medical term / behavioral health terms

  1. abstract thinking
    stage in the development of cognitive thought in whcih one has the ability to understand relationships & to categorize objects based on their essential characteristics. Abstract thinking requires flexibility, adaptability and use of concepts and generalizations.
  2. acting out
    indirect expression of feeling through behavior that attracts the attention of others and may be dangerous or destructive behaviors expressing unconscious conflict.
  3. adaptation
    process of changing to achieve equilibrium between an individual and the enivronment.
  4. adjustment disorder
    a maladaptive reaction to an identifiable, transient stressful situation.
  5. affect
    the outward expression of a subjectively experienced feeling state. Blunted affect is characterized by severe reduction in the intensity of expression; Flat affect refers to a loss of expression; Inappropriate affect describes a discordance between emotional expression and the content of speech; Labile affect is characterized by marked variability.
  6. akathisia
    motor restlessness that is one of the possible complications of treatment with antipyschotic medications.
  7. amnesia
    loss of memory or inability to recall past experiences usually as a consequence of physical illness, injury, or psychologic trauma.
  8. antisocial personality
    disorder characterized by retitive failure to abide by social and legal norms and to accept responsibility for one's own behavior.
  9. apraxia
    impairment of the ability to execute purposeful movements, even though adequate muscle strenght, comprehension and coordination are present.
  10. autism
    mental disorder, features of which include onset during infancy or childhood, preoccupation with subjective mental activity, inability to interact socially, impaired communication, and repetitive body movements.
  11. behavior modification
    type of psychotherapy based on principles of learning, which seeks to change maladaptive, observable behavior by substituting a new set of responses by the use of techniques such as reward and reinforcement.
  12. body language
    form of nonverbal communication; expression of a physical, mental or emotional state by body position or movement.
  13. borderline personality disorder
    pervasive personality pattern, features of which include instability of self-image, interpersonal relationships and mood.
  14. chemical dependence
    cluster of cognitive, behavioral and physiologic symptoms that indicate impaired control of psychoactive substance use and continued use of of the substance (often large amounts) despite adverse consequences.
  15. cognition
    mental process characterized by knowing, thinking, learning and judging.
  16. commitment
    involuntary hospital admission for treatment of pyschiatric illness, usuall sought after a patient has been deemed a danger to self or others.
  17. confabulation
    fabrication of experiences or situations, often in detailed and plausible way, to fil in and cover up gaps in memory
  18. coping mechanism
    factors that enable an individual to regain emotional equilibrium after a stressul experience.
  19. cue
    stimulus that determines or may prompt the nature of a person's response.
  20. defense mechanism
    an unconscious, intrapsychic reaction that offers protection to the self from a stressful situation. Examples of defense mechanisms are denial, displacement, isolation, projection, reaction formation repression, substitution and rationalization.
  21. deinstitutionalization
    transfer to community setting of a patient who has been hospitilized for an extended period.
  22. delusion
    persistent false belief that is held despite evidence to the contrary. A delusion may be persecutory, grandiose, jealous or somatic in nature.
  23. dementia
    progressive, cognitive organic mental disorder characterized by chronic personality disintegration, confusion,diorientation, deterioration of intellectual capacity and function, and imparied memory, judgment and control of impulses.
  24. developmental disorders
    a disturbance in the acquisition of cognitive, language, motor or social skills believed to be normally acquired by a certain age. Developmental disorders have an onset during childhood and tend to be chronic in nature.
  25. diorientations
    state of mental confusion characterized by inadequate or incorrect perceptions of place, time, or identity. Disorientation may occur in organic mental disorders, in drug and alcohol intoxication and after severe stress.
  26. dyskinesia
    distortion of voluntary movements, involuntary muscular activity such as tic spasms or myoclonus.
  27. dysphoria
    a disorder of affect characterized by sadness and anguish
  28. electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
    induction of brief convulsion by passing electric current through the brain for the treatment of affective disorders.
  29. euphoria
    feeling of well-being or elation. An exaggerated or abnormal sense of well-being commonly is seen during the manic stages of bipolar disorder, in some forms of schizophrenia, in organic mental disorders and in toxic and drug induced states.
