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Psych Rotation Glossary

abreaction A process by which repressed material, particularly a painful experience or a conflict, is brought back to consciousness; in this process, the person not only recalls, but also relives the repressed material, which is accompanied by the appropriate affect
abstract thinking Thinking characterized by the ability to grasp the essentials of a whole, to break a whole into its parts, and to discern common properties. To think symbolically.
abulia Reduced impulse to act and to think, associated with indifference about consequences of action. Occurs as a result of neurological deficit, depression, and schizophrenia.
acalculia Loss of ability to do calculations; not caused by anxiety or impairment in concentration. Occurs with neurological deficit and learning disorder.
acataphasia Disordered speech in which statements are incorrectly formulated. Patients may express themselves with words that sound like the ones intended, but are not appropriate to the thoughts, or they may use totally inappropriate expressions.
acathexis Lack of feeling associated with an ordinarily emotionally charged subject; in psychoanalysis, it denotes the patient's detaching or transferring of emotion from thoughts and ideas. Also called decathexis. Occurs in anxiety, dissociative, schizophrenic, an
acenesthesia Loss of sensation of physical existence.
acrophobia Dread of high places.
acting out Behavioral response to an unconscious drive or impulse that brings about temporary partial relief of inner tension; relief is attained by reacting to a present situation as if it were the situation that originally gave rise to the drive or impulse. Common
aculalia Nonsense speech associated with marked impairment of comprehension. Occurs in mania, schizophrenia, and neurological deficit.
adiadochokinesia Inability to perform rapid alternating movements. Occurs with neurological deficit and cerebellar lesions.
adynamia Weakness and fatigability, characteristic of neurasthenia and depression.
aerophagia Excessive swallowing of air. Seen in anxiety disorder.
affect The subjective and immediate experience of emotion attached to ideas or mental representations of objects. Affect has outward manifestations that can be classified as restricted, blunted, flattened, broad, labile, appropriate, or inappropriate. See also m
ageusia Lack or impairment of the sense of taste. Seen in depression and neurological deficit.
aggression Forceful, goal-directed action that can be verbal or physical; the motor counterpart of the affect of rage, anger, or hostility. Seen in neurological deficit, temporal lobe disorder, impulse-control disorders, mania, and schizophrenia.
agitation Severe anxiety associated with motor restlessness.
agnosia Inability to understand the importance or significance of sensory stimuli; cannot be explained by a defect in sensory pathways or cerebral lesion; the term has also been used to refer to the selective loss or disuse of knowledge of specific objects becaus
agoraphobia Morbid fear of open places or leaving the familiar setting of the home. May be present with or without panic attacks.
agraphia Loss or impairment of a previously possessed ability to write.
ailurophobia Dread of cats.
akathisia Subjective feeling of motor restlessness manifested by a compelling need to be in constant movement; may be seen as an extrapyramidal adverse effect of antipsychotic medication. May be mistaken for psychotic agitation.
akinesia Lack of physical movement, as in the extreme immobility of catatonic schizophrenia; can also occur as an extrapyramidal effect of antipsychotic medication.
akinetic mutism Absence of voluntary motor movement or speech in a patient who is apparently alert (as evidenced by eye movements). Seen in psychotic depression and catatonic states.
alexia Loss of a previously possessed reading facility; not explained by defective visual acuity. Compare with Dyslexia.
alexithymia Inability or difficulty in describing or being aware of one's emotions or moods; elaboration of fantasies associated with depression, substance abuse, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
algophobia Dread of pain.
alogia Inability to speak because of a mental deficiency or an episode of dementia.
ambivalence Coexistence of two opposing impulses toward the same thing in the same person at the same time. Seen in schizophrenia, borderline states, and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCDs).
amimia Lack of the ability to make gestures or to comprehend those made by others.
amnesia Partial or total inability to recall past experiences; may be organic (amnestic disorder) or emotional (dissociative amnesia) in origin.
amnestic aphasia Disturbed capacity to name objects, even though they are known to the patient. Also called anomic aphasia.
anaclitic Depending on others, especially as the infant on the mother; anaclitic depression in children results from an absence of mothering.
analgesia State in which one feels little or no pain. Can occur under hypnosis and in dissociative disorder.
anancasm Repetitious or stereotyped behavior or thought usually used as a tension-relieving device; used as a synonym for obsession and seen in obsessive-compulsive (anankastic) personality.
androgyny Combination of culturally determined female and male characteristics in one person.
anergia Lack of energy.
anhedonia Loss of interest in, and withdrawal from, all regular and pleasurable activities. Often associated with depression.
anomia Inability to recall the names of objects.
anorexia Loss or decrease in appetite. In anorexia nervosa, appetite may be preserved, but the patient refuses to eat.
anosognosia Inability to recognize a physical deficit in oneself (e.g., patient denies paralyzed limb).
anterograde amnesia Loss of memory for events subsequent to the onset of the amnesia; common after trauma. Compare with retrograde amnesia.
anxiety Feeling of apprehension caused by anticipation of danger, which may be internal or external.
apathy Dulled emotional tone associated with detachment or indifference; observed in certain types of schizophrenia and depression.
aphasia Any disturbance in the comprehension or expression of language caused by a brain lesion.
aphonia Loss of voice. Seen in conversion disorder.
apperception Awareness of the meaning and significance of a particular sensory stimulus as modified by one's own experiences, knowledge, thoughts, and emotions. See also perception.
appropriate affect Emotional tone in harmony with the accompanying idea, thought, or speech.
apraxia Inability to perform a voluntary purposeful motor activity; cannot be explained by paralysis or other motor or sensory impairment. In constructional apraxia, a patient cannot draw two- or three-dimensional forms.
astasia abasia Inability to stand or to walk in a normal manner, even though normal leg movements can be performed in a sitting or lying down position. Seen in conversion disorder.
astereognosis Inability to identify familiar objects by touch. Seen with neurological deficit. See also neurological amnesia.
asyndesis Disorder of language in which the patient combines unconnected ideas and images. Commonly seen in schizophrenia.
ataxia Lack of coordination, physical or mental. (1) In neurology, refers to loss of muscular coordination. (2) In psychiatry, the term intrapsychic ataxia refers to lack of coordination between feelings and thoughts; seen in schizophrenia and in severe OCD.
atonia Lack of muscle tone. See waxy flexibility.
attention Concentration; the aspect of consciousness that relates to the amount of effort exerted in focusing on certain aspects of an experience, activity, or task. Usually impaired in anxiety and depressive disorders.
