Panic disorder is characterized by uncontrollable episodes of fear and its physical manifestations, such as heart palpitations, sweating, and dizziness. Worry about having an panic attack may bring about the additional stress of chronic anxiety.

WHAT IS ADHD? ↓What Is ADHD? Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Five to seven percent of children, most of them boys, are diagnosed with this developmental disorder. Some simply cannot concentrate; some become disruptive and defiant and have trouble getting along with parents, peers, or teachers. ADHD is controversial: Is it a disorder at all or a collection of behaviors normally occurring in the population but less tolerated in today’s high-demand world? There are competing theories about what, if anything, goes wrong in the brain, although executive functioning (attention, emotion regulation, and decision-making) is invariably affected. Up to 50 percent of children eventually outgrow the condition, but even if they do, earlier developmental delays may create enduring learning problems. Everything from genes to lead exposure in older homes to sugar intake has been implicated in ADHD. Experts disagree whether treatment should be behavioral (training of attention, more play, more structure) or pharmacological (stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall), although a combination of both may work best. Work, school, and managing household tasks can be very challenging for people with ADD and ADHD. Fortunately, sufferers can learn coping skills to work around shortcomings and harness talents–as many successful people with ADD have done.CHILD ABUSE ↓Definition Injury, or even death, of a child through abuse is frightfully common. Child abuse can result from physical, emotional, or sexual harm; and it can even result from neglect. There are multiple causes, including households that suffer alcoholism, anger issues, and substance abuse. Child abuse is widespread and can occur in any cultural, ethnic, and income group. Child abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual. It can also result from neglect. Abuse can result in serious injury to the child and possibly even death. Studies show that one in four girls and one in eight boys are sexually abused before the age of 18, and that approximately one in 20 children are physically abused each year. Physical abuse involves harming a child by, for example, burning, beating, or breaking their bones. Child sexual abuse is the deliberate exposure of a minor child to sexual activity that the child cannot comprehend or consent to. This means a child is forced or talked into sex or sexual activities by another person. This behavior includes acts such as inappropriate touching of a child’s breasts or genitalia, someone exposing their genitalia to a child, fondling, oral-genital contact, genital and anal intercourse, as well as exhibitionism, voyeurism, and exposure to pornography. Child neglect occurs when someone does not provide the necessities of life to a child, either intentionally or with reckless disregard for the child’s well being. This can include physical neglect, such as withholding food, clothing, shelter, or other necessities. Emotional neglect includes withholding love or comfort or affection. Medical neglect occurs when medical care is withheld. Symptoms It’s not always easy to recognize when a child has been abused. Children who are abused are often afraid to complain because they are fearful that they will be blamed or that no one will believe them or because the person who abused them is someone they love very much. Parents are often unable to recognize symptoms of abuse because they may not want to face the truth. If you suspect a child has been sexually abused, the child should be examined as soon as possible by a trained health care professional; it can’t be stressed enough that an abused child needs access to special support and treatment as soon as possible. A doctor’s exam should not be delayed for any reason. Many signs of injury related to sexual abuse are temporary. Ideally, the exam should occur within 72 hours of the event or discovery. A complete physical exam must always be performed, so that the examiner can look for any signs of physical and sexual abuse. The two forms of abuse may coexist. The longer the abuse continues, the less likely the child will make full recovery. Watch out for unexplained changes in your child’s body or behavior. Conduct a formal examination only if you have reason to suspect your child has been abused. Otherwise, the child may become fearful. Be alert to any of the following changes: Signs of Physical Abuse: Any injury (bruise, burn, fracture, abdominal or head injury) that cannot be explained Signs of Sexual Abuse: Fearful behavior (nightmares, depression, unusual fears, attempts to run away); abdominal pain, bedwetting, urinary tract infection, genital pain or bleeding, sexually transmitted disease; extreme sexual behavior that seems inappropriate for the child’s age Signs of Emotional Abuse: Sudden change in self-confidence; headaches or stomachaches with no medical cause; abnormal fears, increased nightmares or attempts to run away Signs of Emotional Neglect: Failure to gain weight (especially in infants), desperately affectionate behavior, voracious appetite and stealing food Causes Risk Factors A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of child maltreatment and abuse. Although children are not responsible for the harm inflicted upon them, certain individual characteristics have been found to increase their risk of being maltreated. Risk factors are contributing factors—not direct causes. Examples of risk factors: * Disabilities or mental retardation in children that may increase caregiver burden * Social isolation of families * Parents’ lack of understanding of children’s needs and child development * Parents’ history of domestic abuse * Poverty and other socioeconomic disadvantages, such as unemployment * Family disorganization, dissolution, and violence, including intimate partner violence * Lack of family cohesion * Substance abuse in family * Young, single non biological parents * Poor parent-child relationships and negative interactions * Parental thoughts and emotions supporting maltreatment behaviors * Parental stress and distress, including depression or other mental health conditions * Community violence Treatment If you suspect a child has been abused, contact a pediatrician or a local child protective agency for help. Physicians are legally obligated to report all suspected cases of abuse or neglect to authorities. They can also recommend a therapist and provide the necessary information for investigators. Doctors may also testify in court to obtain legal protection for the child or to help criminally prosecute an individual suspected of engaging in child sexual abuse. Whatever the nature of the abuse, steps should be taken immediately to report the abuse and obtain help. Delaying a report decreases the child’s chances for full recovery. If he or she has been abused, your child will benefit from the services of a qualified mental health professional. You and other members of the family may be advised to seek counseling so that you’ll be able to provide the support and comfort your child needs. If someone in your family is responsible for the abuse, a mental health professional may be able to treat that person successfully, as well. If your child has been abused, you may be the only person who can help him or her. Do not delay reporting your suspicions of abuse. Denying the problem will only worsen the situation; allowing the abuse to continue decreases the child’s chance for full recovery. In any case of child abuse, the safety of the abused youngster is of primary concern. He or she needs to be in a safe environment free of the potential for continuing abuse. In most cases, children who are abused or neglected suffer greater emotional than physical damage. A child who has been abused or otherwise severely mistreated may become depressed or develop suicidal, withdrawn, or violent behavior. An older child may use drugs or alcohol, try to run away, or abuse others. The younger the child is and the closer the child’s relationship to the abuser, the more serious the emotional damage will be. As adults, they may develop marital and sexual difficulties, depression or suicidal behavior. Sources * American Psychiatric Association * National Library of Medicine * Administration for Children and Families * American Academy of Pediatrics * Department of Health and Human Services * National Institutes of HealthELDER OR DEPENDENT ADULT ABUSE ↓Each year hundreds of thousands of elderly people are abused, neglected and exploited. These victims are frail, vulnerable and cannot help themselves. They depend on others to meet their most basic needs. Elder abuse can fall under several categories: * Physical abuse is the willful infliction of physical pain or injury, such as slapping, bruising, sexually molesting, or restraining. * Psychological abuse is the infliction of mental or emotional anguish, such as humiliating or threatening. * Financial or material exploitation is another improper act, using the resources of an elderly person without his consent. * Neglect is the failure of a caretaker to provide goods or services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or illness. While it is hard to estimate how many older persons are abused each year, one study suggests that 500,000 Americans are abused, neglected and exploited by family members and others. The study also estimated, however, that only about 16 percent of abuse cases are reported. The Senate Special Commission on Aging estimates that there may be as many as 5 million victims of elder abuse a year. The study also found that domestic elder abuse has increased 150 percent. In addition: * 551,011 people, age 60 and over, experience abuse, neglect, and/or self-neglect in a one-year period. * The perpetrator was a family member in 90 percent of cases. Two-thirds of the perpetrators were adult children or spouses. Legislatures in all 50 states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws. Laws and definitions of terms vary considerably from one state to another, but all states have set up reporting systems. Generally, adult protective services (APS) agencies receive and investigate reports of suspected elder abuse. Symptoms Top * Bruises and lacerations * Broken or fractured bones * Untreated injuries in various stages of healing * Sprains, dislocations and internal injuries * Laboratory findings of medication overdose or under-utilization of prescribed drugs * Elder’s report of being hit, kicked or mistreated * Elder’s sudden change in behavior, including becoming depressed, agitated, withdrawn and non-communicative * Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bedsores and poor hygiene * Unattended or untreated health problems * Unsafe or unclean living conditions * Elder’s report of mistreatment * Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone Causes Top Spouses and adult children of elders are the most common abusers of family members. Generally, a combination of psychological, social and economic factors, along with the mental and physical conditions of the victim and the perpetrator, contribute to the occurrence of elder maltreatment. Although the factors listed below cannot explain all types of elder maltreatment because it is likely that different types (as well as each single incident) involve different casual factors, some of the causes researchers cite as important are: * Caregiver stress * Impairment of dependent elder * A family history of violence and substance abuse Treatment Top In most jurisdictions, the APS, the Area Agency on Aging, or the county Department of Social Services is designated as the agency to receive and investigate allegations of elder abuse and neglect. If investigators find abuse or neglect, they make arrangements for services to help protect the victim. The Area Agency on Aging operates an information and referral line for a wide range of services. If the elder is in immediate danger, call 911. Older adults can take the following precautions to help keep themselves safe from abuse: * Maintain a social life. Stay in touch with old friends and neighbors if you move in with a relative or change your address. Have a buddy outside the home check in with you at least once a week. Invite friends to stop by your house even if they only stay for a brief period. * Stay open to opportunities. Make new friends. Continue participating in community activities. * Retain control over your telephone and mail. If your mail is being intercepted, discuss the problem with postal authorities. * Organize your belongings so you can keep track of everything. Make sure others are aware that you know where everything is kept. * Try to be in control of attending to your personal needs. Keep regular appointments with your doctor, dentist, barber or hairdresser. * Maintain financial control. Arrange to have your Social Security or pension check deposited directly to a bank account in your name. * Maintain legal control. Obtain legal advice about possible future disability, including powers-of-attorney, guardianships, or conservatorships. Be sure to keep records, accounts, and property available for examination by someone you trust, as well as by the person you or the court has designated to manage your affairs. Review your will periodically. Only give up control of your property or assets at a time when you decide you cannot manage them. * Be sure to ask for help when you need it. Discuss your plans with your attorney, physician or family members. Other precautions to take to prevent elder abuse: * Other precautions to take to prevent elder abuse: * Don’t live with a person who has a background of violent behavior or alcohol or drug abuse. * Don’t leave your home unattended, or if you do, don’t leave signs that you are not home. Don’t leave notes on the door; if you must be away for a long period, notify the police. * Don’t leave cash, jewelry or other valuables. * Don’t accept personal care in return for giving the caregiver transfer or assignments of your property or assets unless a lawyer, advocate or another trusted person acts as a witness to the transaction. * Don’t sign a document unless someone you trust has reviewed it, and don’t allow anyone to keep details of your finances or property management from you. Sources Top * National Elder Abuse Incidence Study * Adult Protective Services * Elder Abuse Center * U.S. Administration on Aging * National Center on Elder Abuse * Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in an Aging America. 2003. Washington, DC: National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect. * Wasik, John F. 2000. “The Fleecing of America’s Elderly,” Consumers Digest, March/AprilWHAT IS ADDICTION? ↓

What Is Addiction? Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, even health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others. The word addiction is used in several different ways. One definition describes physical addiction. This is a biological state in which the body adapts to the presence of a drug so that drug no longer has the same effect; this is known as tolerance. Because of tolerance, there is a biological reaction when the drug is withdrawn. Another form of physical addiction is the phenomenon of overreaction by the brain to drugs (or to cues associated with the drugs). An alcoholic walking into a bar, for instance, will feel an extra pull to have a drink because of these cues. However, most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, or gamble or shop, nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The focus of the addiction isn’t what matters; it’s the need to take action under certain kinds of stress. To treat this kind of addiction requires understanding of how it works psychologically. No matter which kind of addiction is meant, it is important to recognize that its cause is not a search for pleasure, and addiction has nothing to do with one’s morality or strength of character. Experts debate whether addiction is a “disease” or a true mental illness, whether drug dependence and addiction mean the same thing, and many other aspects of addiction. Such debates are not likely to be resolved soon. But the lack of resolution does not preclude effective treatment.


