Science / Psychiatry Glossary
Primary Process: In psychoanalytic theory, the generally unorganized mental activity characteristic of the unconscious. This activity is marked by the free discharge of energy and excitation without regard t . . . View Full Definition
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 is unconsciously rejected and attributed (projected) to others.
Projective Identification: A term introduced by Melanie Klein to refer to the unconscious process of projection of one or more parts of the self or of the internal object into another person (such as the mother). What . . . View Full Definition
Projective Tests: Psychological diagnostic tests in which the test material is unstructured so that any response will reflect a projection of some aspect of the subjects underlying personality and psychopathology
Prolactin: Hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. Stimulates lactation and ovarian function. Excess prolactin release can cause side-effects common to many older antipsychotic agents, in . . . View Full Definition
Prosopagnosia: Inability to recognize familiar faces that is not explained by defective visual acuity or reduced consciousness or alertness.
Pseudocyesis: Included in DSM-IV as one of the somatoform disorders. It is characterized by a false belief of being pregnant and by the occurrence of signs of being pregnant, such as abdominal enlargement . . . View Full Definition
Pseudodementia: A syndrome in which dementia is mimicked or caricatured by a functional psychiatric illness. Symptoms and response of mental status examination questions are similar to those found in dementia.
Pseudohallucination: form of imagery arising in the subjective inner space and lack the substantiality usual of normal perceptions.
Psychomotor Agitation: Excessive motor activity associated with a feeling of inner tension. When severe, agitation may involve shouting and loud complaining. The activity is usually nonproductive and repetitious, . . . View Full Definition
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 usually includes delusions and/or hallucinations.
Psychotherapy: Therapy involving psychological instead of medical treatment of mental disorders. It can include supportive dialogue, counseling, and cognitive behavioral approaches to achieve a thinking-fe . . . View Full Definition
Psychotropic Medication: Medication that affects thought processes or feeling states and used in the treatment of mental disorders.
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 that may otherwise be unpalatable or unacceptable
Reaction Formation: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in which a person adopts affects, ideas, and behaviours that are the opposites of impulses harboured either consciously or unconsciously. For ex . . . View Full Definition
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 bind specific molecules of an appropriate size, shape and charge.
Reciprocal Inhibition: In behavior therapy, the hypothesis that if anxiety-provoking stimuli occur simultaneously with the inhibition of anxiety (e.g., relaxation), the bond between those stimuli and the anxiety w . . . View Full Definition
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 to be more fundamental than the pleasure principle. Defined by Jones in the following way: . . . View Full Definition
Repression: defense mechanism in which unacceptable affects, ideas or wishes are pushed away so that they remain in the unconscious