Abreaction: An emotional release or discharge after recalling a painful experience that has been repressed becau
Abulia: A lack of will or motivation which is often expressed as inability to make decisions or set goals. Q
Acalculia: The loss of a previously possessed ability to calculate mathematically.
Acculturation Difficulty: A problem stemming from an inability to appropriately adapt to a different culture or environment, t
Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter in the brain, which helps to regulate memory, and in the peripheral nervous syste
Acting Out: This is the process of expressing unconscious emotional conflicts or feelings via actions rather tha
Actualization: The realization of ones full potential intellectual, psychological, physical
Acute Dystonia: An extrapyramidal symptom caused by some antipsychotics which takes the form of involuntary twisting
Acute Schizophrenia: (a-cute skiz-o-fre-ne-ah) The height of symptoms of schizophrenia.
Adiadochokinesia: The inability to perform rapid alternating movements of one or more of the extremities. This task i
Affect: pattern of observable behaviours which is the expression of a subjectively experienced feeling state
Affective Disorder: (ah-feck-tiv dis-or-der) A mental disorder in which the main symptom is an abnormal mood; usually de
Affective Flattening: Limited range and intensity of emotional expression. A negative symptom of schizophrenia.
Affective Symptoms: Symptoms of schizophrenia that relate to mood or emotional expression.
Age-Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI): The mild disturbance in memory function that occurs normally with aging; benign senescent forgetful
Agitation: Excessive motor activity that accompanies and is associated with a feeling of inner tension. The ac
Agnosia: Failure to recognize or identify objects despite intact sensory function; This may be seen in demen
Agnostic Alexia: words can be seen but cannot be read.
Agonist Medication: A chemical entity that is not naturally occuring within the body which acts upon a receptor and is
Agoraphobia: literally a fear of the market place. Generally high levels of anxiety and phobic symptoms. May incl
Agranulocytosis: An acute condition characterised by an abnormally low level of white blood cells, which impairs the
Agranulocytosis: (ah-gran-yu-lo-si-to-sis) A serious condition in which white blood cells decrease in number or disap
Agraphia: The loss of a pre-existing ability to express ones self through the act of writing.
AIMS: Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale - an assessment tool designed to measure abnormal movements in d
Akathisia: The medical word for extreme restlessness, one complaints of restlessness accompanied by movements s
Akinesia: A state of motor inhibition or reduced voluntary movement.
Akinetic Mutism: A state of apparent alertness with following eye movements but no speech or voluntary motor respons
Alexia: Loss of a previously intact ability to grasp the meaning of written or printed words and sentences.
Alexithymia: A disturbance in affective and cognitive function that can be present in an assortment of diagnosti
Algophobia: Fear of pain.
Alienation: The estrangement felt in a setting one views as foreign, unpredictable, or unacceptable. For exampl
Alogia: An impoverishment in thinking that is inferred from observing speech and language behavior. There m
Ambitendency: series or tentative, incomplete movements carried out when a voluntary action is anticipated.
Ambivalence: The coexistence of contradictory emotions, attitudes, ideas, or desires with respect to a particula
Amenorrhea: (a-men-o-re-ah) Absence of menstrual periods. This can be a side-effect of antipsychotic medications
Amentia: Subnormal development of the mind, with particular reference to intellectual capacities; a type of
Amimia: A disorder of language characterized by an inability to make gestures or to understand the signific
Amnesia: Loss of memory. Types of amnesia include: anterograde Loss of memory of events that occur after the
Amnestic Aphasia: Loss of the ability to name objects.
Amok: seen in South-East Asia. Outburst of aggressive behaviour in which the patient runs amok during a de
Anaclitic: In psychoanalytic terminology, dependence of the infant on the mother or mother substitute for a se
Anal Stage: The period of pregenital psychosexual development, usually from 1 to 3 years, in which the child ha
Anamnesis: The developmental history of a patient and of his or her illness, especially recollections.
Anankastic Personality: Synonym for obsessive-compulsive personality.
Anhedonia: Inability to experience pleasure from activities that usually produce pleasurable feelings. Contras
Anima: In Jungian psychology, a persons inner being as opposed to the character or persona presented to th
Anomie: Apathy, alienation, and personal distress resulting from the loss of goals previously valued. Emile
Anosognosia: lack of awareness of a disease
Antagonist: Medication, hormone, or neurotransmitter that binds to a receptor and prevents a response.
Antagonist: An agent that has the ability to bind to a receptor and prevent or block a response.
Anticholinergic: Blocking the action of acetylcholine, one of the chemicals the body makes to help nerve cells commun
Anticholinergic Effects: A group of side effects of some antipsychotics, including dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation an
Antidepressant: Medication used to treat depression.
Antipsychotic: Medication used to treat psychosis.
Anxiety: The apprehensive anticipation of future danger or misfortune accompanied by a feeling of dysphoria o
Anxiolytics: Medications used to reduce serious anxiety, tension, and agitation. They used to be known as minor t
Apathy: Lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern.
Aphasia: An impairment in the understanding or transmission of ideas by language in any of its forms--reading
Aphonia: An inability to produce speech sounds that require the use of the larynx that is not due to a lesion
Apperception: Perception as modified and enhanced by ones own emotions, memories, and biases.
Apraxia: Inability to carry out previously learned skilled motor activities despite intact comprehension and
Arrhythmia: Abnormal heart rhythm.