Gender identity disorder (GID) or transsexualism is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex. People with GID desire to live as members of the opposite sex and often dress and use mannerisms associated with the other gender. For instance, a person identified as a boy may feel and act like a girl. This is distinct from homosexuality in that homosexuals nearly always identify with their apparent sex or gender.


Antisocial personality disorder is best understood within the context of the broader category of personality disorders. A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of personal experience and behavior that deviates noticeably from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to personal distress or impairment. Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others. The diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder is not given to individuals under the age of 18 and is only given if there is a history of some symptoms of conduct disorder before age 15.


Kleptomania You don’t need that thing, and you can afford to buy it, but you can’t help yourself: you just take it. Kleptomaniacs compulsively steal items that are not needed or have little monetary value, and experience a rush of pleasure as a result.


What Is Anxiety? Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations. But for some people, it becomes excessive and can cause them to dread everyday situations. This type of steady, all-over anxiety is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Other anxiety-related disorders include panic attacks–severe episodes of anxiety which happen in response to specific triggers–and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is marked by persistent invasive thoughts or compulsions to carry out specific behaviors such as hand-washing. Anxiety so often co-occurs with depression that the two are thought to be twin faces of one disorder. Like depression it strikes twice as many females as males. Generally, anxiety arises first, often during childhood. Evidence suggests that both biology and environment can contribute to the disorder. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to anxiety, but studies show that does not make development of the condition inevitable. On the other hand, early traumatic experiences can reset the body’s normal fear-processing system so that it is hyper-reactive to stress. The exaggerated worries and expectations of the worst outcomes in unknown situations that typify anxiety are often accompanied by physical symptoms. These include muscle tension, headaches, stomach cramps, and frequent urination. Behavioral therapies, with or without medication to control symptoms, have proved highly effective against anxiety, especially in children.


Orgasmic Disorder Orgasmic disorder is the inability to achieve climax during sexual stimulation.

DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER ↓Dependent personality disorder is a psychiatric condition marked by an overreliance on other people to meet one’s emotional and physical needs. Personality traits are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to and thinking about one’s environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts. Only when personality traits are inflexible, maladaptive and cause significant functional impairment or subjective distress are they considered personality disorders. The essential feature of a personality disorder is a continuing pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates noticeably from the expectations of the individual’s culture and is manifested in at least two of the following areas: cognition/thinking, affectivity/emotional expression, interpersonal functioning or impulse control. This persistent pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations, and leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern is stable and of long duration, which means its onset can be traced back to at least adolescence or early adulthood. This pattern is not better accounted for as a manifestation or consequence of another mental disorder and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (such as drug abuse, medication, exposure to a toxin) or a general medical condition (such as head trauma).Dependent personality disorder is described as a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to a submissive and clinging behavior as well as fears of separation. This pattern begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts. The dependent and submissive behaviors are designed to elicit caregiving and arise from a self-perception of being unable to function adequately without the help of others. Individuals with dependent personality disorder have great difficulty making everyday decisions (such as what shirt to wear or whether to carry an umbrella) without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others. These individuals tend to be passive and allow other people (often a single other person) to take the initiative and assume responsibility for most major areas of their lives. Adults with this disorder typically depend on a parent or spouse to decide where they should live, what kind of job they should have and which neighbors to befriend. Adolescents with this disorder may allow their parent(s) to decide what they should wear, with whom they should associate, how they should spend their free time and what school or college they should attend. This need for others to assume responsibility goes beyond age-appropriate and situation-appropriate requests for assistance from others (such as the specific needs of children, elderly persons and handicapped persons). Because they fear losing support or approval, individuals with dependent personality disorder often have difficulty expressing disagreement with other people, especially those on whom they are dependent. These individuals feel so unable to function alone that they will agree with things that they feel are wrong rather than risk losing the help of those to whom they look for guidance. Individuals with this disorder have difficulty initiating projects or doing things independently. They may go to extreme lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, even to the point of volunteering for unpleasant tasks if such behavior will bring the care that they need. Individuals with this disorder feel uncomfortable or helpless when alone, because of their exaggerated fears of being unable to care for themselves. When a close relationship ends (such as a breakup with a lover or the death of a caregiver), individuals with Dependent Personality disorder may urgently seek another relationship to provide the care and support they need. They are often preoccupied with fears of being left to care for themselves.WHAT IS ASPERGER’S SYNDROME? ↓What is Asperger’s Syndrome? Asperger’s Syndrome is a high functioning form of autism. People with Asperger’s often have difficulties with social skills. They might also have problems with motor regulation. However, unlike many with autism, their language and cognitive skills are largely intact. People with Asperger’s often have an orientation toward detail and an interest in systemizing which can look like obsessiveness. Some may show remarkable facility in a narrowly focused and usually non-social area, such as baseball statistics or train schedules. Those with Asperger’s typically lack the ability to understand the perspectives and feelings of others. But they often benefit from sustained training in social awareness, such as learning how to read facial expressions, and interaction skills. When encouraged to cope with their difficulties, many with Asperger’s capitalize on their intense interests to become successful in a specific field of work.ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER ↓

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior.

NIGHTMARES ↓Nightmares You wake up with your heart pounding, and maybe even with a shout. Isolated nightmares are normal, but when dreams resulting in extreme terror or anxiety recur often they can become a debilitating sleep disorder.MENTAL RETARDATION ↓Mental retardation (MR) is a condition diagnosed before age 18, usually in infancy or prior to birth, that includes below-average general intellectual function, and a lack of the skills necessary for daily living. When onset occurs at age 18 or after, it is called dementia, which can coexist with an MR diagnosis. Intelligence level as determined by individual standard assessment is below 70, and the ability to adapt to the demands of normal life is impaired. This is important because it distinguishes a diagnosis of MR from individuals with low IQ scores who are able to adapt to the demands of everyday life. Education, job training, support from family, and individual characteristics such as motivation and personality can all contribute to the ability of individuals with MR to adapt. Other behavioral traits associated with MR (but not deemed criteria for an MR diagnosis) include aggression, dependency, impulsivity, passivity, self-injury, stubbornness, low self-esteem, and low frustration tolerance. Some may also exhibit mood disorders such as psychotic disorders and attention difficulties, though others are pleasant, otherwise healthy individuals. Sometimes physical traits, like shortness in stature and malformation of facial elements, can set individuals with MR apart, while others may have a normal appearance.MALINGERER ↓

Malingering is the purposeful production of falsely or grossly exaggerated complaints with the goal of receiving a reward. These may include money, insurance settlement, drugs or the avoidance of punishment, work, jury duty, the military or some other kind of service. A malingerer may respond to items in a certain manner to attain release from incarceration. One example is the case of Ganser syndrome, which is when a person tailors their answers to fake psychosis. This syndrome is also known as approximation, or nonsense syndrome. Malingering can lead to abuse of the medical system, with unnecessary tests being performed and time being wasted by the clinician as opposed to those with legitimate health problems. A malingerer may attempt to raise the temperature of a thermometer through heat from a lamplight or alter a urine sample by adding sand to it; however, if the malingerer is more discreet, the clinician will have great difficulty gathering evidence for an accurate diagnosis.

AGING ↓Aging The face of aging America has changed dramatically in recent years. As the baby boomer generation enters the golden years, people are living longer and healthier lives. In fact, life expectancy has shot to age 85.WHAT IS AUTISM? ↓

What is Autism? A pervasive developmental disorder, autism affects information processing in multiple ways. Many people with autism have difficulties with social interactions and communication, sensory deficits, and poor motor coordination. Autistic people often have restricted interests and engage in repetitive behaviors. Because autism’s symptoms vary greatly, it’s said to exist on a spectrum, and is increasing referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder. (Asperger’s is a condition often referred to as “high functioning” autism.) Some people with autism have low intelligence while others are quite intelligent. Autism usually manifests by age two. It affects far more males than females. The frequency of diagnosis has surged over the past 20 years. No one knows for sure what causes autism, but numerous studies link it to advanced maternal and/or paternal age at conception. Reports implicating mercury-containing vaccines have proved baseless, although there is some evidence that environmental toxins may play a role. Some research suggests that autism reflects an “extreme male brain,” because people with the condition often have an obsession with details and systemizing but are low on empathizing ability. There is no cure for autism, although some symptoms may ameliorate over the years.


What Is Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a chronically recurring condition involving moods that swing between the highs of mania and the lows of depression. But that’s not quite the whole picture; depression is by far the most pervasive feature of the illness, and the manic phase is usually a mix of irritability, anger, and depression, with or without euphoria. The elation may manifest as unusual energy and overconfidence, playing out in bouts of overspending or promiscuity. The disorder most often starts in young adulthood but also occurs in children and adolescents. Misdiagnosis is common; the condition is typically confused with everything from attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder to schizophrenia to borderline personality disorder. Biological factors probably create vulnerability to the disorder, but experiences such as sleep deprivation can kick off manic episodes. While the depression of bipolar disorder can resist treatment, mood swings and recurrences can often be delayed or prevented with a mood stabilizer, alone or combined with other drugs. Psychotherapy is an important adjunct to pharmacotherapy, especially for dealing with the work and relationship problems that can accompany the disorder.


Research on how to increase positive moods and capitalize on your strengths has proliferated lately thanks to the positive psychology movement, and has shed light on ongoing insights into personality, mood, and cognition. Not everyone is born with a sunny disposition, but experts agree we can all learn how to bring more meaning and satisfaction into our lives.


