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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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Adjustment Disorders:  Conditions with clinically significant emotional or behavioral symptoms which are in response to identifiable psychosocial stress.

Agoraphobia:   A fear of open places.

Amnestic Disorder:  A cognitive disorder marked by discreet memory impairment unaccompanied by other cognitive impairments.

Anorexia Nervosa A syndrome featuring the inability to maintain even a minimal body weight, excessive fear of weight gain and significant disturbance in body image.

Anxiety:   Unpleasurable emotional state associated with psychophysiological changes in response to an intrapsychic conflict; in contrast to fear, the danger or threat in anxiety is unreal.   Psychological changes consist of an uncomfortable feeling of impending danger, an overwhelming awareness of being powerless, inability to perceive the unreality of the threat, prolonged feeling of tension, and exhaustive readiness for the expected danger; physiological changes consist of increased heart rate, disturbed breathing, trembling, sweating, and vasomotor changes.

Anxiety Disorders:   Conditions characterized by high levels of anxiety and a maladaptive reaction to anxiety's influence.

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Bulimia Nervosa:  A condition characterized by binge eating followed by extreme measures to undo the binge (often purging).

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C

Claustrophobia:  A fear of enclosed spaces.

Cognitive Disorders:  The class of disorders consisting of significant impairment of cognition or memory that represents a marked deterioration from a previous level of functioning.

Compartmentalization:  A process of separating parts of the self from awareness of other parts and behaving as if one had separate sets of values.

Compensation:  A process of psychologically counterbalancing perceived weaknesses by emphasizing strength in other arenas.

Compulsion:    Uncontrollable, repetitive, and unwanted urge to perform an act; serves as a defense against unacceptable ideas and desires, and failure to perform the act leads to overt anxiety.

Compulsive Overeating: A tendency toward binging large amounts of food, followed by extreme guilt.

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D

Delirium:  A condition in which changes in cognition, including a disturbance in consciousness, occur over a relatively short period of time. 

Dementia:  A condition consisting of several cognitive impairments including significant memory deficit.

Denial:  The refusal to accept reality and to act as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not exist.

Depression:    Mental state characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, despair, low self-esteem, and self-reproach; accompanying signs include psychomotor retardation or at times agitation, withdrawal from interpersonal contact, and vegetative symptoms such as insomnia and anorexia. The term refers either to a mood that is so characterized or to a mood disorder.

Displacement:  The redirecting of thoughts, feelings and impulses from an object that gives rise to anxiety to a safer, more acceptable one.

DSM-IV:   Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; Fourth Edition. The American Psychiatric Association's authoritative compendium of differential diagnosis for psychiatric disorders.

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E

Eating Disorders:   Disorders characterized by pronounced disturbances in eating behavior and body image.

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F

Factitious Disorders:   Conditions in which physical and/or psychological symptoms are feigned in order to place an individual in the role of a patient or sick person in need of help.

Fantasy:  When used as a defense mechanism, fantasy is the channeling of unacceptable or unattainable desires into imagination.

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I

Impulse-Control Disorders:   Those disorders in which the defining characteristic is the inability to inhibit an impulse which might be harmful to oneself or others.

Intellectualization:  The use of a cognitive approach without  the attendant emotions to suppress and attempt to gain mastery over the perceived disorderly and potentially overwhelming impulses.

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K

Kleptomania:  Pathological compulsion to steal.

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M

Milieu therapy:   The type of treatment in which the patient's social environment is manipulated for his benefit. 

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P

Projection:  The attribution of one's undesired impulses onto another.

Pyromania:  Pathological compulsion to set fires.

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R

Rationalization:  The cognitive reframing of ones perceptions to protect the ego in the face of changing realities.

Reaction Formation:  The converting of wishes or impulses that are perceived to be dangerous into their opposites.

Regression:  The reversion to an earlier stage of development in the face of unacceptable impulses.

Repression:  The blocking of unacceptable impulses from consciousness.

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Sublimation:  The channeling of unacceptable impulses into more acceptable outlets.

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T

Tricotillomania:  Recurrent hair pulling resulting in significant hair loss with a motivation of self gratification or tension release.

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U

Undoing:  The attempt to take back behavior or thoughts that are unacceptable.

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