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Mental Health Terminology

Mental Health Terminology

AFFECTIVE DISORDERS: mood disorders accompanied by full or partial mania or depressive episodes.

AGGRESSION: hostility, continued frustration, outward and directed against oneself.

AGNOSIA: inability to discriminate sensory stimuli

AMNESIA: loss of memory

APAHSIA: dysfunction or loss of the ability to speak, write or use symbols to express thoughts.

APATHY: lack of interest in activities that would normally stimulate emotions or feelings.

APRAXIA: impairment in ability to carry out functional movement without loss of function of muscles, ie. inability to draw

ATAXIA: unco-ordinated muscular movements

CATATONIA: one seems unaware of the environment. May seem rigid in posture for long periods of time and resists efforts to be moved

DELUSION: a fixed belief unrelated to ones background. There can be many subgroups of delusion

bizarre delusion – an absurd belief (ie. being controlled by the dead)

somatic delusion – false belief involving the body

delusion of grandeur – beliefs of self importance

delusion of persecution – belief that one is being persecuted

delusion of reference –belief that others' behaviours effects oneself

delusion of control – being controlled by others

paranoid delusion – being suspicious

delusion of nihilism – believing the world does not exist

DEPRESSION: a mood state ranging from minor degrees of sadness to feeling of hopelessness and despair.

DISSOCIATION: a defense mechanism that protects the person from awareness of feelings that threaten to produce overwhelming anxiety by denying the existence of those particular feelings

DYSPHASIA: disturbance in speech

ECHOLALIA: repetition of words spoken to the person by someone else.

EUPHORIA: false sense of elation or well being

EXTRAPYRAMIDAL SIDE EFFECTS (EPS): side effects caused by neuroleptic medications (anti psychotics)

FLIGHT OF IDEAS: is a thought disturbance and shown in speech. One will jump from one topic to another due to an increased activity between thoughts. Attention is never focused on one thought at a time

FUGUE: memory loss where nothing is recalled of the lost time

HALLUCINATION: perceptual disorder involving any of the 5 senses that occurs in absence of any stimuli.

HYPOMANIA: mood is elevated or irritable but not severe as in a manic episode

ILLUSION: misperceptions or interpretations of environmental stimuli. Usually visual and/or auditory

INSIGHT: understanding the motivational forces behind one's actions, thoughts and behaviour; self-knowledge

LOOSE ASSOCIATIONS: absence of connected thought patterns, ideas and topics; sudden changes without connection to previous subject

MANIC EPISODE: behaviour characterised by elevated mood and lasting at least one week, may be elevated and/or irritable.

NIHILISM: belief that existence is senseless and useless

PASSIVE – AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR: behavior characterized by the use of sarcasm, procrastination or resistance to requests made by others.

PHOBIA: a persistent, exaggerated, irrational fear of an object, activity or situation that is out of proportion to the stimulus and results in avoidance of the feared stimulus.

POVERTY OF SPEECH: vague speech offering little informative content

PSEUDODEMENTIA: resembling dementia, often caused by depression

PSYCHOSIS: impairment of staying in touch with reality, diminishing ones ability to deal with activities of daily living

STIGMA: Is not just the use of the wrong word or action. Stigma is about disrespect. It is the use of negative labels to identify a person living with mental illness. Stigma is a barrier and discourages individuals and their families from getting the help they need due to the fear of being discriminated against. An estimated 50 million Americans experience a mental disorder in any given year and only one-fourth of them actually receive mental health and other services.

TARDIVE DYKINESIA: serious side effect of anti psychotics that is irreversible. Characterised by thrashing of limbs of the torso, tongue protrusion and chewing movements, may affect the diaphragm important for breathing.

THOUGHT INSERTION: when an idea is put into speech structure that is not in context with the general subject of conversation.

WORD SALAD: conversation that contains sentences with strings of words that do not make any sense.

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