What Is Depression? Some 15 million Americans struggle with depression—an illness that comes in many forms—from major depression and seasonal affective disorder, to dysthymia and bipolar disorder. Depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Depression, even the most severe cases, is a highly treatable disorder. As with many illnesses, the earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is and the greater the likelihood that recurrence can be prevented.


Many children have speech or language disorders—including stuttering, inability to articulate certain words, and auditory processing problems. Early intervention is the key to successful treatment.Communication disorders include problems related to speech, language and auditory processing. Communication disorders may range from simple sound repetitions such as stuttering to occasional misarticulation of words to complete inability to use speech and language for communications (aphasia).


Exhibitionism is a condition marked by the urge to expose one’s sexual organs to others, particularly strangers.

CYCLOTHYMIA ↓Cyclothymia, a mild form of bipolar disorder, is characterized by mood swings from mild or moderate depression to hypomania. Hypomania involves periods of elevated mood, euphoria, and excitement but does not disconnect a person from reality.BULIMIA NERVOSA ↓

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by episodes of binge eating—consuming a lot of food quickly—followed by compensatory behavior, most commonly vomiting or “purging.”

AGING ↓Aging The face of aging America has changed dramatically in recent years. As the baby boomer generation enters the golden years, people are living longer and healthier lives. In fact, life expectancy has shot to age 85.WHAT ARE EATING DISORDERS? ↓What are Eating Disorders? Disordered eating occurs in affluent cultures and especially in America, where frank eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa (voluntary starvation) and bulimia nervosa (binge-eating followed by purging) now afflict one in ten persons. Most are young women in their teens and 20s, but the disorders are also increasing among young men. Among the most baffling of conditions, eating disorders take on a life of their own so that eating, or not eating, becomes the point of everyday existence. Both anorexia and bulimia are powered by an intense fear of fat and desire for control. But in another eating disorder, binge-eating, in which people gorge on large amounts of food and generally gain weight, sufferers feel that eating is out of their control during such bouts. Both culturally mediated body-image concerns and personality traits like perfectionism and obsessiveness play a large role in creating eating disorders, which are also often accompanied by depression and/or anxiety. There is no magic cure for these conditions, which are often resistant to treatment, and anorexia can be acutely life-threatening, requiring hospitalization and forced nourishment.WHAT IS INSOMNIA? ↓What Is Insomnia? Almost everyone goes through bouts of sleeplessness from time to time. It happens to the average person about once a year. That’s the cost of being human and having the capacity to worry about the future and chew over the past. Chronic insomnia, however, is marked by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or waking up too early. If it takes you thirty minutes or more to fall asleep, or you’re awake for thirty minutes or more during the night at least three times a week–for a month or more–you’re offically suffering from insomnia. Insomnia has major effects on mood as well as alertness. It is also a classic symptom of depression. Short-acting sleeping pills may improve sleep and next-day alertness. But the best way to handle a bout of insomnia is to do nothing; the body’s sleep mechanism tends to right itself, if given the chance. The most effective treatments for chronic insomnia are behavioral techniques that eliminate sleep anxiety and allow the body’s own sleep cycle to kick in.WHAT IS OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER? ↓What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? From hoarding to hand-washing to forever checking the stove, obsessive-compulsive disorder takes many forms. It is an anxiety disorder that traps people in repetitive thoughts and behavioral rituals that can be completely disabling. Surveys conducted by the NIMH show that 2 percent of the population suffers from OCD—more than experience such mental illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and panic disorder. OCD may begin in childhood but it most often starts during adolescence or early adulthood. Scientists believe that both a neurobiological predisposition and environmental factors jointly cause the unwanted, intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors patterns meant to appease the unwanted thoughts. Unless treated, the disorder tends to be chronic, lasting for years, even decades, although the severity of the symptoms may wax and wane over the years. Both pharmacological and behavioral approaches have proven effective as treatments, and often a combination of both is most helpful.PASSIVE-AGGRESSION ↓Passive-Aggression It’s that sweet-yet-scolding note your roommate leaves about the one cup you left unwashed, or the report your colleague keeps “forgetting” to finish for you. Passive-aggression is frustrating to its targets, since it’s not as easily identifiable—or unacceptable—as, say, socking someone in the jaw would be. For their part, passive-aggressors can learn to express their anger in healthier ways, and stop sneaking around.SEPARATION ANXIETY ↓

Separation anxiety refers to a developmental stage in which a child experiences anxiety due to separation from the primary care giver (usually the mother). This phase is fairly standard at around 8 months of age and can last until the child is 14 months old.

PERSONALITY ↓Questions of personality have vexed mankind from the dawn of personhood: can people change? How do others perceive me? What is the difference between normal and pathological behavior? One’s personality is so pervasive and all-important that it presents a clinical paradox of sorts: it is hard to assess our own personality, impossible to overlook that of others.SHYNESS ↓Shyness is the awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or getting approached by other people. Unlike introverts, who feel energized by time alone, shy people often desperately want to connect with others, but don’t know how or can’t tolerate the anxiety that comes with human interaction.MOTIVATION ↓

Motivation Ambition, Goals Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It’s the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be.


Positive psychology is the study of human thriving. Psychology traditionally focused on dysfunction—on people with mental illness or other psychological problems and how to treat them. Positive psychology, by contrast, is a relatively new field that examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled.


Postpartum Disorder Because of dramatic hormonal changes, some new mothers experience mild depression or “baby blues.” Others fall into a more serious depression or, in rare cases, experience psychotic episodes.

SEX ↓At least for humans, this most basic act is anything but simple. As the pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey put it, the only universal in human sexuality is variability itself. Within the universe of intimacy and pleasure that sex affords, however, there’s a lot of room for error. From the behavior itself to our orientations, sex never fails to be a provacative topic. Most people are affected by sexual problems at some point in their lives and safety is always a concern. Though the global jury may remain hung over sex’s moral and political implications, we can all come to at least one consensus: It’s why we’re alive today and it’s the first thing future generations depend on.WHAT IS LOW SEXUAL DESIRE? ↓

What Is Low Sexual Desire? People normally differ in the degree of sexual appetite they have. There is no single standard of sexual desire, and desire differs not only from person to person but also in the same person over the life span. One of the most common sexual complaints among couples is a disparity in sexual desire. Sexual desire can be low for an almost infinite variety of reasons, many of them psychological and interpersonal. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a disorder. It becomes a diagnosable condition only when it diminishes the quality of one’s life and creates distress, or a disparity arises in the sex drive between partners and it becomes a matter of unresolved contention in the relationship. Hypoactive sexual desire can both result from relationship problems and cause them. Moreover, hypoactive desire is almost invariably a relative matter. Partners who use as a standard of comparison the degree of sexual desire experienced early in a relationship may label as a problem the drop in sexual desire and activity that often accompanies longer-term partnerships, when the needs of everyday living tend to prevail. Further, a person who experiences low sexual desire that is problematic relative to one partner may not experience any disparity in desire with a different partner. Hypoactive sexual desire may arise only in response to one’s current partner. And what is designated as one partner’s low level of desire may more accurately reflect an overactive sex drive in the other partner. Sexual desire and responsiveness normally differ between men and women, and assumptions of sexual equivalency may falsely suggest the existence of hypoactive desire disorder. Men are more readily biologically aroused than women, and, for them, desire is tied tightly to physiologic arousal. Among women, sexual desire is more psychological and situational, related more to context than it is among men-to how they feel about their bodies as well as to the quality of relationship with their partner. Moreover, women often do not experience desire until after they are genitally aroused, and arousal may require an extended period of foreplay. The waning of sexual desire is sometimes considered an inevitability in a long-term relationship, but it is unclear whether that is truly the case, or whether it is a function of age or familiarity. Low sexual desire can often be treated. But increasingly, experts are optimistic that the sexual spark can stay alive throughout the life span.


Love is the most profound emotion known to human beings. For most people, romantic relationships are the most meaningful element in their lives. But the ability to have a healthy, loving relationship is not innate. Almost all of us have experienced a failed relationship, and most of us have to work consciously to master the skills necessary to make them flourish. The good news is that with effort and perseverance, you can learn what you need to know to make your relationship last.


Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, is characterized by severe mood shifts or a mix of depression, anxiety, and high-energy delusional phases known as manic episodes.


You know the feeling. It’s that rage you get when someone cuts you off on the highway; the one where you just want to floor it and flip the bird. Anger is a corrosive emotion that can run off with your mental and physical health. So do you hold it in? Or do you let it all hang out? Yet, anger doesn’t dissipate just because you unleash it. Here are a few articles and blog posts that can help you manage this raw emotion.

PROCRASTINATION ↓Everyone procrastinate sometimes, but 20 percent of people are true procrastinators. They consistently avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions, which, unfortunately, are increasingly available. Procrastination in large part reflects our difficulty in regulating emotions and to accurately predict how we will feel tomorrow, or the next day. Procrastinators say they perform better under pressure, but that’s just one of many lies they tell themselves. Since procrastinators are made and not born, it’s possible to overcome procrastination—with effort.CHILD DEVELOPMENT ↓The speedy physical and psychological changes that children undergo from birth through adolescence often leave parents wondering how best to care for them at each stage. From how to talk so kids will listen to when to back off and allow them to fail, PT’s experts weigh in.FETISHISM ↓

Fetishism is sexual attraction to objects, situations, or body parts not traditionally viewed as sexual.

ADOLESCENCE ↓A time of both disorientation and discovery, adolescence describes the teenage years between 13 and 19. With increasing rates of early-onset puberty, the preteen or “tween” years (ages 9-12) may also qualify. No longer children but not yet adults, adolescents struggle with issues of independence and self-identity. There may be experimentation with drugs and alcohol or sexuality. Peer groups and external appearance tend to increase in importance.CAREGIVING ↓

The AARP found that 44.4 million Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult. To do so is a beautiful act of love and devotion but also a great drain on one’s physical and psychological resources.


Parenting can be the most stressful—and rewarding—job of your life. We can all think of ways we’d do things differently from our parents, and no doubt your kids will find ways they’ll parent differently from you. How much does parenting really matter? Which factors influence your kids more than others? And how can you best cooperate with others—teachers, spouses, family—for the well-being of your children? Read on. This ain’t your parents’ Psych 101.

FAMILY DYNAMICS ↓Family Dynamics Birth Order, Siblings Can we all get along? That’s a tall order when your limelight has been snatched away by your adorable new little brother. Family: You love them and you hate them. There are so many things to consider when you think of family: there’s birth order, rivalries, and the only child, to name a few.STRESS ↓

Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. In other words, it’s an omnipresent part of life. A stressful event can trigger the “fight-or-flight” response, causing hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol to surge through the body A little bit of stress is exciting—it keeps us active and alert. But chronic stress can have detrimental effects on health. You may not be able to control the stressors in your world, but you can alter your reaction to them.Acute stress disorder develops within one month after an individual experiences or sees an event involving a threat or actual death, serious injury, or physical violation to the individual or others, and responds to this event with strong feelings of fear, helplessness or horror.