Assimilation: A Piagetian term describing a persons ability to comprehend and integrate new experiences.
Astereognosis: Inability to recognize familiar objects by touch that cannot be explained by a defect of elementary
Ataxia: Partial or complete loss of coordination of voluntary muscular movement.
Attention: The ability to focus in a sustained manner on a particular stimulus or activity. A disturbance in at
Atypical Antipsychotic: A newer class of antipsychotic, developed with the aim of offering better symptom control and fewer
Auditory Hallucination: A hallucination involving the perception of sound, most commonly of voices. Some clinicians and inve
Aura: A premonitory, subjective brief sensation (e.g., a flash of light) that warns of an impending headac
Autoeroticism: Sensual self-gratification. Characteristic of, but not limited to, an early stage of emotional devel
Automatism: Automatic and apparently undirected non-purposeful behaviour that is not consciously controlled. See
Autoscopy: Phantom mirror image hallucination in which one sees and recognizes oneself
Autotopagnosia: Inability to localize and name the parts of ones own body. finger agnosia would be autotopagnosia re
Avolition: An inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed activities. When severe enough to be considere
BAS: Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale – an assessment tool to assess the presence and severity of drug-ind
Beta-Blocker: An agent that inhibits the action of beta-adrenergic receptors, which modulate cardiac functions, re
Bipolar Disorder: An affective disorder characterized by extreme changes in mood ranging from mania to depression. Thi
Bizarre Delusion: A delusion that involves a phenomenon that the persons culture would regard as totally implausible.
Blocking: A sudden obstruction or interruption in spontaneous flow of thinking or speaking, perceived as an ab
Blunted Affect: reduction in emotional expression
Body Image: Ones sense of the self and ones body.
BPRS: Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale - an assessment tool for the evaluation of drug treatment effects on
Bradykinesia: Neurologic condition characterized by a generalized slowness of motor activity.
Brocas Aphasia: Loss of the ability to comprehend language coupled with production of inappropriate language.
Bruxism: Grinding of the teeth, occurs unconsciously while awake or during stage 2 sleep. May be secondary to
Capgras Syndrome: a person who is familiar to the patient is believed to have been replaced by a double
Catalepsy: Waxy flexibility--rigid maintenance of a body position over an extended period of time.
Cataplexy: Episodes of sudden bilateral loss of muscle tone resulting in the individual collapsing, often in as
Catatonic Behaviour: Marked motor abnormalities including motor immobility (i.e., catalepsy or stupor), certain types of
Catatonic Schizophrenia: (kat-a-ton-ik skiz-o-fre-ne-ah) Schizophrenia characterized by marked disturbance which may involve
Catharsis: The healthful (therapeutic) release of ideas through talking out conscious material accompanied by a
Cathexis: Attachment, conscious or unconscious, of emotional feeling and significance to an idea, an object, o
Causalgia: A sensation of intense pain of either organic or psychological origin.
Central Aphasia: difficult in arranging words in their correct sequence
Central Nervous System (CNS): The brain and spinal cord. The CNS is responsible for coordinating the activities of all parts of th
Cerea Flexibilitas: The waxy flexibility often present in catatonic schizophrenia in which the patients arm or leg remai
Cerebrovascular Ischaemia: A reduction in oxygen reaching the brain as a result of obstruction of the blood supply or inadequat
CGI: Clinical Global Impression - an assessment tool for the evaluation of drug treatment effects on dise
Chlorpromazine: A typical antipsychotic.
Chronic Schizophrenia: (kron-ik skiz-o-fre-ne-ah) A disorder in which the symptoms of schizophrenia persist long-term.
Circumstantiality: slowed thinking incorporating unnecessary trivial details. Eventually the goal of the thought is rea
Clanging: speech in which words are chosen because of their sounds rather than their meanings. It includes rhy
Classical Conditioning: Elicitation of a response by a stimulus that normally does not elicit that response. The response is
Climacteric: Menopausal period in women. Sometimes used to refer to the corresponding age period in men. Also cal
Clouding Of Consciousness: the patient is drowsy and does not react completely to stimuli. there is disturbance of attention, c
Clozapine: A drug treatment for schizophrenia, which was the prototype atypical antipsychotic. The ‘gold stan
Coenestopathic State: localized distortion of body awareness
Cognitive: Pertaining to thoughts or thinking. Cognitive disorders are disorders of thinking, for example, schi
Cognitive Dysfunction: A negative symptom of schizophrenia resulting in impairments of attention, memory, concentration and
Comorbidity: The simultaneous appearance of two or more illnesses, such as the co-occurrence of schizophrenia and
Compensation: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, by which one attempts to make up for real or fancied d
Compulsion: Repetitive ritualistic behavior such as hand washing or ordering or a mental act such as praying or
Conative: Pertains to ones basic strivings as expressed in behaviour and actions
Concrete Thinking: lack of abstract thinking, normal in childhood, and occurring in adults with organic brain disease a
Condensation: A psychological process, often present in dreams, in which two or more concepts are fused so that a
Confabulation: gaps in memory are unconsciously filled with false memories
Confrontation: A communication that deliberately pressures or invites another to self-examine some aspect of behavi
Constricted Affect: Affect type that represents mild reduction in the range and intensity of emotional expression.
