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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NLE Review: Common Psychiatric Terms

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The outward manifestation of a persons feelings, tone or mood. Affect and emotions are commonly used interchangeable.

Excessive motor activity, usually purposeless and associated with internal tension. Examples: inability to sit still, pacing, wringing of hands, or pulling of clothing.

Motor restlessness ranging from a feeling of inner disquiet, often localized in the muscles, to inability to sit still or lie quietly, a side effect of some antipsychotic drugs.

A side effect of the antipsychotic drugs characterized by a general lack of motor movement in the patient, as well as a slowing down of speech and responsiveness.

The coexistence of contradictory emotions, attitudes, ideas, or desires with respect to a particular person, object, or situation. Suggests psychopathology only when present in an extreme form.

Loss of interest and/or pleasure in usual activities associated with depression.

Apprehension, tension or uneasiness that stems from the anticipation of a danger, whose source is largely unknown. Primarily of intrapsychic origin. (top)

Immobility with muscular rigidity or inflexibility and at times excitability most often seen in schizophrenia.

In conversation, the use of excessive and irrelevant detail in describing simple events, the speaker eventually reaching his goal only after many digressions.

Clang Association
In thinking, the association of words by sound rather than meaning, after resulting in nonsensical rhymes and puns.

Refers to the mental process of comprehension, judgement, memory, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.

An insistent, repetitive, intrusive and unwanted urge to perform an act that is contrary to one's ordinary wishes and standard.

Fabrication of facts or events in response to questions about events that are not recalled because of memory impairment.

A mental struggle that arises from the simultaneous operation of opposing impulses, drives external or internal demands (intra psychic when the conflict is between internal forces - extra psychic when the conflict is between self and the environment.

Disturbed orientation in respect to time, place or person.

The therapist's partly unconscious or conscious emotional reactions to the patient. (top)

Defense Mechanisms
Patterns of feelings, thoughts, or behaviors that arc relatively involuntary and arise in response to perceptions of psychic danger to alleviate the conflicts or stressors that give rise to anxiety. May be either maladaptive or adaptive, depending on their severity, their inflexibility, arid the context in which they occur. Some common defense mechanisms arc compensation, conversion, denial, displacement, dissociation, intellectualization, repression, projection, somatization, suppression, undoing, splitting, idealization, reaction formation.

A clouding of consciousness, marked by reduced ability to focus on and sustain attention to environmental stimuli. Usually of abrupt onset, the syndrome develops over a short period of time with symptoms fluctuating in severity over the course of a day. Perceptual disturbance, incoherent speech, sleep-wake disturbance, emotional liability, disorientation and memory impairment may be present. Condition is reversible except when followed by dementia or death.

Delirium tremors
An acute and sometimes fatal brain disorder caused by total or partial withdrawal from excessive alcohol intake. Usually develops in 24 to 96 hours after cessation of drinking. Symptoms include fever, tremors, ataxia, and sometimes convulsions, frightening illusions, delusions, and hallucinations.

A firm, fixed idea not amenable to rational explanation and maintained despite objective evidence to the contrary. Some types of common delusions are delusions of being controlled, delusions of grandeur, delusions or persecution and somatic delusions.

A deterioration of intellectual abilities of sufficient severity to interfere with social or occupational functioning. Dementia may follow a progressive, static, or remitting course depending on the underlying etiology. Memory disturbance is the most prominent symptom. In addition there is impairment of abstract thinking, judgement, impulse control, and/or personality change.

An alteration in the perception or experience of the self so that the feelings of one's own reality is temporarily lost; a sense of unreality.

Acute tonic muscular spasms, often of the tongue, jaw, eyes and neck but sometimes of the whole body. Reactions may come on quickly and dramatically, A treatable side effect of antipsychotic drugs.

Repetition (echoing) of words or phrases of others.

The pathological repetition by imitation of the movements of another person.

Flight of Ideas
A nearly continuous flow or accelerated speech with abrupt changes from topic to topic, usually based on understandable associations, distracting stimuli, or plays on words.