auditory hallucination False perception of sound, usually voices, but also other noises, such as music. Most common hallucination in psychiatric disorders.
aura (1) Warning sensations, such as automatisms, fullness in the stomach, blushing, and changes in respiration; cognitive sensations, and mood states usually experienced before a seizure. (2) A sensory prodrome that precedes a classic migraine headache.
autistic thinking Thinking in which the thoughts are largely narcissistic and egocentric, with emphasis on subjectivity rather than objectivity, and without regard for reality; used interchangeably with autism and dereism. Seen in schizophrenia and autistic disorder.
behavior Sum total of the psyche that includes impulses, motivations, wishes, drives, instincts, and cravings, as expressed by a person's behavior or motor activity. Also called conation.
bereavement Feeling of grief or desolation, especially at the death or loss of a loved one.
bizarre delusion False belief that is patently absurd or fantastic (e.g., invaders from space have implanted electrodes in a person's brain). Common in schizophrenia. In nonbizarre delusion, content is usually within the range of possibility.
blackout Amnesia experienced by alcoholics about behavior during drinking bouts; usually indicates reversible brain damage.
blocking Abrupt interruption in train of thinking before a thought or idea is finished; after a brief pause, the person indicates no recall of what was being said or was going to be said (also known as thought deprivation or increased thought latency). Common in s
blunted affect Disturbance of affect manifested by a severe reduction in the intensity of externalized feeling tone; one of the fundamental symptoms of schizophrenia, as outlined by Eugen Bleuler.
bradykinesia Slowness of motor activity, with a decrease in normal spontaneous movement.
bradylalia Abnormally slow speech. Common in depression.
bradylexia Inability to read at normal speed.
bruxism Grinding or gnashing of the teeth, typically occurring during sleep. Seen in anxiety disorder.
carebaria Sensation of discomfort or pressure in the head.
catalepsy Condition in which persons maintain the body position into which they are placed; observed in severe cases of catatonic schizophrenia. Also called waxy flexibility and cerea flexibilitas. See also command automatism.
cataplexy Temporary sudden loss of muscle tone, causing weakness and immobilization; can be precipitated by a variety of emotional states and is often followed by sleep. Commonly seen in narcolepsy.
catatonic excitement Excited, uncontrolled motor activity seen in catatonic schizophrenia. Patients in catatonic state may suddenly erupt into an excited state and may be violent.
catatonic posturing Voluntary assumption of an inappropriate or bizarre posture, generally maintained for long periods of time. May switch unexpectedly with catatonic excitement.
catatonic rigidity Fixed and sustained motoric position that is resistant to change.
catatonic stupor Stupor in which patients ordinarily are well aware of their surroundings.
cathexis In psychoanalysis, a conscious or unconscious investment of psychic energy in an idea, concept, object, or person. Compare with acathexis.
causalgia Burning pain that can be organic or psychic in origin.
cenesthesia Change in the normal quality of feeling tone in a part of the body.
cephalagia Headache.
cerea flexibilitas Condition of a person who can be molded into a position that is then maintained; when an examiner moves the person's limb, the limb feels as if it were made of wax. Also called catalepsy or waxy flexibility. Seen in schizophrenia.
chorea Movement disorder characterized by random and involuntary quick, jerky, purposeless movements. Seen in Huntington's disease.
circumstantiality Disturbance in the associative thought and speech processes in which a patient digresses into unnecessary details and inappropriate thoughts before communicating the central idea. Observed in schizophrenia, obsessional disturbances, and certain cases of d
clang association Association or speech directed by the sound of a word rather than by its meaning; words have no logical connection; punning and rhyming may dominate the verbal behavior. Seen most frequently in schizophrenia or mania.
claustrophobia Abnormal fear of closed or confining spaces.
clonic convulsion An involuntary, violent muscular contraction or spasm in which the muscles alternately contract and relax. Characteristic phase in grand mal epileptic seizure.
clouding of consciousness Any disturbance of consciousness in which the person is not fully awake, alert, and oriented. Occurs in delirium, dementia, and cognitive disorder.
cluttering Disturbance of fluency involving an abnormally rapid rate and erratic rhythm of speech that impedes intelligibility; the affected individual is usually unaware of communicative impairment.
cognition Mental process of knowing and becoming aware; function is closely associated with judgment.
coma State of profound unconsciousness from which a person cannot be roused, with minimal or no detectable responsiveness to stimuli; seen in injury or disease of the brain, in systemic conditions, such as diabetic ketoacidosis and uremia; and in intoxications
coma vigil Coma in which a patient appears to be asleep, but can be aroused (also known as akinetic mutism).
command automatism Condition associated with catalepsy in which suggestions are followed automatically.
command hallucination False perception of orders that a person may feel obliged to obey or unable to resist.
complex A feeling-toned idea.
complex partial seizure A seizure characterized by alterations in consciousness that may be accompanied by complex hallucinations (sometimes olfactory) or illusions. During the seizure, a state of impaired consciousness resembling a dream-like state may occur, and the patient ma
compulsion Pathological need to act on an impulse that, if resisted, produces anxiety; repetitive behavior in response to an obsession or performed according to certain rules, with no true end in itself other than to prevent something from occurring in the future.
conation That part of a person's mental life concerned with cravings, strivings, motivations, drives, and wishes as expressed through behavior or motor activity.
concrete thinking Thinking characterized by actual things, events, and immediate experience, rather than by abstractions; seen in young children, in those who have lost or never developed the ability to generalize (as in certain cognitive mental disorders), and in schizoph
condensation Mental process in which one symbol stands for a number of components.
confabulation Unconscious filling of gaps in memory by imagining experiences or events that have no basis in fact, commonly seen in amnestic syndromes; should be differentiated from lying. See also paramnesia.
confusion Disturbances of consciousness manifested by a disordered orientation in relation to time, place, or person.
consciousness State of awareness, with response to external stimuli.
constipation Inability to defecate or difficulty in defecating.
constricted affect Reduction in intensity of feeling tone that is less severe than that of blunted affect.
constructional apraxia Inability to copy a drawing, such as a cube, clock, or pentagon, as a result of a brain lesion.
conversion phenomena The development of symbolic physical symptoms and distortions involving the voluntary muscles or special sense organs; not under voluntary control and not explained by any physical disorder. Most common in conversion disorder, but also seen in a variety o
convulsion An involuntary, violent muscular contraction or spasm. See also clonic convulsion and tonic convulsion.
coprolalia Involuntary use of vulgar or obscene language. Observed in some cases of schizophrenia and in Tourette's syndrome.
coprophagia Eating of filth or feces.
cryptographia A private written language.
cryptolalia A private spoken language.
cycloplegia Paralysis of the muscles of accommodation in the eye; observed, at times, as an autonomic adverse effect (anticholinergic effect) of antipsychotic or antidepressant medication.