Constructional Apraxia: An acquired difficulty in drawing two-dimensional objects or forms, or in producing or copying three
Contingency Reinforcement: In operant or instrumental conditioning, ensuring that desired behavior is followed by positive cons
Conversion: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, by which intrapsychic conflicts that would otherwise g
Coping Mechanisms: Ways of adjusting to environmental stress without altering ones goals or purposes; includes both con
Coprophagia: Eating of filth or faeces.
Cotards Syndrome: nihilistic delusional disorder in which, for example, patients believe that their money, friends or
Counterphobia: Deliberately seeking out and exposing onself to, rather than avoiding, the object or situation that
Countertransference: The therapists emotional reactions to the patient that are based on the therapists unconscious needs
Cretinism: A type of mental retardation and bodily malformation caused by severe, uncorrected thyroid deficienc
Cri Du Chat: A type of mental retardation. The name is derived from a catlike cry emitted by children with this d
CT Scanning (Computerized Tomography): (to-mog-raf-ee) A technique using x-rays or ultrasound waves to produce an image of interior parts o
Culture-Specific Syndromes: Forms of disturbed behavior specific to certain cultural systems that do not conform to western noso
D2 (Dopamine Type 2) Receptors: One of a number of receptor sites in the brain where antipsychotics have antagonist effects, to supp
Da Costas Syndrome: Neurocirculatory asthenia; soldiers heart; a functional disorder of the circulatory system that is u
Decompensation: The deterioration of existing defenses, leading to an exacerbation of pathological behavior.
Defense Mechanism: Automatic psychological process that protects the individual against anxiety and from awareness of i
D�j� Pens�: illusion of recognition of a new thought
D�j� Vu: illusion or recognition of a situation
Delirium: disorder of consciousness in which the patient is bewildered, disoriented and restless. There may be
Delusion: false personal belief based on incorrect inference about external reality and firmly held despite ev
Delusion: A positive symptom of schizophrenia which manifests as a fixed belief that has no basis in reality a
Delusion of doubles ( lillusion de soises) : delusional belief that a person known to an individual has been replaced by a double. It is seen in
Delusional Jealousy: The delusion that ones sexual partner is unfaithful. erotomanic A delusion that another person, usua
Delusional Perception: new and delusional significance is attached to a familiar real perception without any logical reason
Delusions Of Infidelity: (pathological jealousy, delusional jealousy, Othellos syndrome) delusional belief that ones spouse o
Delusions Of Reference: the behaviour of others or objects and event (e.g. television broadcasts) believed to refer to onese
Dementia: global organic impairment of intellectual functioning without impairment of consciousness.
Denial: defense mechanism in which the subject acts as if consciously unaware of a wish or reality.
Depersonalization: An alteration in the perception or experience of the self so that one feels detached from, and as if
Depot Injections: These are long-acting intramuscular injections of antipsychotics given every 1 to 4 weeks.
Depression: A mood disorder characterised by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness.
Depressive Retardation: lesser form of psychomotor retardation which occurs in depression.
Derailment: A pattern of speech in which a persons ideas slip off one track onto another that is completely unre
Derealization: An alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems strange or unre
Dereistic: Mental activity that is not in accordance with reality, logic, or experience.
Detachment: A behavior pattern characterized by general aloofness in interpersonal contact; may include intellec
Diplopia: Double vision due to paralysis of the ocular muscles; seen in inhalant intoxication and other condit
Disconnection Syndrome: Term coined by Norman Geschwind (1926-1984) to describe the interruption of information transferred
Disinhibition: Freedom to act according to ones inner drives or feelings, with less regard for restraints imposed b
Disorientation: Confusion about the time of day, date, or season (time), where one is (place), or who one is (person
Displacement: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in which emotions, ideas, or wishes are transferred fr
Dissociative Disorder: disorder in which there is a disturbance in the normal integration or awareness of identity, conscio
Distractibility: The inability to maintain attention, that is, the shifting from one area or topic to another with mi
Double Bind: Interaction in which one person demands a response to a message containing mutually contradictory si
Drive: Basic urge, instinct, motivation; a term used to avoid confusion with the more purely biological con
DSM-IV: fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the Americ
Dyad: A two-person relationship, such as the therapeutic relationship between doctor and patient in indivi
Dysarthria: Imperfect articulation of speech due to disturbances of muscular control or in coordination.
Dysgeusia: Perversion of the sense of taste.
Dyskinesia: Distortion of voluntary movements with involuntary muscular activity.
Dyslexia: Inability or difficulty in reading, including word-blindness and a tendency to reverse letters and w
Dysphoric Mood: An unpleasant mood, such as sadness, anxiety, or irritability.
Dyssomnia: Primary disorders of sleep or wakefulness characterized by insomnia or hypersomnia as the major pres
Dystonia: Disordered tonicity of muscles.
ECG: An ECG, or electrocardiogram is an electrical recording of the heart used in the investigation of he
Echolalia: automatic imitation of anothers speech.
Echopraxia: Repetition by imitation of the movements of another. The action is not a willed or voluntary one and
Ecstasy: feeling of intense rapture.
Ego: part of the mental apparatus that is present at the interface of the perceptual and internal demand
Ego Ideal: The part of the personality that comprises the aims and goals for the self; usually refers to the co
Ego-Dystonic: Referring to aspects of a persons behavior, thoughts, and attitudes that are viewed by the self as r
Egomania: pathological preoccupation with oneself.