Child neglect is defined as a type of maltreatment related to the failure to provide needed, age-appropriate care. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, neglect is usually typified by an ongoing pattern of inadequate care and is readily observed by individuals in close contact with the child. Once children are in school, personnel often notice indicators of child neglect such as poor hygiene, poor weight gain, inadequate medical care, or frequent absences from school. Professionals have defined four types of neglect: physical, emotional, educational, and medical.

ALCOHOL ABUSE ↓Child neglect is defined as a type of maltreatment related to the failure to provide needed, age-appropriate care. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, neglect is usually typified by an ongoing pattern of inadequate care and is readily observed by individuals in close contact with the child. Once children are in school, personnel often notice indicators of child neglect such as poor hygiene, poor weight gain, inadequate medical care, or frequent absences from school. Professionals have defined four types of neglect: physical, emotional, educational, and medical.CO-OCCURING DISORDERS ↓

Co-Occurring Disorders Formerly known as dual diagnosis or dual disorder, co-occurring disorders describe the presence of two or more disorders at the same time. For example, a person may suffer substance abuse as well as bipolar disorder.


Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a condition wherein a person’s identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personalities. Sufferers of this rare condition are usually victims of severe abuse.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss, language deterioration, impaired ability to mentally manipulate visual information, poor judgment, confusion, restlessness, and mood swings.

AD usually begins after age 65, but its onset may occur as early as age 40, appearing first as memory decline and, over several years, destroying cognition, personality, and ability to function. Confusion and restlessness may also occur. The type, severity, sequence, and progression of mental changes vary widely. However, there are some early-onset forms of the disease, usually linked to a specific gene defect, which may appear as early as age 30.

The early symptoms of AD, which include forgetfulness and loss of concentration, can be missed easily because they resemble signs of natural aging. Similar symptoms can also result from fatigue, grief, depression, illness, vision or hearing loss, the use of alcohol or certain medications, or simply an overwhelming burden of details to remember.

HALLUCINOGENS ↓Hallucinogens are drugs that cause hallucinations—profound distortions in a person’s perceptions of reality, including delusions and false notions. In this state, people see images, hear sounds and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist.SEDATIVES ↓Sedatives work by slowing down brain activity resulting in drowsiness or relaxation. Many types, though, including barbiturates (like Nembutal) and benzodiazepines (like Valium and Xanax) have the potential for abuse and severe accompanying complications.PEDOPHILIA ↓Pedophilia is considered a paraphilia, an “abnormal or unnatural attraction.” Pedophilia is defined as the fantasy or act of sexual activity with prepubescent children.COMPULSIVE GAMBLER ↓

A compulsive, or pathological, gambler is someone who is unable to resist his or her impulses to gamble. This leads to severe personal and, or, social consequences. The urge to gamble becomes so great that tension can only be relieved by more gambling.

OPIOIDS ↓Morphine and codeine among others are opioids, synthetic drugs that produce the same effect as opium. These narcotics are used for pain, sedation, and other issues. A person can become dependent through long-term use. The Opioids are a class of controlled pain-management drugs that contain natural or synthetic chemicals based on morphine, the active component of opium. These narcotics effectively mimic the pain-relieving chemicals that the body produces naturally.DELIRIUM ↓

Delirium Delirium is a severe but usually temporary state of confusion.


Excessive sleepiness that intrudes on daily functions for a month or more may affect teens and young adults. It is also a common accompaniment to depression. Stimulants and adherence to good sleep routines can alleviate symptoms.


A neurological disorder that affects men as much as four times as much as women, Tourette’s syndrome causes patients to have uncontrollable, involuntary tics and movements. These can sometimes manifest as uncontrolled shouts or vocalization. ourette’s syndrome (TS) is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by multiple involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocalizations called tics that come and go over years. In a few cases, such tics can include inappropriate words and phrases.

SEXUAL PAIN DISORDER ↓Dyspareunia refers to pain in the pelvic area during or after sexual intercourse. This can occur in both men and women. Vaginismus refers to an involuntary spasm of the musculature surrounding the vagina causing it to close, resulting in penetration being difficult and painful, or impossible.SEX AND LOVE ADDICTION ↓Sex addicts lack the ability to control or postpone sexual feelings and actions, with the need for arousal often replacing the need for intimacy. Eventually, thrill seeking becomes more important than family, career, even personal health and safety. The sex addict follows a routine or ritual leading to acting out on desires, and is then fraught by feelings of denial then shame, despair, and confusion. Addiction is characterized by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance or activity despite negative social, psychological and/or physical consequences. It is often (but not always) accompanied by physical dependence, withdrawal syndrome and tolerance.SOCIAL PHOBIA ↓

For 5.3 million Americans, an impending social engagement or performance situation brings fear that prompts avoidance or otherwise interferes with functioning. Social phobia typically begins before adulthood and is best treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy, with or without medications. Social phobia, also called Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work, school, or other activities. While many people with social phobia recognize that their fear of being around people may be excessive or unreasonable, they are unable to overcome it. They often worry for days or weeks in advance of a dreaded situation. In addition, they often experience low self-esteem and depression.


Leaving home can be a reason to panic for some. Agoraphobia refers to a fear of any place where escape may be difficult, including large open spaces or crowds, as well as various means of travel. Translated from Greek as “fear of the marketplace,” agoraphobia involves intense fear and anxiety of any place or situation where escape might be difficult. Agoraphobics may avoid situations such as being alone outside of the home; traveling in a car, bus, or airplane; being in a crowded area; or being on a bridge or in an elevator.

INTERMITTENT EXPLOSIVE DISORDER ↓Intermittent Explosive Disorder An inability to resist aggressive urges may be an indication of intermittent explosive disorder. Individuals with this disorder often seriously damage property or assault others, usually in stark contrast to the provocation involved in a situation.MASOCHISM ↓Sexual masochism falls under the psychiatric sexual disorders category of paraphilias, meaning “abnormal or unnatural attraction.” Sexual masochism refers to engaging in or frequently fantasizing about being beaten, bound, or otherwise made to suffer, resulting in sexual satisfaction. Blindfolding, spanking and humiliation in the form of defecation, urination, or forced imitation of animals are other methods used by these patients. Masochists may inflict their own pain through shocking, pricking or choking.SCHIZOPHRENIA ↓Schizophrenia is a disabling, chronic, and severe mental illness that affects more than 2 million Americans age 18 and over. Symptoms include hearing internal voices, thinking that other people are reading one’s mind, controlling one’s thoughts, or plotting harm, which may leave a person feeling fearful and withdrawn. Their disorganized behavior can be perceived as incomprehensible or frightening. People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.BEREAVEMENT ↓

Bereavement means to be deprived of someone by death. The death of someone you love is one of the greatest losses that can occur. However, feelings of bereavement can also accompany other losses, such as the loss of your health or the health of someone you care about—or the end of an important relationship, through divorce, for example. Grief is a normal, healthy response to loss.


Avoidant Personality Disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by a lifelong pattern of extreme shyness, feelings of inadequacy, and sensitivity to rejection. Personality disorders are long-lived patterns of behavior that cause problems with work and relationships. About 1 percent of the population has this disorder, which is equally divided between the sexes. An estimated 14.8 percent of American adults meet standard diagnostic criteria for at least one personality disorder.


Learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, affect a person’s ability to understand or use language, to do math calculations, to coordinate movements, or to direct attention. They are usually diagnosed in children once they start school. Learning disabilities are disorders that affect one’s ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements or direct attention. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, disorders are usually not recognized until a child reaches school age. Research shows that 8 to 10 percent of American children under the age of 18 have some type of learning disability. Learning disabilities affect one’s ability to interpret what one sees and hears, or to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up as specific difficulties with spoken and written language, coordination, self-control or attention. Such difficulties extend to schoolwork and can impede learning to read or write, or to do math. Learning disabilities do not reflect IQ (intelligence quotient) or how smart a person is. Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions that, in some cases, affect many parts of a person’s existence: school or work, daily routines, family situations and, sometimes, even friendships and play. In some people, many overlapping learning disabilities may be apparent. Others may have a single, isolated learning problem that has little impact on other areas of their lives.Not all learning problems fall into the category of learning disabilities. Many children are simply slower in developing certain skills. Because children show natural differences in their rate of development, sometimes what seems to be a learning disability may simply be a delay in maturation To be diagnosed as a learning disability, a child’s condition must meet specific criteria. Dyslexia is a reading and language-based learning disability,. With this problem, a child may not understand letters, groups of letters, sentences or paragraphs. At the beginning of first grade, children may occasionally reverse and rotate the letters they read and write. This may be normal when he or she is first learning to read. By the middle of first grade (and with maturity) these problems should disappear. However, a young student with dyslexia may not overcome these problems. The difficulty can continue as the student grows. To him, a “b” may look like a “d.” He may write on when he really means no. Your child may reverse a 6 to make 9. This is not a vision problem, rather it is a problem with how the brain interprets the information it “sees.” Dysgraphia is a term for problems with writing. An older child may not form letters correctly, and there is difficulty writing within a certain space. Writing neatly takes time and effort; yet despite the extra effort, handwriting still may be hard to read. A teacher may say that a learning-disabled student can’t finish written tests and assignments on time, and supervisors may find that written tasks are always late or incomplete. Dyscalculia is a term for problems concerning math. A child may do well in history and language, but he may fail tests involving fractions and percentages. Math is difficult for many students, but with dyscalculia, a child may have much more difficulty than others his age. Dyscalculia may prevent your child from solving basic math problems that others his age complete with no difficulty. Information-processing disorders are learning disorders related to a person’s ability to use the information that they take in through their senses – seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. These problems are not related to an inability to see or hear. Instead, the conditions affect the way the brain recognizes, responds to, retrieves, and stores sensory information. Language-related learning disabilities are problems that interfere with age-appropriate communication, including speaking, listening, reading, spelling, and writing.


Empty Nest Syndrome refers to feelings of depression, sadness, and/or grief experienced by parents and caregivers after children come of age and leave their childhood homes. This may occur when children go to college or get married. Women are more likely than men to be affected; often, when the nest is emptying, mothers are going through other significant life events as well, such as menopause or caring for elderly parents. Yet this doesn’t mean that men are completely immune to Empty Nest Syndrome. Men can experience similar feelings of loss regarding the departure of their children. More mothers work these days and therefore feel less emptiness when their children leave home. Also, an increasing number of adult children between 25 and 34 are now living with their parents at home. Psychologist Allan Scheinberg notes that these “boomerang kids” want the “limited responsibility of childhood and the privileges of adulthood.” Children may also return home due to economics, divorce, extended education, drug or alcohol problems or temporary transitions.


