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arrow Glossary


Acting out:
An action rather than a verbal response to an unconscious instinctual drive or impulse that brings about' temporary partial relief of inner tension. Relief is attained by reacting to a present situation as if it were the situation that originally gave rise to the drive or impulse.

Acute brain disorder:
An impairment of tissue function that can be reversed and from which the patient may recover.

Acute confusional state:
A stress reaction common in adolescence~ and often associated with new surroundings or new demands. Frustration and rage yield to despair and loneliness, which usually pa as the person adjusts to his situation.

Acute situational or stress reaction:
A severe emotional reaction resulting from extreme environmental stress, such as death, disaster or similar life situations

Habituation to the use of a drug, the deprivation of which gives rise to symptoms of distress and an irresistible impulse to take the drug again.

Affect. blunted:
A disturbance of affect manifested by dullness of externalized feeling tone. Observed in schizophrenia, it is one of that disorder's fundamental symptoms, according to Eugen Bleuler.

Emotional feeling tone attached to an object, idea or thought. The term includes inner feelings and their external manifestations.

Forceful, goal-directed behavior that may be verbal or physical. It is the motor counterpart of the affects of rage, anger and hostility.

Aggressive drive:
Destructive impulse directed at oneself or another. It is also k~ as the death instinct. According to contemporary psychoanalytic psychology. it is one of the two basic drives; sexual drive is the other one. Sexual drive operates on the pleasure-pain whereas aggressive drive operates on the repetition- compulsion principle.

State of anxiety associated with severe motor restlessness.

Disturbance of perception characterized by inability to recognize a stimulus and interpret the significance of its memory impressions. It is observed in patients with organic-brain disease and in certain sch1zophrenics, hysterics and depressed patients.

Fear of open places.

Condition characterized by an inability to remain in a sitting posture, motor restlessness, and a feeling of muscular quivering, which may be a side-effect of phenothiazine medication.

Lack of physical movement. In psychiatry, akinesia is often seen in conjunction with a lack of mental activity, as in the extreme immobility of catatonic scizophrenia.

Alcoholic Anonymous (M):
An organization of alcoholics formed in 1935. It uses certain group methods, such as inspirational-supportive techniques, to help rehabilitate chronic alcoholics.

Alcoholic psychoses:
Mental disorders that result from alcoholism and involve organic brain damage.

Presence of strong and often overwhelming simultaneous contrasting attitudes, ideas, feelings and drives toward an object, person or goal. The term was coined by Eugen Bleuler, who differentiated three types: affective ambivalence; intellectual ambivalence and ambivalence of the will.

Disturbance in memory manifested by partial or total inability to recall past experiences.

A condition usually associated with Malayan men, consisting of a sudden, unprovoked outburst of wild rage, usually resulting in homicide.

A central nervous system stimulant. Its chemical structure and action are closely related to ephedrine and other sympathomimetic amines.

Anal chase:
The second stage in psychosexual development. It occurs when the child is between the ages of 1 and 3. During this period, the infant's activities, interests and concerns are centered on his anal zone, and the pleasurable experience felt in this area is called anal erotism.

State of being unable to experience pleasure.

Anorexia nervosa:
A serious and sometimes life-endangering condition characterized by self-imposed severe dietary limitation, usually resulting in serious malnutrition and malaise.

Antabuse (disulfiram):
A drug used in the treatment of alcoholics. By altering the metabolism of alcohol, it produces unpleasant physical sensations that discourage the patient from further use of alcohol.

Anti-anxiety drug:
Drug used to reduce pathological anxiety and its related symptoms without influencing cognitive or perceptual' disturbance. It is also known as a minor tranquillizer' and an anxiolytic drug. Meprobamate derivatives and diazepoxides are typical anti-anxiety drugs.

Anticholinergic effect:
Effect due to a blockade of the cholinergic (parasympathetic and somatic) nerves. It is often seen as a side- effect of phenothiazine therapy. Anticholinergic effects include dry mouth and blurred vision.