Eidetic Image: vivid and detailed reproduction of a previous perception e.g. a photographic memory.
Elaboration: An unconscious process consisting of expansion and embellishment of detail, especially with referenc
Elevated Mood: An exaggerated feeling of well-being, or euphoria or elation. A person with elevated mood may descri
Engram: A memory trace; a neurophysiological process that accounts for persistence of memory
Erotomania (De Cl�rambaults Syndrome): patient holds the delusional belief that someone else, usually of a higher social or professional st
Ethnology: A science that concerns itself with the division of human beings into races and their origin, distri
Euphoric Mood: exaggerated feeling of well-being. It is pathological.
Euthymic: Mood in the normal range, which implies the absence of depressed or elevated mood.
Expansive Mood: Lack of restraint in expressing ones feelings, frequently with an overvaluation of ones significance
Expressive Aphasia: difficulty in expressing thoughts in words whilst comprehension remains.
Extinction: The weakening of a reinforced operant response as a result of ceasing reinforcement. See also operan
Extracampine Hallucination: hallucination occurring outside ones sensory field.
Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): Movement disorders which can be a side effect of antipsychotic medications. They include acute dysto
Extraversion: A state in which attention and energies are largely directed outward from the self as opposed to inw
Fantasy: An imagined sequence of events or mental images (e.g., daydreams) that serves to express unconscious
Flashback: A recurrence of a memory, feeling, or perceptual experience from the past.
Flat Affect: almost no emotional expression at all -the patient typically has an immobile face and monotonous voi
Flight Of Ideas: speech consists of a stream of accelerated thoughts with abrupt changes from topic to topic and no c
Flooding: A behavior therapy procedure for phobias and other problems involving maladaptive anxiety, in which
Folie � Deux: A shared psychotic disorder between 2 people, usually people who are mutually dependent upon each ot
Formal Thought Disorder: An inexact term referring to a disturbance in the form of thinking rather than to abnormality of con
Formication: The tactile hallucination or illusion that insects are crawling on the body or under the skin.
Fragmentation: Separation into different parts, or preventing their integration, or detaching one or more parts fro
Free Association: In psychoanalytic therapy, spontaneous, uncensored verbalization by the patient of whatever comes to
Free-Floating Anxiety: pervasive and unfocused anxiety.
Fregolis Syndrome: patient believes that a familiar person, who is often believed to be the persons persecutor, has tak
Freudian Slips (Parapraxes): unconscious thoughts slipping through when one is off guard.
Frotteurism: One of the paraphilias, consisting of recurrent, intense sexual urges involving touching and rubbing
Fugue: the individual wanders away from usual surroundings and has loss of memory.
Functional Hallucination: the stimulus causing the hallucination is heard in addition to the hallucination. e.g. someone hears
Fusion: The union and integration of the instincts and drives so that they complement each other and help th
Galactorrhea: (ga-lak-to-re-ah) An excessive flow of breast milk in men or women. This is sometimes a side-effect
Gegenhalten: Active resistance to passive movement of the extremities that does not appear to be under voluntary
Gender Dysphoria: A persistent aversion toward some or all of those physical characteristics or social roles that conn
Gender Identity: A persons inner conviction of being male or female.
Gender Role: Attitudes, patterns of behavior, and personality attributes defined by the culture in which the pers
Global Aphasia: both receptive and expressive aphasia present at the same time.
Globus Hystericus: The disturbing sensation of a lump in the throat.
Glossolalia: Gibberish-like speech or speaking in tongues.
Gradual-Onset Schizophrenia: Symptoms develop so slowly that it often takes a long period of time before the illness is obvious t
Grandiosity: An inflated appraisal of ones worth, power, knowledge, importance, or identity. When extreme, grandi
Grossly Disorganized Behavior: Unusual behavior in which the individual acts any number of ways from silly and childlike to angry a
Gustatory Hallucination: A hallucination involving the perception of taste (usually unpleasant).
Gynaecomastia: The development of excess breast tissue in men which is sometimes a side effect of antipsychotic med
Hallucination: false sensory perception in the absence of a real external stimulus. It is perceived as being locate
Hallucinosis: hallucination (usually auditory ) occurring in clear consciousness. e.g in alcoholism.
Haloperidol: A typical antipsychotic.
HAM-D: Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression – an assessment tool to determine presence and severity of de
Hedonism: Pleasure-seeking behavior. Contrast with anhedonia.
Hemisomatognosis: limb is felt to be missing.
Hyperacusis: Inordinate sensitivity to sounds; it may be on an emotional or an organic basis.
Hyperaesthesia: sensory distortion in which sensations appear increased.
Hyperdopaminergia: (hi-per-do-pah-min-er-gee-ah) Neurochemical condition of excess dopamine neurotransmission. Thought
Hyperkinesis: overactivity, distractibility, excitability and impulsivity e.g in children.
Hyperprolactinaemia: An abnormally high level of prolactin in the blood which can occur in both men and women. Typical an
Hypersomnia: Excessive sleepiness, as evidenced by prolonged nocturnal sleep, difficulty maintaining an alert awa
Hypertonicity: (hi-per-to-nis-ih-te) Excessive tension of muscles.
Hypnagogic Hallucination: hallucination occurring whilst falling asleep. Occurs in normal people.
Hypnopompic: Referring to the state immediately preceding awakening; may include hallucinations that are of no pa
Hypoaesthesia: sensory distortion in which sensations appear decreased.