Delusional disorder refers to a condition associated with one or more nonbizarre delusions of thinking—such as expressing beliefs that occur in real life such as being poisoned, being stalked, being loved or deceived, or having an illness, provided no other symptoms of schizophrenia are exhibited. Delusions may seem believable at face value, and patients may appear normal as long as an outsider does not touch upon their delusional themes. Mood episodes are relatively brief compared with the total duration of the delusional periods. Also, these delusions are not due to a medical condition or substance abuse. Themes of delusions may fall into the following types: erotomanic type (patient believes that a person, usually of higher social standing, is in love with the individual); grandiose type (patient believes that he has some great but unrecognized talent or insight, a special identity, knowledge, power, self-worth, or special relationship with someone famous or with God); jealous type (patient believes his partner has been unfaithful); persecutory type (patient believes he is being cheated, spied on, drugged, followed, slandered, or somehow mistreated); somatic type (patient believes he is experiencing physical sensations or bodily dysfunctions—such as foul odors or insects crawling on or under the skin—or is suffering from a general medical condition or defect); mixed type (characteristics of more than one of the above types, but no one theme dominates); or unspecified type (patient’s delusions do not fall in described categories).

AMPHETAMINES ↓Amphetamines provide a boost in energy and mood, and suppress appetite. Methamphetamine in particular has enormous potential for abuse, and addiction can cause long-lasting brain damage along with other problems.SERIOUS EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE (SED) ↓

A diagnosable mental disorder found in individuals from birth to 18 years of age. The disorder is so severe and long lasting it seriously interferes with functioning in family, school, community or other major life activities.

ECOPRESIS ↓Encopresis is usually an involuntary passage of feces (stools) by a child age four or more in inappropriate places such as clothing. It is frequently the result of chronic constipation, which over time results in fecal impaction and in the leakage of liquid stool accumulated above the impacted feces. This leakage may occur during the day or night and it is not under the conscious control of the child. Leakage varies in frequency; it can range from infrequent occurrences to almost a continuous flow. Encopresis is categorized according to the subtype that characterizes the presentation—primary is with constipation and overflow incontinence; secondary is without constipation and overflow incontinence. The primary subtype has evidence of constipation on physical examination or a history of a bowel movement frequency of fewer than three per week. Feces in overflow incontinence are characteristically poorly formed, and leakage occurs mostly during the day and rarely during sleep. Only part of the feces is passed during toileting, and the incontinence resolves after treatment of the constipation. The secondary subtype has no evidence of constipation on physical examination or by history. Feces are likely to be of normal form and consistency, and soiling is intermittent. Feces may be deposited in a prominent location. This is usually associated with the oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. Also, a child with encopresis often feels ashamed and may wish to avoid situations (such as camp or school) that might lead to embarrassment. The amount of impairment is a function of the effect on the child’s self-esteem, the degree of social ostracism by peers, and the anger, punishment, and rejection on the part of caregivers.HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER ↓

The word personality describes deeply ingrained patterns of behavior and the manner in which individuals perceive, relate to, and think about themselves and their world. Personality traits are conspicuous features of personality and are not necessarily pathological, although certain styles of personality may cause interpersonal problems. Personality disorders, though, are rigid, inflexible and maladaptive, causing impairment in functioning or internal distress. A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time and leads to distress or impairment. Individuals with Histrionic Personality Disorder exhibit excessive emotionalism–a tendency to regard things in an emotional manner–and are attention seekers. People with this disorder are uncomfortable or feel unappreciated when they are not the center of attention. Behaviors may include constant seeking of approval or attention, self-dramatization, theatricality, and striking self-centeredness or sexual seductiveness in inappropriate situations, including social, occupational and professional relationships beyond what is appropriate for the social context. They may be lively and dramatic and initially charm new acquaintances by their enthusiasm, apparent openness, or flirtatiousness. They commandeer the role of “the life of the party”. Personal interests and conversation will be self-focused. They use physical appearance to draw attention to themselves. Emotional expression may be shallow and rapidly shifting. Their style of speech is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail. They may do well with jobs that value and require imagination and creativity but will probably have difficulty with tasks that demand logical or analytical thinking. The disorder occurs more frequently in women though that may be because it is more often diagnosed in women than men.


Inhibited sexual desire (ISD) refers to a low level of sexual interest resulting in a failure to initiate or respond to sexual intimacy. ISD may be a primary condition (where an individual has never felt much sexual desire), or secondary (where lack of interest is something new). ISD may also be specific to the partner, or it may be a general attitude toward any potential partner. A diagnosis of hypoactive sexual desire disorder refers to a persistent or recurring lack of desire or an absence of sexual fantasies. However, sexual performance may be adequate once activity has been initiated. This disorder occurs in approximately 20 percent of the population and is more common in women, though it does affect both sexes. Sexual aversion disorder refers to a condition in which the concept of genital sexual contact seems repulsive. This disorder probably occurs less frequently than hypoactive sexual desire.


he word personality describes deeply ingrained patterns of behavior and the manner in which individuals perceive, relate to, and think about themselves and their world. Personality traits are conspicuous features of personality and are not necessarily pathological, although certain styles of personality traits may cause interpersonal problems. Personality disorders are enduring patterns of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of an individual’s culture. They must be rigid, inflexible, and maladaptive and of sufficient severity to cause significant impairment in functioning or internal distress. Paranoid Personality Disorder is an unwarranted tendency to interpret the actions of other people as deliberately threatening or demeaning. The disorder, surfacing by early adulthood, is manifested by an omnipresent sense of distrust and unjustified suspicion that yields persistent misinterpretation of others’ intentions as being malicious. People with a paranoid personality disorder are usually unable to acknowledge their own negative feelings toward others but do not generally lose touch with reality. They will not confide in people, even if they prove trustworthy, for fear of being exploited or betrayed. They will often misinterpret harmless comments and behavior from others and may build up and harbor unfounded resentment for an unreasonable length of time.


Enuresis is the involuntary discharge of urine by a child age 5 and over. It can be psychologically distressful and a source of embarrassment for a child, but not physically harmful. Enuresis places a child at risk of being a target for name-calling and teasing from peers, behavior that can damage a child’s self esteem and place him or her at risk of rejection. The presence of enuresis can place a limit on participation in highly desirable social experiences such as sleepovers and summer camp. The child may also have to face anger and humiliation from parents who do not understand the nature of this disorder. Enuresis can be nocturnal-only or diurnal-only. Nocturnal enuresis is the most common form and is defined as passage of urine only during nighttime sleep. Diurnal enuresis, the voiding of urine only during waking hours, is more common in females than in males and is uncommon after age 9. Children being so preoccupied with a particular event that they are reluctant to use the toilet may cause it. A combination of nocturnal and diurnal enuresis can occur but it is extremely rare. Primary enuresis refers to a condition whereby the child has not established at least 6 months of continuous nighttime control after reaching age 5. Secondary enuresis, whereby children establish urinary continence and relapse after age 5 or 6 is less common, and is associated with more stressful life events.Roughly 20% of children still wet their beds at age 5, only 5% do so by age 10, and 2% by age 15. Only 1 out of 100 children who wet their bed continues to have a problem in adulthood.


Lack of initiative or goals; one of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The person may wish to do something, but the desire is without power or energy.


A sudden obstruction or interruption in spontaneous flow of thinking or speaking, perceived as an absence or deprivation of thought.


The word personality describes deeply ingrained behavior patterns and the way individuals perceive, relate to, and think about themselves and the world. Personality traits are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts. A personality disorder has the characteristics of an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, inflexibility and pervasiveness, an onset in adolescence or early adulthood stability over time and causing significant impairment in functioning or internal distress. Personality disorders are not isolated, atypical episodes of maladaptive behavior. Schizoid personality disorder is a pattern of indifference to social relationships, with a limited range of emotional expression and experience. The disorder manifests itself by early adulthood through social and emotional detachments that prevent people from having close relationships. People with it are able to function in everyday life, but will not develop meaningful relationships with others. They are typically loners and may be prone to excessive daydreaming as well as forming attachments to animals. They may do well at solitary jobs others would find intolerable. There is evidence indicating the disorder may be the start of schizophrenia, or just a very mild form of it. People with schizoid personality disorder are in touch with reality unless they develop schizophrenia.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of identity. Originally thought to be at the “borderline” of psychosis, people with BPD suffer from emotion regulation. While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, BPD is more common, affecting 2 percent of adults, mostly young women. There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, as well as a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide in severe cases. Patients often need extensive mental health services, and account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations. Yet, with help, many improve over time and are eventually able to lead productive lives.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder involves arrogant behavior, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration-all of which must be consistently evident at work and in relationships. People who are narcissistic are frequently described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. Narcissists may concentrate on unlikely personal outcomes (e.g., fame) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. Related Personality Disorders: Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic. Narcissism is a less extreme version of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissism involves cockiness, manipulativeness, selfishness, power motives, and vanity-a love of mirrors. Related personality traits include: Psychopathy, Machiavellianism. Narcissists tend to have high self-esteem. However, narcissism is not the same thing as self-esteem; people who have high self-esteem are often humble, whereas narcissists rarely are. It was once thought that narcissists have high self-esteem on the surface, but deep down they are insecure. However, the latest evidence indicates that narcissists are actually secure or grandiose at both levels. Onlookers may infer that insecurity is there because narcissists tend to be defensive when their self-esteem is threatened (e.g., being ridiculed); narcissists can be aggressive. The sometimes dangerous lifestyle may more generally reflect sensation-seeking or impulsivity (e.g., risky sex, bold financial decisions).


The word personality describes deeply ingrained patterns of behavior and the manner in which individuals think about themselves and their world. Personality traits are conspicuous features of behavior and are not necessarily pathological, although certain ones may encourage social problems. Personality disorders are enduring, persistent behavior patterns severe enough to cause significant impairment in functioning as well as internal distress. Schizotypal personality disorder is a pattern of deficiency in appearance, behavior, and thought patterns affecting interpersonal relationships, and behavior. Speech may include digressions, odd use of words or a strikingly weak vocabulary. Patients usually experience distorted thinking, behave strangely, and avoid intimacy. They typically have few, if any, close friends, and feel nervous around strangers although they may marry and maintain jobs. These symptoms may place people with this disorder at a high risk for involvement with cults. The disorder, which may appear more frequently in males, surfaces by early adulthood and can exacerbate anxiety and depression.


