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Glossary of Psychiatric Terms

Glossary of Psychiatric Terms

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1.GLOSSARY OF PSYCHIATRIC TERMS
2.
Agnosia -
Failure to recognize or identify objects despite intact sensory function; This may be seen in dementia of varioustypes. An example would be the failure of someone to recognize a paper clip placed in their hand while keeping their eyesclosed.
3.
Agnostic alexia
- words can be seen but cannot be read.
4.
Agoraphobia
- literally a fear of the market place. Generally high levels of anxiety and phobic symptoms. May include afear of crowds, open and closed spaces and travelling by public transport
5.
Agraphia -
 The loss of a pre-existing ability to express one's self through the act of writing.
6.
Akinesia
- A state of motor inhibition or reduced voluntary movement.
7.
Akinesia Loss or impairment of voluntary activity.
8.
Akinetic mutism -
A state of apparent alertness with following eye movements but no speech or voluntary motorresponses.
9.
Alexia -
Loss of a previously intact ability to grasp the meaning of written or printed words and sentences.
10.
Alexithymia -
A disturbance in affective and cognitive function that can be present in an assortment of diagnostic entities. The chief manifestations are difficulty in describing or recognizing one's own emotions, a limited fantasy life, and generalconstriction in affective life.
11.
Algophobia -
Fear of pain.
12.
Alienation -
 The estrangement felt in a setting one views as foreign, unpredictable, or unacceptable. For example, indepersonalization phenomena, feelings of unreality or strangeness produce a sense of alienation from one's self orenvironment.
13.
Ambitendency
- series or tentative, incomplete movements carried out when a voluntary action is anticipated.
14.
Ambivalence -
 The coexistence of contradictory emotions, attitudes, ideas, or desires with respect to a particular person,object, or situation. Ordinarily, the ambivalence is not fully conscious and suggests psychopathology only when present in anextreme form.
15.
Amentia -
Subnormal development of the mind, with particular reference to intellectual
16.
Apathy -
Lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern.
17.
Aphasia
An impairment in the understanding or transmission of ideas by language in any of its forms--reading, writing, orspeaking--that is due to injury or disease of the brain centers involved in language.
18.
Aphonia
An inability to produce speech sounds that require the use of the larynx that is not due to a lesion in the centralnervous system.
19.
Apperception
Perception as modified and enhanced by one's own emotions, memories, and biases.
20.
Apraxia:
Inability to carry out previously learned skilled motor activities despite intact comprehension and motor function;this may be seen in dementia.
21.
Assimilation:
A Piagetian term describing a person's ability to comprehend and integrate new experiences.
22.
Astereognosis:
Inability to recognize familiar objects by touch that cannot be explained by a defect of elementary tactilesensation.
23.
Ataxia:
Partial or complete loss of coordination of voluntary muscular movement.
24.
Attention:
 The ability to focus in a sustained manner on a particular stimulus or activity. A disturbance in attention may bemanifested by easy distractibility or difficulty in finishing tasks or in concentrating on work
25.
Aura:
A premonitory, subjective brief sensation (e.g., a flash of light) that warns of an impending headache or convulsion. The nature of the sensation depends on the brain area in which the attack begins. Seen in migraine and epilepsy.
26.
Autoeroticism:
Sensual self-gratification. Characteristic of, but not limited to, an early stage of emotional development.Includes satisfactions derived from genital play, masturbation, fantasy, and oral, anal, and visual sources.
27.
Automatism:
Automatic and apparently undirected non-purposeful behaviour that is not consciously controlled. Seen inpsychomotor epilepsy.28.thought.
29.
Blunted affect
- reduction in emotional expression
30.
Bruxism
Grinding of the teeth, occurs unconsciously while awake or during stage 2 sleep. May be secondary to anxiety,tension, or dental problems.
31.C
32.
Capgras' syndrome
- a person who is familiar to the patient is believed to have been replaced by a double
33.
Catalepsy
Waxy flexibility--rigid maintenance of a body position over an extended period of time.
34.
Cataplexy
Episodes of sudden bilateral loss of muscle tone resulting in the individual collapsing, often in association withintense emotions such as laughter, anger, fear, or surprise.
1
 