Hypochondriasis: preoccupation, not based on a real organic pathology, with a fear of having a serious physical illne
ICD-10: tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases published by the World Health Organiz
Id: unconscious part of the mental apparatus which is partly made up of inherited instincts and partly b
Idealization: A mental mechanism in which the person attributes exaggeratedly positive qualities to the self or ot
Ideas Of Reference: The unfounded belief that objects, events, or people are of personal significance. For example, a pe
Identification: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, by which one patterns oneself after some other person.
Idiot Savant: A person with gross mental retardation who nonetheless is capable of performing certain remarkable f
Illusion: A misperception or misinterpretation of a real external stimulus, such as hearing the rustling of le
Imprinting: A term in ethology referring to a process similar to rapid learning or behavioral patterning that oc
Inappropriate Affect: Reacting in an inappropriate manner, such as laughing when hearing bad news.
Incoherence: Speech or thinking that is essentially incomprehensible to others because words or phrases are joine
Incorporation: A primitive defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in which the psychic representation of a per
Individuation: A process of differentiation, the end result of which is development of the individual personality t
Induced Psychosis: delusional disorder shared by two or more people who are closely related emotionally. One has a real
Initial Insomnia: Difficulty in falling asleep.
Insomnia: A subjective complaint of difficulty falling or staying asleep or poor sleep quality. Types of insom
Instinct: An inborn drive. The primary human instincts include self-preservation, sexuality, and according to
Integration: The useful organization and incorporation of both new and old data, experience, and emotional capaci
Intellectualization: A mental mechanism in which the person engages in excessive abstract thinking to avoid confrontation
Intersex Condition: A condition in which an individual shows intermingling, in various degrees, of the characteristics o
Introjection And Identification: ego defence mechanisms in which the attitudes and behaviour of another are internalised to help the
Introspection: Self-observation; examination of ones feelings, often as a result of psychotherapy.
Introversion: Preoccupation with oneself and accompanying reduction of interest in the outside world. Contrast to
Isolation: A defense mechanism operating unconsciously central to obsessive-compulsive phenomena in which the a
Jamais Vu: illusion of failure to recognise a familiar situation
Jargon Aphasia: incoherent, meaningless, neologistic speech
Klinefelters Syndrome: Chromosomal defect in males in which there is an extra X chromosome; manifestations may include unde
Kl�ver Bucy Syndrome: Placidity, hyperorality, hypersexuality, hyperphagia
Koro: A culture specific syndrome of China involving fear of retraction of penis into abdomen with the bel
La Belle Indiff�rence: Literally, beautiful indifference. Seen in certain patients with conversion disorders who show an in
Labile Affect: affect repeatedly and rapidly shifts from one extreme to another e.g. from despair to elation
Latah: A culture specific syndrome of Southeast Asia involving startle-induced disorganization, hypersugges
Latent Content: The hidden (i.e., unconscious) meaning of thoughts or actions, especially in dreams or fantasies. In
Learned Helplessness: A condition in which a person attempts to establish and maintain contact with another by adopting a
Learning Disability: IQ 70 or less
Lethologica: Temporary inability to remember a proper noun or name.
Libido: The psychic drive or energy usually associated with the sexual instinct. (Sexual is used here in the
Logoclonia: last syllable of the word is repeated
Logorrhoea: fluent and rambling speech using many words
Long-Term Memory: The final phase of memory in which information storage may last from hours to a lifetime.
Loosening Of Associations: A disturbance of thinking shown by speech in which ideas shift from one subject to another that is u
Macropsia: The visual perception that objects are larger than they actually are.
Made Actions: delusional belief that ones free will has been removed and an external agency is controlling ones ac
Made Feelings: delusional belief that ones free will has been removed and an external agency is controlling ones fe
Magical Thinking: The erroneous belief that ones thoughts, words, or actions will cause or prevent a specific outcome
Major Depressive Disorder: A severe mental illness characterized by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness;
Mania: (mane-e-ah) An emotional disorder characterized by euphoria or irritability, rapid speech, fleeting
Manifest Content: The remembered content of a dream or fantasy, as contrasted with latent content, which is concealed
Masochism: Pleasure derived from physical or psychological pain inflicted on oneself either by oneself or by ot
Memory Consolidation: The physical and psychological changes that take place as the brain organizes and restructures infor
Mens Rea: guilty state of mind at the time of a criminal act
Mental Apparatus: id, ego and superego in psychodynamic terms
Mental Illness: A substantial disorder of thought or mood that significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to
Micropsia: The visual perception that objects are smaller than they actually are.
Middle Insomnia: Awakening in the middle of the night followed by eventually falling back to sleep, but with difficul
Mirroring: 1) The empathic responsiveness of the parent to the developing childs grandiose-exhibitionistic need
Monomania: pathological preoccupation with a single object
Mood: A pervasive and sustained emotion that colors the perception of the world. Common examples of mood i
Mood-Congruent Psychotic Features: Delusions or hallucinations whose content is entirely consistent with the typical themes of a depres
Motor Neuron: (mo-tor nur-on) A nerve cell in the spine that causes action in a muscle.