Death is the one great certainty in life. Some of us will die in ways out of our control, and most of us will be unaware of the moment of death itself. Still, death and dying well can be approached in a healthy way. Understanding that people differ in how they think about death and dying, and respecting those differences, can promote a peaceful death and a healthy manner of dying. The primary course of action when death is near is to fulfill the dying person’s wishes. If the person is dying from an illness, ideally, they will have participated in decisions about how to live and die. If the requests made do not seem practical to the caregiver, options should be raised with the dying individual to try to accommodate his request and still provide adequate care. If the dying individual has not been able to participate in formulating final plans, you should strive to do what this person would want. If the individual is in a hospice, he may most likely desire a natural death. In this situation, the aim will be for the final days and moments of life to be guided toward maintaining comfort and reaching a natural death.

DYSTHYMIA ↓Dysthymia is a serious and disabling disorder that shares many symptoms with other forms of clinical depression. It is generally experienced as a less severe but more chronic form of major depression. Dysthymia is characterized by depressed mood experienced most of the time for at least two years, along with at least two of the following symptoms: insomnia or excessive sleep, low energy or fatigue, low self-esteem, poor appetite or overeating, poor concentration or indecisiveness, and feelings of hopelessness. The more severe symptoms that mark major depression, including anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure), psychomotor symptoms (particularly lethargy or agitation), and thoughts of death or suicide, are often absent in dysthymia.AUTOEROTICISM ↓

Sensual self-gratification. Characteristic of, but not limited to, an early stage of emotional development. Includes satisfactions derived from genital play, masturbation, fantasy, and oral, anal, and visual sources.


Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that is far more common than generally understood. First described in 1965, sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. It owes its name to the Greek word, apnea, meaning, “want of breath.” There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea, which is less common, occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respiration. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common and occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person’s nose or mouth although efforts to breathe continue. In a given night, the number of involuntary breathing pauses or “apneic events” may be as high as 20 to 30 or more per hour. These breathing pauses are almost always accompanied by snoring between apnea episodes, although not everyone who snores has this condition. Sleep apnea can also be characterized by choking sensations. The frequent interruptions of deep, restorative sleep often lead to early morning headaches and excessive daytime sleepiness.In normal conditions, the muscles of the upper part of the throat keep this passage open to allow air to flow into the lungs. These muscles usually relax during sleep, but the passage remains open enough to permit the flow of air. Some individuals have a narrower passage, and during sleep, relaxation of these muscles causes the passage to close, and air cannot get into the lungs. Loud snoring and labored breathing occur. When complete blockage of the airway occurs, air cannot reach the lungs. Early recognition and treatment of sleep apnea is important because it may be associated with irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Sleep apnea occurs in all age groups and both sexes, but is more common in men (though it may be under-diagnosed in women) and possibly young African Americans. It has been estimated that as many as 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. Four percent of middle-aged men and 2 percent of middle-aged women have sleep apnea along with excessive daytime sleepiness. People most likely to have or develop sleep apnea include those who snore loudly and also are overweight, or have high blood pressure, or have some physical abnormality in the nose, throat, or other parts of the upper airway. Sleep apnea seems to run in some families, suggesting a possible genetic basis.

SLEEPWALKING ↓This is a sleep disorder characterized by walking or other activity while seemingly still asleep. Other names for it are walking during sleep and somnambulism. The normal sleep cycle involves distinct stages from light drowsiness to deep sleep. in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the eyes move rapidly and vivid dreaming is most common. During the night, there will be several cycles of non-REM and REM sleep. Sleepwalking most often occurs during deep non-REM sleep (stage 3 or stage 4 sleep) early in the night. It can occur during REM sleep near morning. Sleepwalking may include simply sitting up and appearing awake while actually asleep, getting up and walking around, or complex activities such as moving furniture, going to the bathroom, dressing and undressing, and similar activities. Some people even drive a car while actually asleep. The episode can be very brief (a few seconds) or it can last 30 minutes or longer. It is not dangerous to awaken a sleepwalker, although it is common for the person to be confused or disoriented for a short time upon awakening. Another misconception is that a person cannot be injured when sleepwalking. Actually, injuries—caused by tripping and loss of balance—are common for sleepwalkers.Sleepwalking occurs at any age, but it occurs most often in children 6 to 12 years old. It may occur in younger children, in adults, or in the elderly, and it appears to run in families.DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER ↓

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a severe condition in which two or more distinct identities, or personality states, are present in—and alternately take control of—an individual. The person also experiences memory loss that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. DID is a disorder characterized by identity fragmentation rather than a proliferation of separate personalities. The disturbance is not due to the direct psychological effects of a substance or of a general medical condition, yet as this once rarely reported disorder has become more common, the diagnosis has become controversial. Some believe that because DID patients are easily hypnotized, their symptoms are iatrogenic, that is, they have arisen in response to therapists’ suggestions. Brain imaging studies, however, have corroborated identity transitions in some patients. DID was called Multiple Personality Disorder until 1994, when the name was changed to reflect a better understanding of the condition—namely, that it is characterized by a fragmentation, or splintering, of identity rather than by a proliferation, or growth, of separate identities. DID reflects a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory and consciousness in a single multidimensional self. Usually, a primary identity carries the individual’s given name and is passive, dependent, guilty and depressed. When in control, each personality state, or alter, may be experienced as if it has a distinct history, self-image and identity. The alters’ characteristics—including name, reported age and gender, vocabulary, general knowledge, and predominant mood—contrast with those of the primary identity. Certain circumstances or stressors can cause a particular alter to emerge. The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.

SEXUAL AROUSAL DISORDER ↓Sexual arousal disorder is the inability to respond normally during sexual arousal, particularly a woman’s inability to generate sufficient lubrication for sex.BLUNTED AFFECT ↓

Significant reduction in the intensity of emotional expression.


Also know as manic-depressive illness. A serious illness that causes shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function. Dramatic mood swings can move from “high” feelings of extreme euphoria or irritability to depression, sometimes with periods of normal moods in between.

ADJUSTMENT DISORDER ↓A recent and possibly even normal event has an excessively negative effect. Adjustment disorder is marked by anxiety, reckless behavior, and a difficulty in “getting over it.” Adjustment Disorder is an abnormal and excessive reaction to an identifiable life stressor. The reaction is more severe than would normally be expected, and can result in significant impairment in social, occupational or academic functioning.NICOTINE ADDICTION ↓

Addiction is characterized by certain patterns of use.  The first pattern is called tolerance.  Tolerance is when the individual needs to use larger quantities of the drug to obtain the same effect.  Note that most smokers start with a “few” each day and end up smoking over a pack a day.

The next characteristic of addiction is withdrawal.  Withdrawal is a set of physical symptoms which occur when the person stops using the substance.  Anyone who has tried to quit smoking can tell you that your body reacts poorly to the absence of tobacco.  Some common withdrawal symptoms include:  cravings for tobacco, anxiety, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, restlessness, headaches, depressed mood, decreased heart rate, increased appetite or weight gain, and difficulty concentrating. 

The third characteristic of addiction is the presence of dependent behaviors.  Once common example is the continued use of tobacco in spite of knowledge that such use is harmful to yourself or someone you care about.  Other examples include an individual who refuses to accept a job they need because their work will occur in a smoke free environment or a parent who continues to smoke around a child in spite of the damage it does to the child’s health.  Other behaviors include preoccupation with tobacco, rituals about buying and smoking tobacco, hiding or sneaking cigarettes, or choosing friends, recreational activities, and lifestyles which revolve around the availability of tobacco.

ACUTE STRESS DISORDER ↓Acute stress disorder develops within one month after an individual experiences or sees an event involving a threat or actual death, serious injury, or physical violation to the individual or others, and responds to this event with strong feelings of fear, helplessness or horror.GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER ↓Extreme, unfounded worry that can interfere with sleep is usually accompanied by body symptoms ranging from tiredness to headaches to nausea. Treatment with antidepressants or other medications and psychotherapy, alone or combined, may alleviate the condition.ASPERGER’S SYNDROME ↓Asperger’s syndrome (AS) is an autism spectrum disorder marked by impaired social interactions and limited repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities.DEPRESSIVE DISORDERS ↓Kids can get depressed and disorders ranging from major depression to bipolar disorder are increasingly diagnosed in children, whose symptoms are especially likely to include irritability. Psychotherapy is often highly effective, although drug treatment may also be needed.BODY IMMAGE ↓

One’s sense of the self and one’s body.

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER ↓Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief. Not performing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety. A person’s level of OCD can be anywhere from mild to severe.ENCOPRESIS ↓Encopresis is usually an involuntary passage of feces (stools) by a child age four or more in inappropriate places such as clothing. It is frequently the result of chronic constipation, which over time results in fecal impaction and in the leakage of liquid stool accumulated above the impacted feces. This leakage may occur during the day or night and it is not under the conscious control of the child. Leakage varies in frequency; it can range from infrequent occurrences to almost a continuous flow.INSOMNIA ↓Insomnia is the feeling of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following: trouble falling asleep (Initial Insomnia); trouble remaining asleep through the night (Middle Insomnia); waking up too early (Terminal Insomnia); or unrefreshing sleep for at least one month. These can all lead to daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and the inability to feel refreshed and rested upon awakening. Insomnia is not defined by the hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes to fall asleep. Individuals vary normally in their need for, and their satisfaction with, sleep. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, difficulty concentrating and irritability.SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER ↓Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that follows the seasons. The most common type of SAD is called winter depression. It usually begins in late fall or early winter and normal mood returns in summer. A less common type of SAD, known as summer depression, usually begins in the late spring or early summer. SAD may be related to changes in the amount of daylight you get.MENTAL HEALTH ↓

Mental Health describes a level of psychological well-being. It is the individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and its demands.


acts as a stimulant and a psychedelic


In Jungian psychology, a person’s inner being as opposed to the character or persona presented to the world. Further, the anima may be the more feminine \”soul\” or inner self of a man, and the animus the more masculine soul of a woman.


fear of pain


The developmental history of a patient and of his or her illness, especially recollections.


The coexistence of contradictory emotions, attitudes, ideas, or desires with respect to a particular person, object, or situation. Ordinarily, the ambivalence is not fully conscious and suggests psychopathology only when present in an extreme form.


Synonym for obsessive-compulsive personality.


A widely used statistical procedure for determining the significance of differences obtained on an experimental variable studied under two or more conditions. Differences are commonly assigned to three aspects: the individual differences among the subjects or patients studied; group differences, however classified (e.g., by sex); and differences according to the various treatments to which the subjects have been assigned. The method can assess both the main effects of a variable and its interaction with other variables that have been studied simultaneously.


Lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern.


A hallucination involving the perception of sound, most commonly of voices. Some clinicians and investigators would not include those experiences perceived as coming from inside the head and would instead limit the concept of true auditory hallucinations to those sounds whose source is perceived as being external. However, as used in DSM-IV, no distinction is made as to whether the source of the voices is perceived as being inside or outside of the head.