35.
Catharsis
The healthful (therapeutic) release of ideas through "talking out" conscious material accompanied by anappropriate emotional reaction. Also, the release into awareness of repressed ("forgotten") material from the unconscious.See also repression.
36.
Cathexis
Attachment, conscious or unconscious, of emotional feeling and significance to an idea, an object, or, mostcommonly, a person.
37.
Causalgia
A sensation of intense pain of either organic or psychological origin.
38.
Central (syntactical) aphasia
- difficult in arranging words in their correct sequence
39.
Central Nervous System (CNS): The brain and spinal cord. The CNS is responsible for coordinating the activities of all parts of the brain and spinal cord.
40.
Cerea flexibilitas
The "waxy flexibility" often present in catatonic schizophrenia in which the patient's arm or leg remainsin the position in which it is placed.
41.
Chronic Schizophrenia (kron-ik skiz-o-fre-ne-ah):A disorder in which the symptoms of schizophrenia persist long-term.
42.
Circumstantiality
- slowed thinking incorporating unnecessary trivial details. Eventually the goal of the thought is reached
43.
CT Scanning (Computerized Tomography) (to-mog-raf-ee):A technique using x-rays or ultrasound waves to produce an image of interior parts of the body. For example, within the skullit can be used to view parts of the brain as an aid to diagnosis.
44.
Clanging
- speech in which words are chosen because of their sounds rather than their meanings. It includes rhyming andpunning
45.
Climacteric
- Menopausal period in women. Sometimes used to refer to the corresponding age period in men. Also calledinvolutional period.
46.
Clouding of consciousness
- the patient is drowsy and does not react completely to stimuli. there is disturbance of attention, concentration, memory, orientation and thinking.
47.
Coenestopathic state
- localized distortion of body awareness
48.
Cognitive -
Pertaining to thoughts or thinking. Cognitive disorders are disorders of thinking, for example, schizophrenia.
49.
Compensation
A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, by which one attempts to make up for real or fancieddeficiencies. Also a conscious process in which one strives to make up for real or imagined defects of physique, performanceskills, or psychological attributes. The two types frequently merge. See also overcompensation.
50.
Conative
Pertains to one's basic strivings as expressed in behaviour and actions
51.
Concrete thinking
- lack of abstract thinking, normal in childhood, and occurring in adults with organic brain disease andschizophrenia
52.
Coprophagia
: Eating of filth or faeces.
53.
Cotard's syndrome
- nihilistic delusional disorder in which, for example, patients believe that their money, friends or bodyparts do not exist
54.
Counterphobia
Deliberately seeking out and exposing onself to, rather than avoiding, the object or situation that isconsciously or unconsciously feared.
55.
Cretinism
A type of mental retardation and bodily malformation caused by severe, uncorrected thyroid deficiency in infancyand early childhood.
56.
Cri du chat
A type of mental retardation. The name is derived from a catlike cry emitted by children with this disorder,which is caused by partial deletion of chromosome
57.
Da Costa's syndrome
Neurocirculatory asthenia; "soldier's heart"; a functional disorder of the circulatory system that isusually a part of an anxiety state or secondary to hyperventilation.
58.
Decompensation
The deterioration of existing defenses, leading to an exacerbation of pathological behavior.
59.
Déjà pensé
- illusion of recognition of a new thought
60.
Déjà vu
- illusion or recognition of a situation
61.
Delirium
- disorder of consciousness in which the patient is bewildered, disoriented and restless. There may be associatedfear and hallucinations
62.
Delusion
- false personal belief based on incorrect inference about external reality and firmly held despite evidence to thecontrary. Not explicable on the grounds of the patients cultural or social background.
63.
Delusion (illusion) of doubles (
l'illusion de soises) - delusional belief that a person known to an individual has beenreplaced by a double. It is seen in Capgras' syndrome.
64.
Delusional jealousy
The delusion that one's sexual partner is unfaithful. erotomanic A delusion that another person,usually of higher status, is in love with the individual.
65.
Delusional perception
- new and delusional significance is attached to a familiar real perception without any logicalreason.
66.
Delusions of infidelity
- (pathological jealousy, delusional jealousy, Othello's syndrome) delusional belief that one's spouseor lover is being unfaithful.
2
 