Mutism: total loss of speech
Negative Symptoms: Most commonly refers to a group of symptoms characteristic of schizophrenia that include loss of flu
Negativism: motiveless resistance to commands and attempts to be moved
Neologism: In psychiatry, a new word or condensed combination of several words coined by a person to express a
Neuroleptic Medications: Medications used in the treatment of schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses. Alternative t
Neuroleptics: (nur-o-lep-tiks) Medications with an antipsychotic effect that are used in the treatment of schizoph
Neurosis: a disorder in which the individual has insight into the illness and they can distinguish between sub
Neurotransmitter: (nur-o-trans-mit-er) Molecules that carry chemical messages between nerve cells. Neurotransmitters a
Nihilistic Delusion: delusional belief that oneself, or others or the world does not exist or is about to cease to exist
Nominal Aphasia: difficulty in naming objects
Nystagmus: Involuntary rhythmic movements of the eyes that consist of small-amplitude~ rapid tremors in one dir
Object Relations: The emotional bonds between one person and another, as contrasted with interest in and love for the
Obsession: Recurrent and persistent thought, impulse, or image experienced as intrusive and distressing. Recogn
Oedipus Complex: Attachment of the child to the parent of the opposite sex, accompanied by envious and aggressive fee
Olfactory Hallucination: A hallucination involving the perception of odor, such as of burning rubber or decaying fish.
Ontogenetic: Pertaining to the development of the individual.
Operant Conditioning: A process by which the results of the persons behavior determine whether the behavior is more or les
Oral Stage: The earliest of the stages of infantile psychosexual development, lasting from birth to 12 months or
Orientation: Awareness of ones self in relation to time, place, and person.
Orthostatic-Postural Hypotension: Sometimes an early side effect when starting certain antipsychotics, characterised by low blood pres
Overcompensation: A conscious or unconscious process in which a real or imagined physical or psychological deficit gen
Overdetermination: The concept of multiple unconscious causes of an emotional reaction or symptom.
Overvalued Idea: a sustained preoccupation that is unreasonable given the evidence available, that is held strongly b
Pallilalia: word or phrase is repeated
Panic Attacks: acute, episodic attacks of extreme anxiety
PANSS: Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale – an assessment tool to evaluate the presence/absence and sev
Paramnesia: distorted recall leading to falsification of memory e.g. confabulation, déjà vu, déjà pensé, ja
Paranoia: (par-a-noy-a) A mental state that includes unreasonable suspicions of people and situations. A perso
Paranoid Ideation: Ideation, of less than delusional proportions, involving suspiciousness or the belief that one is be
Paranoid Type Schizophrenia: Presence of prominent delusions and auditory hallucinations in an individual, where disorganized spe
Parasomnia: Abnormal behavior or physiological events occurring during sleep or sleep-wake transitions.
Pareidolia: vivid imagery that occurs whilst looking at a poorly structured background
Parkinsonism: (par-kin-son-izm) A group of symptoms including loss of movement, a lack of facial expression, stiff
Parkinsons Disease: A disease mostly affecting middle-aged and elderly people characterized by tremors and rigid, slow m
Passivity Phenomena: delusional belief that an external agency is controlling the aspects of oneself that are usually und
Pavolovian Conditioning: Elicitation of a response by a stimulus that normally does not elicit that response. The response is
Persecutory Delusion: A delusion in which the central theme is that one (or someone to whom one is close) is being attacke
Perseveration: mental operations carry on past the point that they serve a function e.g. what day is it? Monday, wh
Personality: Enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself. Person
Personality Disorder: A deeply ingrained and maladjusted pattern of behavior that persists for many years. It is usually w
Phallic Stage: The period, from about 21/2 to 6 years, during which sexual interest, curiosity, and pleasurable exp
Phobia: persistent irrational fear of an activity or object. This leads to avoidance. The fear is out of pro
Piblokto: A culture specific syndrome of Eskimos involving attacks of screaming, crying, and running naked thr
Positive Symptoms: Reflect an excess or distortion of normal functions. Includes delusions, hallucinations, disorganize
Positron Emission Tomography (PET): (poz-ih-tron e-mish-en toe-mog-ra-fe) A technique used to evaluate the activity of brain tissues. PE
Postural Hypotension: (pos-cher-al hi-po-ten-shun) Also known as orthostatic hypotension, it is characterized by low blood
Posturing: inappropriate or bizarre bodily posture adopted continuously over a sustained period
Poverty Of Speech: Tends to occur in severe depressive states The inability to start or take part in a conversation, pa
Preconscious: Thoughts that are not in immediate awareness but that can be recalled by conscious effort.
Pregenital: In psychoanalysis, refers to the period of early childhood before the genitals have begun to exert t
Pressured Speech: Speech that is increased in amount, accelerated, and difficult or impossible to interrupt. Usually i
Primary Delusion: delusion arriving fully formed without any discernable connection with previous events
Primary Gain: The relief from emotional conflict and the freedom from anxiety achieved by a defense mechanism. Con
Primary Process: In psychoanalytic theory, the generally unorganized mental activity characteristic of the unconsciou
Prodrome: An early or premonitory sign or symptom of a disorder
Projection: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in which what is emotionally unacceptable in the self
Projective Identification: A term introduced by Melanie Klein to refer to the unconscious process of projection of one or more
Projective Tests: Psychological diagnostic tests in which the test material is unstructured so that any response will
Prolactin: Hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. Stimulates lactation and ovarian function. Exc
Prolactin: A hormone, synthesized and stored in the pituitary gland that stimulates the production of breast mi
Prosopagnosia: Inability to recognize familiar faces that is not explained by defective visual acuity or reduced co
Pseudocyesis: Included in DSM-IV as one of the somatoform disorders. It is characterized by a false belief of bein
Pseudodementia: A syndrome in which dementia is mimicked or caricatured by a functional psychiatric illness. Symptom
Pseudohallucination: form of imagery arising in the subjective inner space and lack the substantiality usual of normal pe
Psychomotor Agitation: Excessive motor activity associated with a feeling of inner tension. When severe, agitation may invo
Psychomotor Retardation: Visible generalized slowing of movements and speech.