  30. flight of ideas
    a continuous stream of talk marked by a rapid and abrupt shift from one topic to another, each subject not related to the preceding one or stimulated by environmental circumstances. The condition is frequently a symptom of acute manic states or schizophrenia.
  31. gender identity disorder
    condition characterized by a persistent discomfort and sense of inappropriateness concerning one's anatomic sex and identification with the opposite sex.
  32. grandiose self
    an exaggerated belief of one's importance or identity.
  33. group therapy
    the application of psychotherapeutic techniques within a small group of people who experience similar difficulties. Generally, a group leader (facilitator) directs the sicussion of problems in an attemtp to promote individual psychologic growth and favorable behavioral change.
  34. hallucination
    sensory perception that does not result from external stimuli, which occurs in the waking state with a continual belief that the origin of the perception is external rather than internal.
  35. insanity
    severe mental disorder; a legal rather than medical term denoting a condition that is so severe as to interfere with the capability of functioning within the legal limits of society
  36. learning disability (LD)
    disorder characterized by the inadequate development, usually in children of normal or above-average intelligence, of specific academic, language, speech and motor skills. The disorder is not the result of demonstrable physical or neurologic disorders or deficient educational opportunities.
  37. loose association
    disturbance of thinking in which the expressed ideas appear to lack any logical sequence or relationship to one another.
  38. magical thinking
    belief that merely thinking about an event in the external world can cause it to occur or be true
  39. maladaptive behavior
    behavior that does not adjust to the environment or situation and interferes with mental health.
  40. malingering
    willful, deliberate, and fraudulent feigning or exaggeration of the symptoms of illness.
  41. manic depressive illness (MDI)
    mood disturbance characterized by alternating attacks of mania(expansiveness, elation and agitation) and depression, as in bipolar discorder
  42. mental retardation (MR)
    disorder characterized by below average general intellectual function.
  43. mental status examination (MSE)
    diagnostic procedure in which a trained interviewer asks a set of standard questions to evaluate a person's psychologic competence.
  44. neurosis
    any one of the group of mental disorders characterized by anxiety symptoms and in which realtiy testing is intact (in contrast to psychosis)
  45. paranoid disorder
    any of a large group of mental disorders characterized by an impared sense of reality and persistent delusions.
  46. personality disorder
    a disruption in relatedness manifested in any of a large group of mental disorders. Symptoms of personality disorder include rigid, inflexible, and maladaptive behavior patterns that impair a person's ability to function in society and interpersonal relationships.
  47. psychoanalysis
    branch of psychiatry, founded by Sigmund Freud, from which developed a system of psychotherapy based on the concepts of a dynamic unconscious.
  48. psychologic tests
    any of a group of standardized tests designed to measure characteristics such as intellignece, aptitudes and personality tratits.
  49. psychopharmacology
    scientific study of the drug effects on mental or behavioral activities.
  50. psychosis
    any major mental disorder of organic or emotional origin characterized by a gross impairment in reality testing.
  51. psychotherapy
    any of a large number of methods of treating mental and emotional disorders by psychologic techniques rather than by physical means.
  52. seasonal afffective disorder (SAD)
    mood disorder associated with the decrease in sunlight during the autumn and winter and ther effect of the lessened exposure on melatonin secretion. Symptoms include lethargy, depression, social withdrawl and work difficulites.
  53. substance abuse
    overindulgence in and dependce on a stimulant, depressant, or other chemcial substance, leading to effects that are detrimental to the individual's physical or mental health or welfare of others.
  54. therapeutic community
    use of a treatment setting as a community, with the immediate aim of full participation of all clinets and the eventual goal of preparing clients for life outside the treatment setting.
  55. tolerance
    the need for increasing amounts of a psychoactive substance to achieve the same level of intoxication or desired effect.
  56. transference
    an unconscious mechanism in which feelings and attitudes originally associated with important people and events in one's early life are attributed to others in current interpersonal relationships.
  57. withdrawal
    the avoidance of social interaction; also the occurrence of specific physical symptoms when intake of a psychoactive substance is reduced or discontinued.
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medical term / behavioral health terms
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