An inflated appraisal of one's worth, power knowledge, importance, or identity.

A sensory impression in the absence of any external stimuli; can arise in respect to any sensory modality - visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile or gustatory.

Abnormality of mood but even normal euphoria and mania. Characterized by optimism, pressure of speech and activity, and decreased need for sleep. Some people have increased creativity while others demonstrate poor judgment and irritability.

Ideas of influence
The conviction that one's behavior, including one's thoughts is being influenced in some way by an external agency, when in fact it is not.

Ideas of reference
The interpretation of external events, especially the actions and statements of other people, as having reference to one's self when in fact they do not.

Loose Associations
Thinking that is overgeneralized, diffuse, and vague with only a tenuous connection between one thought and the next.

A mood disorder characterized by excessive elation, hyperactivity, agitation,- and accelerated thinking and speaking - sometimes manifested as flight of ideas. Mania is seen in major affective disorders and in some organic mental disorders.

A pervasive and sustained emotion that in the extreme markedly colors one's perception of the world. ' Examples of mood include depression, elation, and anger.

A persistent, unwanted idea or impulse that can not be eliminated by logic or reasoning. (top)

Panic Attacks
: Sudden onset of intense apprehension, fearfulness, or terror - is accompanied by physiological changes.

Paranoid Ideation
Suspiciousness or nondelusional belief that one is being harassed, persecuted, or unfairly treated.
Parkinson's Syndrome
A treatable syndrome of side effects from antipsychotic medication which appear after one or two weeks and that is characterized by resting tremor, muscle rigidity, including a mask-like face; slow motor movement, and a stooped, shuffling gait.

The emission of the same verbal or motor response again and again to varied stimuli, despite the parson's effort to move on.

An obsessive, persistent, unrealistic intense fear of an object or situation.

Maintaining an unusual or awkward posture for a considerable amount of time.

Poverty of Thought
Few verbal communications or ones that convey little information because of vagueness, empty repetitions, or stereotyped or obscure phrases.

Clinical features resembling a dementia that are not due to organic brain dysfunction or disease.

Psychomotor Agitation
Excessive motor activity associated with a feeling of inner tension, the activity is usually non productive and repetitious.

Psychomotor Retardation
Visible generalized slowing down of physical reactions, movements, and speech.

A major mental disorder of organic or emotional origin in which a person's ability to think, respond emotionally, remember, communicate, interpret reality, and behave appropriately is sufficiently impaired so as to interfere grossly with the capacity to meet the ordinary demands of life. Often characterized by regressive behavior, inappropriate mood, diminished impulse control, and such abnormal mental content as delusions and hallucinations.

The constant and inseparable interaction of the psyche (mind) and the soma (body). Commonly used to refer to illnesses in which the manifestations are primarily physical with at least a partial emotional etiology. (top)

In conversation, digressions that divert the speaker from his goal, which he never reaches; to be distinguished from circumstantial in which the goal is eventually reached.

Tardive Dyskinesia
Literally 'late appearing abnormal movements;' a variable complex of choreiform or athetoid movements developing in patients exposed to antipsychotic drugs. Typical movements include tongue-writhing or protrusion, chewing, lip-puckcring, choreiform finger movements, toe and ankle movements, leg-jiggling, or movements of neck, trunk, and pelvis.

Thought Blocking
A sudden obstruction or interruption in the train of thought or speech, which the person is unable to complete.

Thought Broadcasting
A symptom of psychosis in which the patient believes that thoughts are broadcast outside the head so that other persons can actually hear them.

Thought insertion
The patient's belief that thoughts that are not the patient's own Can be inserted into his mind.

Thought Withdrawal
An interruption in the train of thought perceived by tile person as someone removing or taking away his thoughts.

The unconscious assignment to others of feelings and attitudes that were originally associated with important figures (parents, siblings, etc.) in one's early life. The transference may be negative or positive.

References: American Journal of Nursing/August 1981.

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