and it can be illegal as well. The most common example which is both socially prohibited and illegal in most cultures is pedophilia, or sex with children.

PHOBIAS
Phobias are abnormal fears of specific situations, usually those in which the phobic individual would not feel a sense of control. Examples include fear of being in enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) and its opposite, fear of being in open places (agoraphobia).

POSITIVE SYMPTOMS
Refers to symptoms of schizophrenia. Positive symptoms are exaggerations of normal functioning or occurrence of behaviors that should not be occurring. Positive symptoms include disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, hallucinations, etc. As you can see, positive does not mean "good" in this case, it means "present," or "noticeable."

PROGNOSIS
The prognosis for a mental problem is its expected course and outcome.

PSYCHOSIS
Most definitions of psychosis require a diagnosis of severe functional impairment that follows a more normal adjustment; schizophrenia is the classical form of psychosis, but delirium and the dementias would also be included as psychotic reactions according to most definitions. Mental retardation, although it may involve severe functional impairment, is not regarded as a psychosis unless it is accompanied by psychotic symptoms like hallucinations or delusions.

SCHIZOPHRENIA
Schizophrenia is a severe form of psychosis whose symptoms often include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and behavior, illogical thought, social withdrawal, and inappropriate affect. To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, the person must have been disturbed for at least 6 months.

SEROTONIN
Serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter whose activity is regulated by serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); these drugs have an anti-depressant effect because they decrease the clearing of serotonin from the synaptic area, and thus increase its activity. Similarly, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) increase the activity of serotonin by preventing its breakdown by monoamine oxidase.

THOUGHT DISORDER
A person is said to be thought disordered when others cannot follow his/her train of thought because it is not logical.
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Re: List of Useful Psych Terms

Postby orion13213 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:00 pm

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Be tolerant of others, but true to yourself. In supporting you, I try to offer common sense. PM me if you need to.
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orion13213
Consumer 6
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