Grinding of the teeth, occurs unconsciously while awake or during stage 2 sleep. May be secondary to anxiety, tension, or dental problems.


In psychoanalytic theory, the concept that the pleasure principle, which represents the claims of instinctual wishes, is normally modified by the demands and requirements of the external world. In fact, the reality principle may still work on behalf of the pleasure principle but reflects compromises and allows for the postponement of gratification to a more appropriate time. The reality principle usually becomes more prominent in the course of development but may be weak in certain psychiatric illnesses and undergo strengthening during treatment.


Any abnormality in the brain that results in impaired functioning or thinking.


That part of the mind or mental functioning of which the content is only rarely subject to awareness. It is a repository for data that have never been conscious (primary repression) or that may have been conscious and are later repressed (secondary repression).


In mental health, a brief formal or informal assessment to identify individuals who have mental health problems or are likely to develop such problems. If a problem is detected, the screening can also determine the most appropriate mental health services for the individual.


Refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders. Can refer to a disease of the brain with predominant behavioral symptoms as in acute alcoholism or a disease of the mind or personality that results in abnormal behavior as with hysteria or schizophrenia. Can refer to any psychiatric illness listed in Current Medical Information and Terminology of the American Medical Association or in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that may develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which severe physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or unnatural disasters, accidents, or military combat. Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTSD including military troops who served in wars; rescue workers for catastrophes like the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.; survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing; survivors of accidents, rape, physical or sexual abuse, and other crimes; immigrants fleeing violence in their countries; survivors of earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes; and those who witness traumatic events. Family members of victims can develop the disorder as well.


A diagnosable mental disorder found in individuals aged 18 years and older. The disorder is so severe and long lasting, it seriously interferes with a person’s ability to take part in major life activities.


A failure of memory caused by physical injury, disease, drug use, or psychological trauma.


Cocaine abuse in the United States peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, but it remains an enormous problem today. The stimulant directly affects brain function, and long-term addiction leads to extensive physiological and psychological problems.  Cocaine also know as Black Rock, Blanca, Candy, Bugger Suger, Bump, Cookies, Dice, Purplr Caps, Rail, line to name a few.

XANAX ↓Xanax is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety, disorders, panic disorders and anxiety caused by depression. It is also known as Bicaycle pats, white pills, Foot balls, blue pills, Handlebars-white pills, School bus-yellow pills, White Boxs, white pills, White girls-white pills, Yellow boys-yellow pills, Z-bars to name a few.CAPGRAS’ SYNDROME ↓

The delusion that others, or the self, have been replaced by imposters. It typically follows the development of negative feelings toward the other person that the subject cannot accept and attributers, instead, to the imposter. The syndrome has been reported in paranoid schizophrenia ad, even more frequently, in organic brain disease.


A condition of declining mental abilities, especially memory. Individuals with dementia may have trouble doing things they used to do such as keeping the checkbook, driving a car safely or planning a meal. They often have trouble finding the right word and may become confused when given too many things to do at one time. Individuals with dementia may also experience changes in personality, becoming aggressive, paranoid or depressed


Characterized by extreme anxiety about being judged by others or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or ridicule. Individuals experience excessive selfconsciousness in everyday social situations. Physical symptoms may include heart palpitations, faintness, blushing and profuse sweating. Individuals often worry for days or weeks in advance of a dreaded situation. Symptoms may be limited to only one type of situation, such as fear of speaking in formal or informal situations or eating, drinking or writing in front of others. In its most severe form, individuals may experience symptoms anytime they are around other people.


HIPAA Title I protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. HIPAA Title II addresses the security and privacy of health data. It requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish national standards for electronic health care transactions, as well as national identifiers for providers, health plans and employers. To comply with HIPAA, systems of care must establish ways to ensure patient privacy as the patients move seamlessly from one agency to another.

EARLY INTERVENTION ↓In mental health, diagnosing and treating mental illnesses early in their development.PSYCHOSIS ↓

A serious mental disorder characterized by defective or lost contact with reality, often with hallucinations or delusions, causing deterioration of normal social functioning.


A health condition characterized by alterations in thinking, mood or behavior (or a combination of the three). Mental disorders are mediated by the brain and associated with distress and/or impaired functioning. They can be the result of family history, genetics or other biological, environmental, social or behavioral factors that occur alone or in combination.


A branch of the life sciences that deals with the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the nervous system. The term refers especially to the biology of the brain when used in conjunction with learning disorders, some mental illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases that may be caused or impacted by the central nervous system.


A type of behavioral therapy used to treat individuals attracted to harmful stimuli: an attractive stimulus is paired with a noxious stimulus in order to elicit a negative reaction to the target stimulus.


In mental health, a process that builds upon an individual’s strengths to work towards recovery.


A process in which families with children who have severe emotional disturbance are able to address their needs through a strengths-based, family-driven team approach. A “wraparound facilitator” helps link families of children with severe emotional disturbances with needed services and supports. All members of the family are served through a partnership with the facilitator and other service professionals. The family can choose others they want to have as a part of the team, including friends, church members and relatives. Wraparound helps develop creative strategies to meet the needs of each person that may include both traditional and non-traditional approaches and supports.


The inappropriate use of and possibly addiction to illegal and legal substances including alcohol and prescription and non-prescription drugs.


Treatment of physical, mental or behavioral problems that is meant to cure or rehabilitate. Psychotherapy emphasizes substituting desirable responses and behavior patterns for undesirable ones.


a Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor or Physician who has completed medical school and also a multi-year residency in Psychiatry (treatment of mental illness), usually in a hospital setting and under supervision of senior Psychiatrists (known as Attendings). Psychiatrists are experts in the use of medications to treat mental disorders and also experts in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. Because they have medical training (stressing the role of biological dysfunction in illness) and not psychological training (stressing the role of behavioral and psychological dysfunction in illness) many of them tend to view mental problems as essentially biological dysfunctions that require chemical/medicine interventions.


Marked motor abnormalities including motoric immobility (i.e., catalepsy or stupor), certain types of excessive motor activity (apparently purposeless agitation not influenced by external stimuli), extreme negativism (apparent motiveless resistance to instructions or attempts to be moved) or mutism, posturing or stereotyped movements, and echolalia or echopraxia.


The healthful (therapeutic) release of ideas through \”talking out\” conscious material accompanied by an appropriate emotional reaction. Also, the release into awareness of repressed (\”forgotten\”) material from the unconscious.


Generally refers to some minimal mental, cognitive, or behavioral ability, trait, or capability required to perform a particular legal act or to assume some legal role.


Automatic psychological process that protects the individual against anxiety and from awareness of internal or external stressors or dangers. Defense mechanisms mediate the individual’s reaction to emotional conflicts and to external stressors. Some defense mechanism (e.g., projection, splitting, and acting out) are almost invariably maladaptive. Others, such as suppression and denial, may be either maladaptive or adaptive, depending on their severity, their inflexibility, and the context in which they occur.


Repetitive ritualistic behavior such as hand washing or ordering or a mental act such as praying or repeating words silently that aims to prevent or reduce distress or prevent some dreaded event or situation. The person feels driven to perform such actions in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly, even though the behaviors are recognized to be excessive or unreasonable


A communication that deliberately pressures or invites another to self-examine some aspect of behavior in which there is a discrepancy between self-reported and observed behavior.

CONSERVATORSHIP ↓The appointment of a person to manage and make decisions on behalf of an incompetent person regarding the latter’s estate (e.g., authority to make contracts or sell property).CONTROL ↓The term is used in three contexts: 1) keeping the relevant conditions of an experiment constant, 2) causing an independent variable to vary in a specified and known manner, and 3) using a spontaneously occurring and discoverable fact as a check or standard of comparison to evaluate the facts obtained after the manipulation of the independent variable.DECOMPENSATION ↓The deterioration of existing defenses, leading to an exacerbation of pathological behavior.DIMINISHED CAPACITY ↓

Refers to \”insufficient cognitive ability to achieve the state of mind requisite for the commission of a crime.\” Sometimes referred to as \”partial insanity\”, this doctrine permits a court to consider the impaired mental state of the defendant for purposes of reducing punishment or lowering the degree of the offense being charged.


A paramnesia consisting of the sensation or illusion that one is seeintg what one has seen before.

DEPERSONALIZATION ↓Feelings of unreality or strangeness concerning either the environment, the self, or both. This is characteristic of depersonalization disorder and may also occur in schizotypal personality disorder, schizophrenia, and in those persons experiencing overwhelming anxiety, stress, or fatigue.DEREISTIC ↓Mental activity that is not in accordance with reality, logic, or experience.DETACHMENT ↓

A behavior pattern characterized by general aloofness in interpersonal contact; may include intellectualization, denial, and superficiality.


Confusion about the time of day, date, or season (time), where one is (place), or who one is (person).


Freedom to act according to one’s inner drives or feelings, with less regard for restraints imposed by cultural norms or one’s superego; removal of an inhibitory, constraining, or limiting influence, as in the escape from higher cortical control in neurologic injury, or in uncontrolled firing of impulses, as when a drug interferes with the usual limiting or inhibiting action of GABA within the central nervous system.


A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in which emotions, ideas, or wishes are transferred from their original object to a more acceptable substitute; often used to allay anxiety.


A two-person relationship, such as the therapeutic relationship between doctor and patient in individual psychotherapy.

DYSPHORIC MOOD ↓An unpleasant mood, such as sadness, anxiety, or irritability.ECHOLALIA ↓Parrot-like repetition of overheard words or fragments of speech. It may be part of a developmental disorder, a neurologic disorder, or schizophrenia. Echolalia tends to be repetitive and persistent and is often uttered with a mocking, mumbling, or staccato intonation.EGO IDEAL ↓The part of the personality that comprises the aims and goals for the self; usually refers to the conscious or unconscious emulation of significant figures with whom one has identified. The ego ideal emphasizes what one should be or do in contrast to what one should not be or not do.ECHOPRXIA ↓

Imitative repetition of the movements, gestures, or posture of another. It may be part of a neurologic disorder or of schizophrenia.


Unusually vivid and apparently exact mental image; may be a memory, fantasy, or dream.


A memory trace; a neurophysiological process that accounts for persistence of memory.


An imagined sequence of events or mental images (e.g. daydreams) that serves to express unconscious conflicts, to gratify unconscious wishes, or to prepare for anticipated future events.