Decompensation Deterioration of psychic functioning caused by a breakdown of defense mechanisms. Seen in psychotic states.
déjà entendu Illusion that what one is hearing one has heard previously. See also paramnesia.
déjà pensé Condition in which a thought never entertained before is incorrectly regarded as a repetition of a previous thought. See also paramnesia.
déjà vu Illusion of visual recognition in which a new situation is incorrectly regarded as a repetition of a previous experience. See also paramnesia.
delirium Acute reversible mental disorder characterized by confusion and some impairment of consciousness; generally associated with emotional lability, hallucinations or illusions, and inappropriate, impulsive, irrational, or violent behavior.
delirium tremens Acute and sometimes fatal reaction to withdrawal from alcohol, usually occurring 72 to 96 hours after the cessation of heavy drinking; distinctive characteristics are marked autonomic hyperactivity (tachycardia, fever, hyperhidrosis, and dilated pupils),
delusion False belief, based on incorrect inference about external reality, that is firmly held despite objective and obvious contradictory proof or evidence and despite the fact that other members of the culture do not share the belief.
delusion of control False belief that a person's will, thoughts, or feelings are being controlled by external forces.
delusion of grandeur Exaggerated conception of one's importance, power, or identity.
delusion of infidelity False belief that one's lover is unfaithful. Sometimes called pathological jealousy.
delusion of persecution False belief of being harassed or persecuted; often found in litigious patients who have a pathological tendency to take legal action because of imagined mistreatment. Most common delusion.
delusion of poverty False belief that one is bereft or will be deprived of all material possessions.
delusion of reference False belief that the behavior of others refers to oneself or that events, objects, or other people have a particular and unusual significance, usually of a negative nature; derived from idea of reference, in which persons falsely feel that others are tal
delusion of self-accusation False feeling of remorse and guilt. Seen in depression with psychotic features.
dementia Mental disorder characterized by general impairment in intellectual functioning without clouding of consciousness; characterized by failing memory, difficulty with calculations, distractibility, alterations in mood and affect, impaired judgment and abstra
denial Defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant realities is disavowed; refers to keeping out of conscious awareness any aspects of external reality that, if acknowledged, would produce anxiety.
depersonalization Sensation of unreality concerning oneself, parts of oneself, or one's environment that occurs under extreme stress or fatigue. Seen in schizophrenia, depersonalization disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder.
depression Mental state characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, despair, low self-esteem, and self-reproach; accompanying signs include psychomotor retardation or, at times, agitation, withdrawal from interpersonal contact, and vegetative symptoms, such as
derailment Gradual or sudden deviation in train of thought without blocking; sometimes used synonymously with loosening of association.
derealization Sensation of changed reality or that one's surroundings have altered. Usually seen in schizophrenia, panic attacks, and dissociative disorders.
dereism Mental activity that follows a totally subjective and idiosyncratic system of logic and fails to take the facts of reality or experience into consideration. Characteristic of schizophrenia. See also autistic thinking.
detachment Characterized by distant interpersonal relationships and lack of emotional involvement.
devaluation Defense mechanism in which a person attributes excessively negative qualities to self or others. Seen in depression and paranoid personality disorder.
diminished libido Decreased sexual interest and drive. (Increased libido is often associated with mania.)
dipsomania Compulsion to drink alcoholic beverages.
disinhibition (1) Removal of an inhibitory effect, as in the reduction of the inhibitory function of the cerebral cortex by alcohol. (2) In psychiatry, a greater freedom to act in accordance with inner drives or feelings and with less regard for restraints dictated by
disorientation Confusion; impairment of awareness of time, place, and person (the position of the self in relation to other persons). Characteristic of cognitive disorders.
displacement Unconscious defense mechanism by which the emotional component of an unacceptable idea or object is transferred to a more acceptable one. Seen in phobias.
dissociation Unconscious defense mechanism involving the segregation of any group of mental or behavioral processes from the rest of the person's psychic activity; may entail the separation of an idea from its accompanying emotional tone, as seen in dissociative and c
distractibility Inability to focus one's attention; the patient does not respond to the task at hand but attends to irrelevant phenomena in the environment.
dread Massive or pervasive anxiety, usually related to a specific danger.
dreamy state Altered state of consciousness, likened to a dream situation, which develops suddenly and usually lasts a few minutes; accompanied by visual, auditory, and olfactory hallucinations. Commonly associated with temporal lobe lesions.
drowsiness State of impaired awareness associated with a desire or inclination to sleep.
dysarthria Difficulty in articulation, the motor activity of shaping phonated sounds into speech, not in word finding or in grammar.
dyscalculia Difficulty in performing calculations.
dysgeusia Impaired sense of taste.
dysgraphia Difficulty in writing.
dyskinesia Difficulty in performing movements. Seen in extrapyramidal disorders.
dyslalia Faulty articulation caused by structural abnormalities of the articulatory organs or impaired hearing.
dyslexia Specific learning disability syndrome involving an impairment of the previously acquired ability to read; unrelated to the person's intelligence. Compare with alexia.
dysmetria Impaired ability to gauge distance relative to movements. Seen in neurological deficit.
dysmnesia Impaired memory.
dyspareunia Physical pain in sexual intercourse, usually emotionally caused and more commonly experienced by women; can also result from cystitis, urethritis, or other medical conditions.
dysphagia Difficulty in swallowing.
dysphasia Difficulty in comprehending oral language (reception dysphasia) or in trying to express verbal language (expressive dysphasia).
dysphonia Difficulty or pain in speaking.
dysphoria Feeling of unpleasantness or discomfort; a mood of general dissatisfaction and restlessness. Occurs in depression and anxiety.
dysprosody Loss of normal speech melody (prosody). Common in depression.
dystonia Extrapyramidal motor disturbance consisting of slow, sustained contractions of the axial or appendicular musculature; one movement often predominates, leading to relatively sustained postural deviations; acute dystonic reactions (facial grimacing and tort
echolalia Psychopathological repeating of words or phrases of one person by another; tends to be repetitive and persistent. Seen in certain kinds of schizophrenia, particularly the catatonic types.