Psychosis: Any major mental disorder that involves change of personality and loss of contact with reality. This
Psychotherapy: Therapy involving psychological instead of medical treatment of mental disorders. It can include sup
Psychotropic Medication: Medication that affects thought processes or feeling states and used in the treatment of mental diso
Pure Word Deafness: words that are heard cannot be comprehended
Rationalization: defense mechanism in which an attempt is made to explain in a logical way affects, ideas or wishes t
Reaction Formation: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in which a person adopts affects, ideas, and behaviour
Receptive Aphasia: difficulty in comprehending word meanings or received speech or language
Receptor: A protein molecule that resides on the surface or in the nucleus of a cell. Receptors recognise and
Reciprocal Inhibition: In behavior therapy, the hypothesis that if anxiety-provoking stimuli occur simultaneously with the
Reduplication Phenomena: part or all of the body is felt to be reduplicated
Reflex Hallucination: stimulus in one sensory field leads to a hallucination in another sensory field
Repetition Compulsion: In psychoanalytic theory, the impulse to reenact earlier emotional experiences. Considered by Freud
Repression: defense mechanism in which unacceptable affects, ideas or wishes are pushed away so that they remain
Residual Schizophrenia: Blunted or inappropriate affect, social withdrawal, eccentric behavior, loose associations without p
Respondent Conditioning: Elicitation of a response by a stimulus that normally does not elicit that response. The response is
Retrospective Falsification: false details are added to the recollection of an otherwise real memory
Rigidity: An abnormal increase in the general tenseness of muscles that is not caused by anxiety or exercise.
Rreinforcement: The strengthening of a response by reward or avoidance of punishment. This process is central in ope
SANS: Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms - an assessment tool for the evaluation of drug treatm
SAS: Simpson Angus Scale - an assessment tool designed to measure the symptoms of parkinsonism or extrapy
Schizoaffective Disorder: (skiz-o-a-feck-tiv) A condition that includes symptoms of both schizophrenia and affective (mood) di
Schizoid: (skiz-oyd) Socially isolated, withdrawn, having few friends and social relationships, resembling the
Schizophrenia: (skiz-o-fre-ne-ah) A common type of psychosis characterized by hallucinations and/or delusions, pers
Screen Memory: A consciously tolerable memory that serves as a cover for an associated memory that would be emotion
Secondary Gain: The external gain derived from any illness, such as personal attention and service, monetary gains,
Secondary Process: In psychoanalytic theory, mental activity and thinking characteristic of the ego and influenced by t
Sensory Extinction: Failure to report sensory stimuli from one region if another region is stimulated simultaneously, ev
Separation Anxiety Disorder: A disorder with onset before the age of 18 consisting of inappropriate anxiety concerning separation
Serotonin (Ser-O-To-Nin): Neurotransmitter that relays impulses between nerve cells (neurons) in the central nervous system. F
Serotonin-Dopamine Antagonists (Sdas): (ser-o-to-nin do-pah-meen an-tag-o-nists) Also known as atypical antipsychotics. Unlike their predec
Shaping: Reinforcement of responses in the patients repertoire that increasingly approximate sought-after beh
Sick Role: An identity adopted by an individual as a patient that specifies a set of expected behaviors, usuall
Sign: An objective manifestation of a pathological condition. Signs are observed by the examiner rather th
Signal Anxiety: An ego mechanism that results in activation of defensive operations to protect the ego from being ov
Simple Phobia: fear of discrete objects or situations
Simultanagnosia: Inability to comprehend more than one element of a visual scene at the same time or to integrate the
Sleep Terror Disorder: One of the parasomnias, characterized by panic and confusion when abruptly awakening from sleep. Thi
Social Adaptation: The ability to live and express oneself according to societys restrictions and cultural demands.
Social Phobia: fear of interactions in public settings
Somatic Delusion: A delusion whose main content pertains to the appearance or functioning of ones body.
Somatic Hallucination: A hallucination involving the perception of a physical experience localized within the body (such as
Somatic Passivity: delusional belief that one is a passive recipient of bodily sensations from an external agency
Somnolence: state of drowsiness from which one can be woken
Spatial Agnosia: Inability to recognize spatial relations; disordered spatial orientation.
Splitting: A mental mechanism in which the self or others are reviewed as all good or all bad, with failure to
Stammering: flow of speech is broken by pauses and the repetition of parts of words
Stereotyped Movements: Repetitive, seemingly driven, and nonfunctional motor behavior (e.g., hand shaking or waving, body r
Stereotypy: repeated, regular fixed pattern of movement or speech that is goal directed
Stressor: Any life event or life change that may be associated temporally (and perhaps causally) with the onse
Structural Theory: Freuds model of the mental apparatus composed of id, ego, and superego.