FLASHBACK ↓A recurrent of a memory, feeling, or perceptual experience from the past .ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY ↓A treatment for some severe mental illnesses in which a brief application of electrical stimulus is used to generate a generalized seizure. According to the National Institutes of Health, this therapy has been highly successful in treating certain types of depression, especially when followed with anti-depressant medication. It has not been effective with individuals who have less severe forms of depression.PSYCHOLOGIST ↓

A Psychologist is an individual who has completed a doctoral level degree (about 5 years of graduate school resulting in the Ph.D, or Psy.D. degrees) in the science of Psychology – the study of how individuals behave, think, feel, know, etc. Psychology is a very diverse discipline; some psychologists are scientist-researchers, some are therapists, some become administrators, etc. Those that specialize in therapy are called Clinical Psychologists. As far as professional training goes, Psychologists are the most extensively trained therapists out there, and are also responsible for much of the innovation and research that is done to produce new forms of therapy. The term Psychologist is legally protected by state law – only persons who are licensed as psychologists can call themselves psychologists.


A behavior therapy procedure for phobias and other problems involving maladaptive anxiety, in which anxiety producers are presented in intense forms, whether in imagination or in real life. The presentations, which act as desensitizers, are continued until the stimuli no longer produce disabling anxiety.


An inflated appraisal of one’s worth, power, knowledge, importance, or identity. When extreme, grandiosity may be of delusional proportions.


Recurrent and persistent thought, impulse, or image experienced as intrusive and distressing. Recognized as being excessive and unreasonable even though it is the product of one’s mind. This thought, impulse, or image cannot be expunged by logic or reasoning.


Discrete periods of sudden onset of intense apprehension, fearfulness, or terror, often associated with feelings of impending doom. During these attacks there are symptoms such as shortness of breath or smothering sensations; palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; chest pain or discomfort; choking; and fear of going crazy or losing control. Panic attacks may be unexpected (uncued), in which the onset of the attack is not associated with a situational trigger and instead occurs \”out of the blue\”; situationally bound, in which the panic attack almost invariably occurs immediately on exposure to, or in anticipation of, a situational trigger (\”cue\”); and situationally predisposed, in which the panic attack is more likely to occur on exposure to a situational trigger but is not invariably associated with it.


Ecstasy most commonly comes in pill form. It is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine. It acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, as well as distortions in time and perception and ehanced enjoyment from tactile experiences. It is also known as Triple crowns, Triple Rolexes, Triple stacks, White Diamonds, White Dove, X, X-ing,


term that implies that a physicians can write prescriptions fo lethal drugs under certain prescribed circumstances for an adult with a terminal illness to die.


Separation into different parts, or preventing their integration, or detaching one or more parts from the rest. A fear of fragmentation of the personality, also known as disintegration anxiety, is often observed in patients whenever they are exposed to repetitions of earlier experiences that interfered with development of the self. This fear may be expressed as feelings of falling apart, as a loss of identity, or as a fear of impending loss of one’s vitality and of psychological depletion.

PSY.D. ↓

Psy.D. stands for “Doctor of Psychology”. This is a doctoral level degree generally requiring extended graduate level university training (3-4 years after completing regular college BA/BS programs). Some Clinical Psychologists have this degree. Programs granting Psy.D. degrees are generally more Clinically focused (and less research focused) and have as their aim to produce clinicians and not academicians. The Psy.D. degree often does not require an “original research dissertation” as a precondition of graduation (but sometimes it does). Also – Psy.D. degrees are often granted from free standing schools of professional psychology (not university affiliated).


A sensory perception that has the compelling sense of reality of a true perception but that occurs without external stimulation of the relevant sensory organ. Hallucinations should be distinguished from illusions, in which an actual external stimulus is misperceived or misinterpreted. The person may or may not have insight into the fact that he or she is having a hallucination. One person with auditory hallucinations may recognize that he or she is having a false sensory experience, whereas another may be convinced that the source of the sensory experience has an independent physical reality. The term hallucination is not ordinarily applied to the false perceptions that occur during dreaming, while falling asleep (hypnogogic), or when awakening (hypnopompic). Transient hallucinatory experiences may occur in people without a mental disorder.

ID ↓In Freudian theory, the part of the personality that is the unconscious source of unstructured desires and drives.STIGMA ↓

A mark of Shame or discredit. A sigh of social unacceptability.


A form of psychosis characterized by excessive excitement, exalted feelings, delusions of grandeur, elevation of mood, psychomotor over-activity and over-production of ideas.


Behaviors that cause psychological or physical harm to another individual.

COGNITIVE THERAPY ↓A type of psychotherapeutic treatment that attempts to change feelings and behaviors by changing the way a client thinks abut or perceives significant life experiences.BEHAVIOR ↓

The actions by which an organism adjusts to its environment.


The region of the brain that regulates higher cognitive and emotional functions.


An individual who has earned a doctorate in psychology and whose training is in the assessment and treatment of psychological problems.


A mental health professional whose specialized training prepares him or her to consider the social context of people’s problems.


The ways in which events, stimuli, and behavior become associated with one another.


Process of knowing, including attending, remembering, and reasoning: also the content of the processes such as concepts and memories.


False or irrational beliefs maintained despite clear evidence to the contrary.


Psychologist who specialize in providing guidance in areas such as vocational selection, school problems, drug abuse, and marital conflict.


Unwanted sexual violation by a social acquaintance in teh context of a consensual dating situation.


The psychoanalytic interpretation of dreams used to gain insight into a person’s unconsciuos motives or conflicts.


A complex pattern of changes, including physiological arousal, feeling, cognitive processes, and behavioral reactions, made in response to a situation perceived to be personally significant.


One’s sense of maleness or femaleness: usually includes awareness and acceptance of one’s biological sex.


A psychological phenomenon that refers to learned sex-related behaviors and attitudes of males and females.

HEREDITY ↓The biological transmission of traits from parents to offspring.HORMONES ↓

The chemical messengers, manufactured and secreted by the endocrine glands, taht regulate metabolism and influence body growth, mood, and sexual characteristics.


The legal (not clinical) designation for the state of an individual judged to be legally irresponsible or incompetent.


The capacity to make a full commitment-sexual, emotional, and moral-to another person.


An altered state of awareness characterized by deep relaxation, susceptibility to suggestions, and changes in perception, memory, motivation, and self-control.

INTROSPECTION ↓Self-observation; examination of one’s feelings, often as a result of psychotherapy.LEARNING ↓

A process based on experience that results in a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavioral potential.


Cannabis/Marijuana Also known as ganja, weed, reefer, Yerba, Yesca, Yesca, Zambi, White Russian, white wedio and grass to name a few.   Cannabis-marijuana is a psychoactive herb that comes from the hemp plant. This mind-altering substance is an illegal drug in most states. Marijuana is a green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa.


A Catfish scam occurs when someone assumes a persona (or many) in order to trick another person into believing that they are really that person online. People fall for this scam due to loneliness, sensation seekers, extroverted, revenge and greed.


A persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation (the phobic stimulus) that results in a compelling desire to avoid it. This often leads either to avoidance of the phobic stimulus or to enduring it with dread.


pervasive and sustained emotion that colors the perception of the world. Common examples of mood include depression, elation, anger, and anxiety. In contrast to affect, which refers to more fluctuating changes in emotional \”weather\”, mood refers to a more pervasive and sustained emotional \”climate\”.


A condition characterized by the gradual development of an intricate, complex, and elaborate system of thinking based on (and often proceeding logically from) misinterpretation of an actual event; a delusional disorder. Despite its chronic course, this condition does not seem to interfere with thinking and personality. To be distinguished from schizophrenia, paranoid type.


A sleep disorder characterized by an irresistible compulsion to sleep during the daytime.


Pathological overeating. Also known as bulimia.


An anxiety disorder in which sufferers experience unexpected, severe panic attacks that begin with a feeling of intense apprehension, fear, or terror.

PRODROME ↓An early or premonitory sign or symptom of a disorder.PERCEPTION ↓

The process that organize information in the sensory image and interpret it as having been produced by properties of objects or events in the external, three-dimensional world.


Distinct patterns of personality, characteristics used to assign people to categories: qualitative differences, rather than differences in degree, used to discriminate among people.


A learned attitude toward a target object, involving negative affect (dislike or fear), negative beliefs (stereotypes) that justify the attitude, and a behavioral intention to avoid, control, dominate, ore eliminate the target object.


Discrimination against people based on their skin color or ethnic heritage.

VAPE ↓To inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ↓

The ways in which individuals’ social interactions and expectations change across the life span.

SPICE ↓Synthetic cannabis is a psychoactive designer drug created by spraying natural herbs with synthetic chemicals that, when consumed, produce psychoactive effects similar to the effects of cannabis. It is sold under various brand names, online, in head shops, and at some gas stations.SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION ↓11 Signs and Symptoms of Depression: Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness Irritability, restlessness Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex Fatigue and decreased energy Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping Overeating, or appetite loss Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.PSYCHOTHERAPY ↓Psychotherapy is the treatment of problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker or other mental health provider. A client learns about their moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors and how to better respond to life’s challenges.GESTALT THERAPY ↓

Gestalt therapy is a humanistic, holistic, and experimental approach that does not rely on talking alone: instead it facititates awareness in the various contexts of life by moving from talking about relatively remote situations to action and direct current experience.


it was developed in the 19th century by Sigmund Freud. It explores the dynamic workings of mind understood to consist of three parts: the id, the it, and the I. These dynamics are said to occur outside people’s awareness. It seeks to probe the unconsciuos by way of various techniques including dream interpretaton.

HYPNOTHERAPY ↓It is therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis. It is oftern applied in order to modify a subject’s behavior, emotional content, and attitudes, as well as a wide range of conditions including dysfuntional habits, anxiety, stress-related illness, pain management, and personal development.BEHAVIOR THERAPY ↓

It focuses on modifying overt behavior and helping clients to acieve goals. The approach is built on the principles of learning theory including operant and respondent conditioning, which makes up the are of applied behavior analysis or behavior modification.


Freeze-dried alcohol in a powdered form. It can be sprinkled on food, combined with water to reconstitute any of a number of flavored alcohol drinks. It can be snorted or inhaled for an immediate and potentially dangerous high.


This synthetic drug comes in crystalline rock form, it can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or used in an e-cigarette and vaped. The effects can last hours to days. It is highly addicitve, both from physical as well as psychological effects. The drug can be easily concealed in public.


It is the “street name” for a family of designer drugs often containing substituted cathinones which have the similar effects to amphetamine and cocaine. It is also known as Arctic Blast.  The white crystals resemble lega bathing products like epsom salts. They have nothing to do with actual bath salts.


Dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of the device to produce thicker, more flavorful smoke — a new study found. “Dripping,” which differs from normal e-cigarette use that slowly releases the liquid from a wick onto a hot atomizer, may expose users to higher levels of nicotine and to harmful non-nicotine toxins, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde — known carcinogens.


Is a serious, and potentially disabling, movement disorder.  The firs cases were reported in 1957, much has been learned about risk factors and existiing treatment options.