ego-alien Denoting aspects of a person's personality that are viewed as repugnant, unacceptable, or inconsistent with the rest of the personality. Also called ego-dystonia. Compare with ego-syntonic.
egocentric Self-centered; selfishly preoccupied with one's own needs; lacking interest in others.
ego-dystonic See ego-alien.
egomania Morbid self-preoccupation or self-centeredness. See also narcissism.
ego-syntonic Denoting aspects of a personality that are viewed as acceptable and consistent with that person's total personality. Personality traits are usually ego-syntonic. Compare with ego-alien.
eidetic image Unusually vivid or exact mental image of objects previously seen or imagined.
elation Mood consisting of feelings of joy, euphoria, triumph, and intense self-satisfaction or optimism. Occurs in mania when not grounded in reality.
elevated mood Air of confidence and enjoyment; a mood more cheerful than normal but not necessarily pathological.
emotion Complex feeling state with psychic, somatic, and behavioral components; external manifestation of emotion is affect.
emotional insight A level of understanding or awareness that one has emotional problems. It facilitates positive changes in personality and behavior when present.
emotional lability Excessive emotional responsiveness characterized by unstable and rapidly changing emotions.
encopresis Involuntary passage of feces, usually occurring at night or during sleep.
enuresis Incontinence of urine during sleep.
erotomania Delusional belief, more common in women than in men, that someone is deeply in love with them (also known as de Clérambault syndrome).
erythrophobia Abnormal fear of blushing.
euphoria Exaggerated feeling of well-being that is inappropriate to real events. Can occur with drugs such as opiates, amphetamines, and alcohol.
euthymia Normal range of mood, implying absence of depressed or elevated mood.
evasion Act of not facing up to, or strategically eluding, something; consists of suppressing an idea that is next in a thought series and replacing it with another idea closely related to it. Also called paralogia and perverted logic.
exaltation Feeling of intense elation and grandeur.
excited Agitated, purposeless motor activity uninfluenced by external stimuli.
expansive mood Expression of feelings without restraint, frequently with an overestimation of their significance or importance. Seen in mania and grandiose delusional disorder.
expressive aphasia Disturbance of speech in which understanding remains, but ability to speak is grossly impaired; halting, laborious, and inaccurate speech (also known as Broca's, nonfluent, and motor aphasias).
expressive dysphasia Difficulty in expressing verbal language; the ability to understand language is intact.
externalization More general term than projection that refers to the tendency to perceive in the external world and in external objects elements of one's own personality, including instinctual impulses, conflicts, moods, attitudes, and styles of thinking.
extroversion State of one's energies being directed outside oneself. Compare with introversion.
false memory A person's recollection and belief of an event that did not actually occur. In false memory syndrome, persons erroneously believe that they sustained an emotional or physical (e.g., sexual) trauma in early life.
fantasy Daydream; fabricated mental picture of a situation or chain of events. A normal form of thinking dominated by unconsciousness material that seeks wish fulfillment and solutions to conflicts; may serve as the matrix for creativity. The content of the fanta
fatigue A feeling of weariness, sleepiness, or irritability after a period of mental or bodily activity. Seen in depression, anxiety, neurasthenia, and somatoform disorders.
fausse reconnaissance False recognition, a feature of paramnesia. Can occur in delusional disorders.
fear Unpleasurable emotional state consisting of psychophysiological changes in response to a realistic threat or danger. Compare with anxiety.
flat affect Absence or near absence of any signs of affective expression.
flight of ideas Rapid succession of fragmentary thoughts or speech in which content changes abruptly and speech may be incoherent. Seen in mania.
floccillation Aimless plucking or picking, usually at bedclothes or clothing, commonly seen in dementia and delirium.
fluent aphasia Aphasia characterized by inability to understand the spoken word; fluent but incoherent speech is present. Also called Wernicke's, sensory, and receptive aphasias.
folie à deux Mental illness shared by two persons, usually involving a common delusional system; if it involves three persons, it is referred to as folie à trois, and so on. Also called shared psychotic disorder.
formal thought disorder Disturbance in the form rather than the content of thought; thinking characterized by loosened associations, neologisms, and illogical constructs; thought process is disordered, and the person is defined as psychotic. Characteristic of schizophrenia.
formication Tactile hallucination involving the sensation that tiny insects are crawling over the skin. Seen in cocaine addiction and delirium tremens.
free-floating anxiety Severe, pervasive, generalized anxiety that is not attached to any particular idea, object, or event. Observed particularly in anxiety disorders, although it may be seen in some cases of schizophrenia.
fugue Dissociative disorder characterized by a period of almost complete amnesia, during which a person actually flees from an immediate life situation and begins a different life pattern; apart from the amnesia, mental faculties and skills are usually unimpair
galactorrhea Abnormal discharge of milk from the breast; may result from the endocrine influence (e.g., prolactin) of dopamine receptor antagonists, such as phenothiazines.
generalized tonic-clonic seizure Generalized onset of tonic-clonic movements of the limbs, tongue-biting, and incontinence followed by slow, gradual recovery of consciousness and cognition; also called grand mal seizure.
global aphasia Combination of grossly nonfluent aphasia and severe fluent aphasia.
glossolalia Unintelligible jargon that has meaning to the speaker but not to the listener. Occurs in schizophrenia.
grandiosity Exaggerated feelings of one's importance, power, knowledge, or identity. Occurs in delusional disorder and manic states.
grief Alteration in mood and affect consisting of sadness appropriate to a real loss; normally, it is self-limited. See also depression and mourning.
guilt Emotional state associated with self-reproach and the need for punishment. In psychoanalysis, refers to a feeling of culpability that stems from a conflict between the ego and the superego (conscience). Guilt has normal psychological and social functions,
gustatory hallucination Hallucination primarily involving taste.
gynecomastia Female-like development of the male breasts; can occur as an adverse effect of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs because of increased prolactin levels or anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse.
hallucination False sensory perception occurring in the absence of any relevant external stimulation of the sensory modality involved. For types of hallucinations, see the specific term.
hallucinosis State in which a person experiences hallucinations without any impairment of consciousness.
haptic hallucination Hallucination of touch.
hebephrenia Complex of symptoms, considered a form of schizophrenia, characterized by wild or silly behavior or mannerisms, inappropriate affect, and delusions and hallucinations that are transient and unsystematized. Hebephrenic schizophrenia is now called disorgani
holophrastic Using a single word to express a combination of ideas. Seen in schizophrenia.