Stupor: (stoo-per) A condition where a person is immobile, mute, and unresponsive, but appears to be fully c
Substitution: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, by which an unattainable or unacceptable goal, emotion
Suggestibility: Uncritical compliance or acceptance of an idea, belief, or attribute.
Suggestion: The process of influencing a patient to accept an idea, belief, or attitude suggested by the therapi
Superego: In psychoanalytic theory, that part of the personality structure associated with ethics, standards,
Suppression: The conscious effort to control and conceal unacceptable impulses, thoughts, feelings, or acts.
Symbiosis: A mutually reinforcing relationship between two persons who are dependent on each other; a normal ch
Symbolization: A general mechanism in all human thinking by which some mental representation comes to stand for som
Symptom: A subjective manifestation of a pathological condition. Symptoms are reported by the affected indivi
Synaesthesia: stimulus in one sensory field leads to a hallucination in another sensory field for example, a sound
Syndrome: A grouping of signs and symptoms, based on their frequent co-occurrence, that may suggest a common u
Syntaxic Mode: The mode of perception that forms whole, logical, coherent pictures of reality that can be validated
Systematic Desensitization: A behavior therapy procedure widely used to modify behaviors associated with phobias. The procedure
Tactile Hallucination: A hallucination involving the perception of being touched or of something being under ones skin. The
Talking Past The Point: point of what is being said is never quite reached
Tangentiality: Replying to a question in an oblique or irrelevant way. Compare with circumstantiality.
Tardive Dyskinesia: (tar-div dis-ki-ne-se-ah) A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, movements that may de
Temperament: Constitutional predisposition to react in a particular way to stimuli.
Terminal Insomnia: Awakening before ones usual waking time and being unable to return to sleep.
Termination: The act of ending or concluding. In psychotherapy, termination refers to the mutual agreement betwee
Therapeutic Community: A term of British origin, now widely used, for a specially structured mental hospital milieu that en
Therapeutic Window: A well-defined range of blood levels associated with optimal clinical response to antidepressant dru
Thioridazine: A typical antipsychotic.
Thought Alienation: (a-le-in-a-shun) The belief that thoughts have been stolen from ones mind. This is also known as tho
Thought Blocking: sudden interruption in the train of thought, leaving a blank
Thought Broadcasting: The delusion that ones thoughts are being broadcast out loud so that they can be perceived by others
Thought Disorder: The inability to carry through a line of thinking in a way that makes sense to other people.
Thought Insertion: The delusion that certain of ones thoughts are not ones own, but rather are inserted into ones mind.
Thought Withdrawal: delusional belief that thoughts are being removed
Tic: An involuntary, sudden, rapid, recurrent, nonrhythmic, stereotyped motor movement or vocalization.
Token Economy: A system involving the application of the principles and procedures of operant conditioning to the m
Tolerance: A characteristic of substance dependence that may be shown by the need for markedly increased amount
Torticollis: (tor-ti-kol-is) A contraction of one or more of the neck muscles on one side, resulting in an abnorm
Trailing Phenomenon: moving objects are seen as a series of discrete discontinuous images. It is associated with hallucin
Tranquilizer: (tran-kwih-li-zer) A medicine that produces a calming effect. The so-called major tranquilizers are
Transference: unconscious process in which emotions and attitudes experienced in childhood are transferred to the
Transitional Object: An object, other than the mother, selected by an infant between 4 and 18 months of age for self-soot
Transsexualism: Severe gender dysphoria, coupled with a persistent desire for the physical characteristics and socia
Transvestism: Sexual pleasure derived from dressing or masquerading in the clothing of the opposite sex, with the
Tremors: A repetitive involuntary movement of the muscles.
Trichotillomania: The pulling out of ones own hair to the point that it is noticeable and causing significant distress
Trifluoperazine: A typical antipsychotic.
Typical Antipsychotics: Older, first-generation medications used to treat serious mental illness. Different from the atypica
Typical-Conventional Antipsychotic: The name given to the older antipsychotic drugs developed for control of the symptoms of schizophren
Unconscious: That part of the mind or mental functioning of which the content is only rarely subject to awareness
Undoing: A mental mechanism consisting of behavior that symbolically atones for, makes amends for, or reverse
Urophilia: One of the paraphilias, characterized by marked distress over, or acting on, sexual urges that invol
Ventricles: (ven-trih-kals) In the brain, these are four fluid-filled chambers that form a network with the spin
Verbigeration: Stereotyped and seemingly meaningless repetition of words or sentences.
Visual Asymbolia: words can be transcribed but not read
Visual Hallucination: A hallucination involving sight, which may consist of formed images, such as of people, or of unform
Voyeurism: Peeping; one of the paraphilias, characterized by marked distress over, or acting on, urges to obser
Wernickes Aphasia: Loss of the ability to comprehend language coupled with production of inappropriate language.
Windigo: A culture specific syndrome of Canadians involving delusions of being possessed by a cannibal-istic
Withdrawal: The process of retreating from society and relationships with others. Usually indicated by aloofness
Word Salad: A mixture of words and phrases that lack comprehensive meaning or logical coherence; commonly seen i
YMRS: Young Mania Rating Scale - an assessment tool for the evaluation of manic symptoms.
Zeitgeist: The general intellectual and cultural climate of taste characteristic of an era.
Zoophilia: One of the paraphilias, characterized by marked distress over, or acting on, urges to indulge in sex