Antidepressant drug:
Drug used in the treatment of pathological depression. It is also known as a thymoleptic drug and a psychic energizer. The two main classes of antidepressant drugs are the tricylic drugs and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Newer medications include the SSRI’s , SNRI’s & NASSA’s.

Antimanic drug:
Drug, such as lithium, used to alleviate the symptoms of mania. Lithium is particularly effective in preventing, relapses in manic-depressive illness. Other drugs with antimanic effects are haloperidol and chlorpromazine.

Antiparkinsonism drug:
Drug used to relieve the symptoms of parkinsonism and the extrapyramidal side effects often induced by antipsychotic drugs. The antiparkinsonism drug acts by diminishing muscle tone and involuntary movements. Antiparkinsonism agents include benztropine, procyclidine, biperiden and trihexyphenidyl.

Antipsychotic druq:
Drug used to treat psychosis, particularly:.: schizophrenia. It is also known as a major tranquillizer and a neuroleptic drug. Phenothiazine derivatives, thioxanthene depivatives and butyrophenone derivatives are typical antipsychotic drugs.

Antisocial personality:
A disorder characterized 'by inability to get along with other members of society and by repeated conflict with individual persons and groups.

Anxiety Neurosis:
A neurosis characterized by panic and anxious overconcern.

Unpleasurable affect consisting of psychophysiological changes in response to an intrapsychic conflict. In contrast to fear, the danger or threat in anxiety is unreal. Physiological changes consist of increased heart rate, .disturbed breathing,” trembling, sweating and vasomotor changes. Psychological changes consist of an increased heart' rate, disturbed breathing, trembling, sweating, and vasomotor changes. Psychological changes consist of an uncomfortable feeling of impending danger, accompanied by overwhelming awareness of being powerless, inability to perceive the unreality of the threat, prolonged feeling of tension, and exhaustive readiness for the expected danger.

Want of feeling or affect, lack of interest and emotional involvement in one's surroundings. It is observed in certain types of schizophrenia and depression.

Disturbance in speech due to organic brain disorder. It is characterized by an inability to express thoughts verbally. There are several types of aphasia: (1) motor aphasia: inability to speak, although understanding remains, (2) sensory aphasia: inability to comprehend the meaning of words or the use of the objects; (3) nominal aphasia: difficulty in finding the right name for an object; (4) syntactical aphasia: inability to arrange words in proper sequence.

Loss of inability to make voluntary goal-directed movements.

Art therapy:
Treatment procedure that uses the spontaneous creative work of the patient. For example, group members make and analyze drawings, which are often expressions of their underlying emotional problems.

Asthenic personality:
A disorder characterized by lack of enthusiasm, fatigability, lack of capacity for enjoyment, and low tolerance for stress.

Lack of coordination, either physical or mental. In neurology," it refers to loss of muscular coordination. In psychiatry, the term intrapsychic ataxia refers to lack of coordination between feelings and thoughts; the disturbance is found in schizophrenia.

Concentration, the aspect of consciousness that relates to the amount of effort exerted in focusing on certain aspects of an experience.

Autistic thinking:
A form of thinking in which the thoughts are largely narcissistic and egocentric, with emphasis on subjectivity rather than objectivity and without regard for reality. The term is used interchangeably with autism and dereism.

Autoerotism (masturbation):
Sexual arousal of self without the' participation of another person. The term, introduced by Havelock .Ellis, is at present used interchangeably with masturbation. In psychoanalysis, autoerotism in considered a primitive phase in object- relationship development preceding the narcissistic stage. In narcissism, there is a love object, but there is no love object in autoerotism.

Autonomic nervous system:
The part of the nervous system th4t functions outside of consciousness and that directs such functions is breathing, heart rate and digestion.

Autonomic side-effect:
Disturbance of the autonomic,nervous system, both central and peripheral. It may be a result of the use of antipsychotic drugs, particularly the phenothiazine derivatives. The autonomic side-effects include hypotension, hypertension, blurred vision, nasal congestion and dryness of the mouth.

Aversive therapy:
A form of conditioning whereby a patient is made to associate an unpleasant or painful experience with undesirable behavior in an effort to eliminate the undesirable behavior patterns.


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