hyperactivity Increased muscular activity. The term is commonly used to describe a disturbance found in children that is manifested by constant restlessness, overactivity, distractibility, and difficulties in learning. Seen in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (
hyperalgesia Excessive sensitivity to pain. Seen in somatoform disorder.
hyperesthesia Increased sensitivity to tactile stimulation.
hypermnesia Exaggerated degree of retention and recall. It can be elicited by hypnosis and may be seen in certain prodigies; also can be a feature of OCD, some cases of schizophrenia, and manic episodes of bipolar I disorder.
hyperphagia Increase in appetite and intake of food.
hyperpragia Excessive thinking and mental activity. Generally associated with manic episodes of bipolar I disorder.
hypersomnia Excessive time spent asleep. Can be associated with underlying medical or psychiatric disorder or narcolepsy, can be part of the Kleine-Levin syndrome, or may be primary.
hyperventilation Excessive breathing, generally associated with anxiety, which can reduce blood carbon dioxide concentration and can produce lightheadedness, palpitations, numbness, tingling periorally and in the extremities, and, occasionally, syncope.
hypervigilance Excessive attention to, and focus on, all internal and external stimuli; usually seen in delusional or paranoid states.
hypesthesia Diminished sensitivity to tactile stimulation.
hypnagogic hallucination Hallucination occurring while falling asleep, not ordinarily considered pathological.
hypnopompic hallucination Hallucination occurring while awakening from sleep, not ordinarily considered pathological.
hypnosis Artificially induced alteration of consciousness characterized by increased suggestibility and receptivity to direction.
hypoactivity Decreased motor and cognitive activity, as in psychomotor retardation; visible slowing of thought, speech, and movements. Also called hypokinesis.
hypochondria Exaggerated concern about health that is based not on real medical pathology, but on unrealistic interpretations of physical signs or sensations as abnormal.
hypomania Mood abnormality with the qualitative characteristics of mania, but somewhat less intense. Seen in cyclothymic disorder.
idea of reference Misinterpretation of incidents and events in the outside world as having direct personal reference to oneself; occasionally observed in normal persons, but frequently seen in paranoid patients. If present with sufficient frequency or intensity or if organ
illogical thinking Thinking containing erroneous conclusions or internal contradictions; psychopathological only when it is marked and not caused by cultural values or intellectual deficit.
illusion Perceptual misinterpretation of a real external stimulus. Compare with hallucination.
immediate memory Reproduction, recognition, or recall of perceived material within seconds after presentation. Compare with long-term memory and short-term memory.
impaired insight Diminished ability to understand the objective reality of a situation.
impaired judgment Diminished ability to understand a situation correctly and to act appropriately.
impulse control Ability to resist an impulse, drive, or temptation to perform some action.
inappropriate affect Emotional tone out of harmony with the idea, thought, or speech accompanying it. Seen in schizophrenia.
incoherence Communication that is disconnected, disorganized, or incomprehensible. See also word salad.
incorporation Primitive unconscious defense mechanism in which the psychic representation of another person or aspects of another person are assimilated into oneself through a figurative process of symbolic oral ingestion; represents a special form of introjection and
increased libido Increase in sexual interest and drive.
ineffability Ecstatic state in which persons insist that their experience is inexpressible and indescribable and that it is impossible to convey what it is like to one who has never experienced it.
initial insomnia Falling asleep with difficulty; usually seen in anxiety disorder. Compare with middle insomnia and terminal insomnia.
insight Conscious recognition of one's own condition. In psychiatry, it refers to the conscious awareness and understanding of one's own psychodynamics and symptoms of maladaptive behavior; highly important in effecting changes in the personality and behavior of
insomnia Difficulty in falling asleep or difficulty in staying asleep. It can be related to a mental disorder, a physical disorder, or an adverse effect of medication; or it can be primary (not related to a known medical factor or another mental disorder). See als
intellectual insight Knowledge of the reality of a situation without the ability to use that knowledge successfully to effect an adaptive change in behavior or to master the situation. Compare with true insight.
intelligence Capacity for learning and ability to recall, integrate constructively, and apply what one has learned; the capacity to understand and to think rationally.
intoxication Mental disorder caused by recent ingestion or presence in the body of an exogenous substance producing maladaptive behavior by virtue of its effects on the central nervous system (CNS). The most common psychiatric changes involve disturbances of perceptio
intropunitive Turning anger inward toward oneself. Commonly observed in depressed patients.
introspection Contemplating one's own mental processes to achieve insight.
introversion State in which a person's energies are directed inward toward the self, with little or no interest in the external world.
irrelevant answer Answer that is not responsive to the question.
irritability Abnormal or excessive excitability, with easily triggered anger, annoyance, or impatience.
irritable mood State in which one is easily annoyed and provoked to anger. See also irritability.
jamais vu Paramnestic phenomenon characterized by a false feeling of unfamiliarity with a real situation that one has previously experienced.
jargon aphasia Aphasia in which the words produced are neologistic; that is, nonsense words created by the patient.
judgment Mental act of comparing or evaluating choices within the framework of a given set of values for the purpose of electing a course of action. If the course of action chosen is consonant with reality or with mature adult standards of behavior, judgment is sa
kleptomania Pathological compulsion to steal.
la belle indifférence Inappropriate attitude of calm or lack of concern about one's disability. May be seen in patients with conversion disorder.
labile affect Affective expression characterized by rapid and abrupt changes, unrelated to external stimuli.
labile mood Oscillations in mood between euphoria and depression or anxiety.
laconic speech Condition characterized by a reduction in the quantity of spontaneous speech; replies to questions are brief and unelaborated, and little or no unprompted additional information is provided. Occurs in major depression, schizophrenia, and organic mental di
lethologica Momentary forgetting of a name or proper noun. See blocking.
lilliputian hallucination Visual sensation that persons or objects are reduced in size; more properly regarded as an illusion. See also micropsia.
localized amnesia Partial loss of memory; amnesia restricted to specific or isolated experiences. Also called lacunar amnesia and patch amnesia.
logorrhea Copious, pressured, coherent speech; uncontrollable, excessive talking; observed in manic episodes of bipolar disorder. Also called tachylogia, verbomania, and volubility.
long-term memory Reproduction, recognition, or recall of experiences or information that was experienced in the distant past. Also called remote memory. Compare with immediate memory and short-term memory.