67.
Delusions of reference
- the behaviour of others or objects and event (e.g. television broadcasts) believed to refer tooneself in particular. When similar thoughts are held with less than delusional intensity they are called ideas of reference.
68.
Dementia
- global organic impairment of intellectual functioning without impairment of consciousness.
69.
Denial
- defense mechanism in which the subject acts as if consciously unaware of a wish or reality.
70.
Depersonalization
An alteration in the perception or experience of the self so that one feels detached from, and as if one isan outside observer of, one's mental processes or body (e.g., feeling like one is in a dream).
71.
Depressive retardation
- lesser form of psychomotor retardation which occurs in depression.
72.
Derailment
("loosening of associations") A pattern of speech in which a person's ideas slip off one track onto another that iscompletely unrelated or only obliquely related. In moving from one sentence or clause to another, the person shifts the topicidiosyncratically from one frame of reference to another and things may be said in juxtaposition that lack a meaningfulrelationship. This disturbance occurs between clauses, in contrast to incoherence, in which the disturbance is within clauses.An occasional change of topic without warning or obvious connection does not constitute derailment.
73.
signals, while the other person is unable either to comment on the incongruity or to escape from the situation.
74.
Drive
Basic urge, instinct, motivation; a term used to avoid confusion with the more purely biological concept of instinct.
75.
DSM-IV
- fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American PsychiatricAssociation, Washington DC (1994). Multiaxial classification with 5 axes.
76.
Dyad
A two-person relationship, such as the therapeutic relationship between doctor and patient in individualpsychotherapy.
77.
Dysarthria
Imperfect articulation of speech due to disturbances of muscular control or in coordination.
78.
Ego
- part of the mental apparatus that is present at the interface of the perceptual and internal demand systems. Itcontrols voluntary thoughts and actions, and, at an unconscious level, defense mechanisms.
79.
Egomania
- pathological preoccupation with oneself.
80.
Eidetic image
- vivid and detailed reproduction of a previous perception e.g. a photographic memory.
81.
Elaboration
An unconscious process consisting of expansion and embellishment of detail, especially with reference to asymbol or representation in a dream.
82.
Elevated mood
An exaggerated feeling of well-being, or euphoria or elation. A person with elevated mood may describefeeling "high," "ecstatic," "on top of the world," or "up in the clouds."
83.
Engram
A memory trace; a neurophysiological process that accounts for persistence of memory
84.
Erotomania
(de Clérambault's syndrome) - patient holds the delusional belief that someone else, usually of a higher socialor professional status, is in love with them.
85.
Ethnology
A science that concerns itself with the division of human beings into races and their origin, distribution, relations,and characteristics.
86.
Euphoric mood
- exaggerated feeling of well-being. It is pathological.
87.
Euthymic
Mood in the "normal" range, which implies the absence of depressed or elevated mood.
88.
Expansive mood
Lack of restraint in expressing one's feelings, frequently with an overvaluation of one's significance orimportance. irritable Easily annoyed and provoked to anger.
89.
Extracampine hallucination
- hallucination occurring outside one's sensory field.
90.
Extraversion
A state in which attention and energies are largely directed outward from the self as opposed to inwardtoward the self, as in introversion.
91.
Fantasy
An imagined sequence of events or mental images (e.g., daydreams) that serves to express unconscious conflicts,to gratify unconscious wishes, or to prepare for anticipated future events.
92.
Flashback 
A recurrence of a memory, feeling, or perceptual experience from the past.
93.
Flat affect
- almost no emotional expression at all -the patient typically has an immobile face and monotonous voice.
94.
Flight of ideas
- speech consists of a stream of accelerated thoughts with abrupt changes from topic to topic and nocentral direction. the connections between the thoughts may be based on chance relationships, verbal associations (e.g.alliteration and assonance), clang associations and distracting stimuli.
95.
Folie à deux
A shared psychotic disorder between 2 people, usually people who are mutually dependent upon each other.
96.
Formal thought disorder
An inexact term referring to a disturbance in the form of thinking rather than to abnormality of content. See blocking; loosening of associations; poverty of speech.
97.
Formication
The tactile hallucination or illusion that insects are crawling on the body or under the skin.
98.
Free association
In psychoanalytic therapy, spontaneous, uncensored verbalization by the patient of whatever comes tomind.
99.
Free-floating anxiety
- pervasive and unfocused anxiety.
100.
Fregoli's syndrome
- patient believes that a familiar person, who is often believed to be the person's persecutor,has taken on different appearances.
101.
Freudian slips (parapraxes)
- unconscious thoughts slipping through when one is off guard.
3

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