loosening of associations Characteristic schizophrenic thinking or speech disturbance involving a disorder in the logical progression of thoughts, manifested as a failure to communicate verbally adequately; unrelated and unconnected ideas shift from one subject to another. See als
macropsia False perception that objects are larger than they really are. Compare with micropsia.
magical thinking A form of dereistic thought; thinking similar to that of the preoperational phase in children (Jean Piaget), in which thoughts, words, or actions assume power (e.g., to cause or to prevent events).
malingering Feigning disease to achieve a specific goal, for example, to avoid an unpleasant responsibility.
mania Mood state characterized by elation, agitation, hyperactivity, hypersexuality, and accelerated thinking and speaking (flight of ideas). Seen in bipolar I disorder. See also hypomania.
manipulation Maneuvering by patients to get their own way; characteristic of antisocial personalities.
mannerism Ingrained, habitual involuntary movement.
melancholia Severe depressive state. Used in the term involutional melancholia as a descriptive term and also in reference to a distinct diagnostic entity.
memory Process whereby what is experienced or learned is established as a record in the CNS (registration), where it persists with a variable degree of permanence (retention) and can be recollected or retrieved from storage at will (recall). For types of memory,
mental disorder Psychiatric illness or disease whose manifestations are primarily characterized by behavioral or psychological impairment of function, measured in terms of deviation from some normative concept; associated with distress or disease, not just an expected re
mental retardation Subaverage general intellectual functioning that originates in the developmental period and is associated with impaired maturation and learning, and social maladjustment. Retardation is commonly defined in terms of intelligent quotient (IQ): mild (between
metonymy Speech disturbance common in schizophrenia in which the affected person uses a word or phrase that is related to the proper one but is not the one ordinarily used; for example, the patient speaks of consuming a menu rather than a meal, or refers to losing
microcephaly Condition in which the head is unusually small as a result of defective brain development and premature ossification of the skull.
micropsia False perception that objects are smaller than they really are. Sometimes called lilliputian hallucination. Compare with macropsia.
middle insomnia Waking up after falling asleep without difficulty and then having difficulty in falling asleep again. Compare with initial insomnia and terminal insomnia.
mimicry Simple, imitative motion activity of childhood.
monomania Mental state characterized by preoccupation with one subject.
mood Pervasive and sustained feeling tone that is experienced internally and that, in the extreme, can markedly influence virtually all aspects of a person's behavior and perception of the world. Distinguished from affect, the external expression of the intern
mood-congruent delusion Delusion with content that is mood appropriate (e.g., depressed patients who believe that they are responsible for the destruction of the world).
mood-congruent hallucination Hallucination with content that is consistent with a depressed or manic mood (e.g., depressed patients hearing voices telling them that they are bad persons and manic patients hearing voices telling them that they have inflated worth, power, or knowledge)
mood-incongruent delusion Delusion based on incorrect reference about external reality, with content that has no association to mood or is mood inappropriate (e.g., depressed patients who believe that they are the new Messiah).
mood-incongruent hallucination Hallucination not associated with real external stimuli, with content that is not consistent with depressed or manic mood (e.g., in depression, hallucinations not involving such themes as guilt, deserved punishment, or inadequacy; in mania, not involving
mood swings Oscillation of a person's emotional feeling tone between periods of elation and periods of depression.
motor aphasia Aphasia in which understanding is intact, but the ability to speak is lost. Also called Broca's, expressive, or nonfluent aphasias.
mourning Syndrome following loss of a loved one, consisting of preoccupation with the lost individual, weeping, sadness, and repeated reliving of memories. See also bereavement and grief.
muscle rigidity State in which the muscles remain immovable; seen in schizophrenia.
mutism Organic or functional absence of the faculty of speech. See also stupor.
mydriasis Dilation of the pupil; sometimes occurs as an autonomic (anticholinergic) or atropine-like adverse effect of some antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs.
narcissism In psychoanalytic theory, divided into primary and secondary types: primary narcissism, the early infantile phase of object relationship development, when the child has not differentiated the self from the outside world, and all sources of pleasure are un
needle phobia The persistent, intense, pathological fear of receiving an injection.
negative signs In schizophrenia: flat affect, alogia, abulia, and apathy.
negativism Verbal or nonverbal opposition or resistance to outside suggestions and advice; commonly seen in catatonic schizophrenia in which the patient resists any effort to be moved or does the opposite of what is asked.
neologism New word or phrase whose derivation cannot be understood; often seen in schizophrenia. It has also been used to mean a word that has been incorrectly constructed but whose origins are nonetheless understandable (e.g., headshoe to mean hat), but such const
neurological amnesia (1) Auditory amnesia: loss of ability to comprehend sounds or speech. (2) Tactile amnesia: loss of ability to judge the shape of objects by touch. See also astereognosis. (3) Verbal amnesia: loss of ability to remember words. (4) Visual amnesia: loss of a
nihilism Delusion of the nonexistence of the self or part of the self; also refers to an attitude of total rejection of established values or extreme skepticism regarding moral and value judgments.
nihilistic delusion Depressive delusion that the world and everything related to it have ceased to exist.
noeisis Revelation in which immense illumination occurs in association with a sense that one has been chosen to lead and command. Can occur in manic or dissociative states.
nominal aphasia Aphasia characterized by difficulty in giving the correct name of an object. See also anomia and amnestic aphasia.
nymphomania Abnormal, excessive, insatiable desire in a woman for sexual intercourse. Compare with satyriasis.
obsession Persistent and recurrent idea, thought, or impulse that cannot be eliminated from consciousness by logic or reasoning; obsessions are involuntary and ego-dystonic. See also compulsion.
olfactory hallucination Hallucination primarily involving smell or odors; most common in medical disorders, especially in the temporal lobe.
orientation State of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings in terms of time, place, and person.
overactivity Abnormality in motor behavior that can manifest itself as psychomotor agitation, hyperactivity (hyperkinesis), tics, sleepwalking, or compulsions.
overvalued idea False or unreasonable belief or idea that is sustained beyond the bounds of reason. It is held with less intensity or duration than a delusion, but is usually associated with mental illness.
panic Acute, intense attack of anxiety associated with personality disorganization; the anxiety is overwhelming and accompanied by feelings of impending doom.
panphobia Overwhelming fear of everything.
pantomime Gesticulation; psychodrama without the use of words.
paramnesia Disturbance of memory in which reality and fantasy are confused. It is observed in dreams and in certain types of schizophrenia and organic mental disorders; it includes phenomena such as déjà vu and déjà entendu, which can occur occasionally in normal pe
paranoia Rare psychiatric syndrome marked by the gradual development of a highly elaborate and complex delusional system, generally involving persecutory or grandiose delusions, with few other signs of personality disorganization or thought disorder.
paranoid delusions Includes persecutory delusions and delusions of reference, control, and grandeur.
paranoid ideation Thinking dominated by suspicious, persecutory, or grandiose content of less than delusional proportions.
paraphasia Abnormal speech in which one word is substituted for another, the irrelevant word generally resembling the required one in morphology, meaning, or phonetic composition; the inappropriate word may be a legitimate one used incorrectly, such as clover instea
parapraxis Faulty act, such as a slip of the tongue or the misplacement of an article. Freud ascribed parapraxes to unconscious motives.
paresis Weakness or partial paralysis of organic origin.
paresthesia Abnormal spontaneous tactile sensation, such as a burning, tingling, or pins-and-needles sensation.
perception Conscious awareness of elements in the environment by the mental processing of sensory stimuli; sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to the mental process by which all kinds of data, intellectual, emotional, and sensory, are meaningfully organized.
perseveration (1) Pathological repetition of the same response to different stimuli, as in a repetition of the same verbal response to different questions. (2) Persistent repetition of specific words or concepts in the process of speaking. Seen in cognitive disorders,
phantom limb False sensation that an extremity that has been lost is, in fact, present.
phobia Persistent, pathological, unrealistic, intense fear of an object or situation; the phobic person may realize that the fear is irrational but, nonetheless, cannot dispel it.
pica Craving and eating of nonfood substances, such as paint and clay.
polyphagia Pathological overeating.
positive signs In schizophrenia: hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder.
posturing Strange, fixed, and bizarre bodily positions held by a patient for an extended time. See also catatonia.
poverty of speech content Speech that is adequate in amount, but conveys little information because of vagueness, emptiness, or stereotyped phrases.
poverty of speech Restriction in the amount of speech used; replies may be monosyllabic. See also laconic speech.
preoccupation of thought Centering of thought content on a particular idea, associated with a strong affective tone, such as a paranoid trend or a suicidal or homicidal preoccupation.
pressured speech Increase in the amount of spontaneous speech; rapid, loud, accelerated speech, as occurs in mania, schizophrenia, and cognitive disorders.
primary process thinking In psychoanalysis, the mental activity directly related to the functions of the id and characteristic of unconscious mental processes; marked by primitive, prelogical thinking and by the tendency to seek immediate discharge and gratification of instinctua
projection Unconscious defense mechanism in which persons attribute to another those generally unconscious ideas, thoughts, feelings, and impulses that are in themselves undesirable or unacceptable as a form of protection from anxiety arising from an inner conflict;
prosopagnosia Inability to recognize familiar faces that is not caused by impaired visual acuity or level of consciousness.
pseudocyesis Rare condition in which a nonpregnant patient has the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, such as abdominal distention, breast enlargement, pigmentation, cessation of menses, and morning sickness.
pseudodementia (1) Dementia-like disorder that can be reversed by appropriate treatment and is not caused by organic brain disease. (2) Condition in which patients show exaggerated indifference to their surroundings in the absence of a mental disorder.
pseudologia phantastica Disorder characterized by uncontrollable lying in which patients elaborate extensive fantasies that they freely communicate and act on.
psychomotor agitation Physical and mental overactivity that is usually nonproductive and is associated with a feeling of inner turmoil, as seen in agitated depression.
psychosis Mental disorder in which the thoughts, affective response, ability to recognize reality, and ability to communicate and relate to others are sufficiently impaired to interfere grossly with the capacity to deal with reality; the classic characteristics of
psychotic (1) Person experiencing psychosis. (2) Denoting or characteristic of psychosis.
rationalization An unconscious defense mechanism in which irrational or unacceptable behavior, motives, or feelings are logically justified or made consciously tolerable by plausible means.
reaction formation Unconscious defense mechanism in which a person develops a socialized attitude or interest that is the direct antithesis of some infantile wish or impulse that is harbored consciously or unconsciously. One of the earliest and most unstable defense mechani
reality testing Fundamental ego function that consists of tentative actions that test and objectively evaluate the nature and limits of the environment; includes the ability to differentiate between the external world and the internal world and to accurately judge the re
recall Process of bringing stored memories into consciousness. See also memory.
recent memory Recall of events over the past few days.
recent past memory Recall of events over the past few months.
receptive aphasia Organic loss of ability to comprehend the meaning of words; fluid and spontaneous, but incoherent and nonsensical, speech. See also fluent aphasia and sensory aphasia.
receptive dysphasia Difficulty in comprehending oral language; the impairment involves comprehension and production of language.
regression Unconscious defense mechanism in which a person undergoes a partial or total return to earlier patterns of adaptation; observed in many psychiatric conditions, particularly schizophrenia.
remote memory Recall of events from the distant past.
repression Freud's term for an unconscious defense mechanism in which unacceptable mental contents are banished or kept out of consciousness; important in normal psychological development and in neurotic and psychotic symptom formation. Freud recognized two kinds of
restricted affect Reduction in intensity of feeling tone, which is less severe than in blunted affect, but clearly reduced. See also constricted affect.
retrograde amnesia Loss of memory for events preceding the onset of the amnesia. Compare with anterograde amnesia.
retrospective falsification Memory becomes unintentionally (unconsciously) distorted by being filtered through a person's present emotional, cognitive, and experiential state.
rigidity In psychiatry, a person's resistance to change, a personality trait.
ritual (1) Formalized activity practiced by a person to reduce anxiety, as in OCD. (2) Ceremonial activity of cultural origin.
rumination Constant preoccupation with thinking about a single idea or theme, as in OCD.
satyriasis Morbid, insatiable sexual need or desire in a man. Compare with nymphomania.
scotoma (1) In psychiatry, a figurative blind spot in a person's psychological awareness. (2) In neurology, a localized visual field defect.
secondary process thinking In psychoanalysis, the form of thinking that is logical, organized, reality oriented, and influenced by the demands of the environment; characterizes the mental activity of the ego. Compare with primary process thinking.
seizure An attack or sudden onset of certain symptoms, such as convulsions, loss of consciousness, and psychic or sensory disturbances; seen in epilepsy and can be substance induced.
sensorium Hypothetical sensory center in the brain that is involved with clarity of awareness about oneself and one's surroundings, including the ability to perceive and to process ongoing events in light of past experiences, future options, and current circumstanc
sensory aphasia Organic loss of ability to comprehend the meaning of words; fluid and spontaneous, but incoherent and nonsensical, speech. See also fluent aphasia and receptive aphasia.
sensory extinction Neurological sign operationally defined as failure to report one of two simultaneously presented sensory stimuli, despite that either stimulus alone is correctly reported. Also called sensory inattention.
shame Failure to live up to self-expectations; often associated with fantasy of how person will be seen by others. See also guilt.
short-term memory Reproduction, recognition, or recall of perceived material within minutes after the initial presentation. Compare with immediate memory and long-term memory.
simultanagnosia Impairment in the perception or integration of visual stimuli appearing simultaneously.
somatic delusion Delusion pertaining to the functioning of one's body.
somatic hallucination Hallucination involving the perception of a physical experience localized within the body.
somatopagnosia Inability to recognize a part of one's body as one's own (also called ignorance of the body and autotopagnosia).
somnolence Pathological sleepiness or drowsiness from which one can be aroused to a normal state of consciousness.
spatial agnosia Inability to recognize spatial relations.
speaking in tongues Expression of a revelatory message through unintelligible words; not considered a disorder of thought if associated with practices of specific Pentecostal religions. See also glossolalia.
stereotypy Continuous mechanical repetition of speech or physical activities; observed in catatonic schizophrenia.
stupor (1) State of decreased reactivity to stimuli and less than full awareness of one's surroundings; as a disturbance of consciousness, it indicates a condition of partial coma or semicoma. (2) In psychiatry, used synonymously with mutism and does not necessa
stuttering Frequent repetition or prolongation of a sound or syllable, leading to markedly impaired speech fluency.
sublimation Unconscious defense mechanism in which the energy associated with unacceptable impulses or drives is diverted into personally and socially acceptable channels; unlike other defense mechanisms, it offers some minimal gratification of the instinctual drive
substitution Unconscious defense mechanism in which a person replaces an unacceptable wish, drive, emotion, or goal with one that is more acceptable.
suggestibility State of uncritical compliance with influence or of uncritical acceptance of an idea, belief, or attitude; commonly observed among persons with hysterical traits.
suicidal ideation Thoughts or act of taking one's own life.
suppression Conscious act of controlling and inhibiting an unacceptable impulse, emotion, or idea; differentiated from repression in that repression is an unconscious process.
symbolization Unconscious defense mechanism in which one idea or object comes to stand for another because of some common aspect or quality in both; based on similarity and association; the symbols formed protect the person from the anxiety that may be attached to the
synesthesia Condition in which the stimulation of one sensory modality is perceived as sensation in a different modality, as when a sound produces a sensation of color.
syntactical aphasia Aphasia characterized by difficulty in understanding spoken speech; associated with gross disorder of thought and expression.
systematized delusion Group of elaborate delusions related to a single event or theme.
tactile hallucination Hallucination primarily involving the sense of touch. Also called haptic hallucination.
tangentiality Oblique, digressive, or even irrelevant manner of speech in which the central idea is not communicated.
tension Physiological or psychic arousal, uneasiness, or pressure toward action; an unpleasurable alteration in mental or physical state that seeks relief through action.
terminal insomnia Early morning awakening or waking up at least 2 hours before planning to wake up. Compare with initial insomnia and middle insomnia.
thought broadcasting Feeling that one's thoughts are being broadcast or projected into the environment. See also thought withdrawal.
thought disorder Any disturbance of thinking that affects language, communication, or thought content; the hallmark feature of schizophrenia. Manifestations range from simple blocking and mild circumstantiality to profound loosening of associations, incoherence, and delus
thought insertion Delusion that thoughts are being implanted in one's mind by other people or forces.
thought latency The period of time between a thought and its verbal expression. Increased in schizophrenia (see blocking) and decreased in mania (see pressured speech).
thought withdrawal Delusion that one's thoughts are being removed from one's mind by other people or forces. See also thought broadcasting.
tic disorders Predominantly psychogenic disorders characterized by involuntary, spasmodic, stereotyped movement of small groups of muscles; seen most predominantly in moments of stress or anxiety, rarely as a result of organic disease.
tinnitus Noises in one or both ears, such as ringing, buzzing, or clicking; an adverse effect of some psychotropic drugs.
tonic convulsion Convulsion in which the muscle contraction is sustained.
trailing phenomenon Perceptual abnormality associated with hallucinogenic drugs in which moving objects are seen as a series of discrete and discontinuous images.
trance Sleep-like state of reduced consciousness and activity.
tremor Rhythmical alteration in movement, which is usually faster than one beat a second; typically, tremors decrease during periods of relaxation and sleep and increase during periods of anger and increased tension.
true insight Understanding of the objective reality of a situation coupled with the motivational and emotional impetus to master the situation or change behavior.
twilight state Disturbed consciousness with hallucinations.
twirling Sign present in autistic children who continually rotate in the direction in which their head is turned.
unconscious (1) One of three divisions of Freud's topographic theory of the mind (the others being the conscious and the preconscious) in which the psychic material is not readily accessible to conscious awareness by ordinary means; its existence may be manifest in s
undoing Unconscious primitive defense mechanism, repetitive in nature, by which a person symbolically acts out in reverse something unacceptable that has already been done or against which the ego must defend itself; a form of magical expiatory action, commonly o
unio mystica Feeling of mystic unity with an infinite power.
vegetative signs In depression, denoting characteristic symptoms such as sleep disturbance (especially early morning awakening), decreased appetite, constipation, weight loss, and loss of sexual response.
verbigeration Meaningless and stereotyped repetition of words or phrases, as seen in schizophrenia. Also called cataphasia. See also perseveration.
vertigo Sensation that one or the world around one is spinning or revolving; a hallmark of vestibular dysfunction, not to be confused with dizziness.
visual agnosia Inability to recognize objects or persons.
visual amnesia See neurological amnesia.
visual hallucination Hallucination primarily involving the sense of sight.
waxy flexibility Condition in which a person maintains the body position into which they are placed. Also called catalepsy.
word approximation Use of conventional words in an unconventional or inappropriate way (metonymy or of new words that are developed by conventional rules of word formation) (e.g., handshoes for gloves and time measure for clock); distinguished from a neologism, which is a n
word salad Incoherent, essentially incomprehensible, mixture of words and phrases commonly seen in far-advanced cases of schizophrenia. See also incoherence.
xenophobia Abnormal fear of strangers.
zoophobia Abnormal fear of animals.
Created by: megankirch