By : Michael Kasdaglis, Dcsw

Psychological words, terms, and phrases
Lexicon (Dictionary)

Please Note this .section is a work-in-process

Though we have taken the time to alphabetize the most common terms used by the mental health professions, it is important to begin our list with words, terms, and phrases that are imperative to all diagnoses.

a process of vividly reliving repressed memories and emotions related to a past event. Sigmund Freud used hypnosis to rid his patients of pathological memories through abreaction.
Referring to the ability to think, decipher, and interpret, in an abstract fashion, when needed, and void of concrete, semantic, or literal interpretations; as in understanding proverbial ideas, humor, or theoretical constructs.
in neurology, refers to a lack of will or initiative. The individual is unable to act or make decisions independently. The condition may range from subtle to overwhelming in severity.It is a sort of apathy, where the will, drive, or initiative for action, speech and thought, is virtually absent
a term referring to or acquired agnosia for color. This term includes color blindness. Achromatopsia is a condition characterized by a partial or total absence of color vision. People with complete achromatopsia cannot perceive any colors; they see only black, white, and shades of gray. Incomplete achromatopsia is a milder form of the condition that allows some color discrimination. ... It also involves other problems with vision, including an increased sensitivity to light and glare (photophobia), involuntary back-and-forth eye movements (nystagmus), and significantly reduced sharpness of vision (low visual acuity). Affected individuals can also have farsightedness (hyperopia) or, less commonly, nearsightedness (myopia). These vision problems develop in the first few months of life. ... Achromatopsia is different from the more common forms of color vision deficiency (also called color blindness), in which people can perceive color but have difficulty distinguishing between certain colors, such as red and green.
Adaptive Regression
ability to let go of reality and experiences aspects of the self that ordinarily are inaccessible
Affect - aspects
valence, reactivity, range, congruence, stability, control.
Affect illusion
Mild illusions or misperceptions associated with changes in mood; e.g. mistaking a shadow for the presence of a person, perceiving movement in peripheral when there is none.
Affect illusion
Prevailing emotional state leads to misperceptions often fearful, emotion provoking. Disappears on focussing the object with extra concentration. A depressed patient reading ‘deed’ as ‘dead.'
This construct refers to the emotional intonation, and/or modulation of the face and its expressions: Impairments may be of limited range, as in being flat, constricted, blunted, or of quality such as inappropriate, or incongruent to thought and mood. Even minor irregularities in this area must be flagged.
Affection / Intimacy
The ability, as well as the desire to be affectionate, warm, and appropriately expressive, and void of constriction.
Referring to the innate capacity, as well as desire, and needed relatedness, for in-depth social interactions that go beyond a circle of 'relatives'.
Argumentative, combative, defiant, threatening or menacing, Frequent power struggles, reactivity, poor impulse control.
Excessively verbal, and/or irritable with a low threshold of tolerance, increased motor-activity. There may be pacing, restlessness, lability of mood, clenching of teeth, or fists, palm-sweating, frequency of urination, aggression. Please consider that agitation may be intra, or extra-psychic.
refers to a syntactic disturbance of speech resulting from dissolution of logical ordering of thoughts. It manifests as rambling speech; also see derailment
refers to a subjective feeling of restlessness in the lower limbs that is related to abnormal activity in the extrapyramidal system in the brain, often due to antipsychotic medication. It tends to manifest as an inability to sit still.
Aside from normative states, we may observe hypo-alertness, attention and focusing impairments, or hyper-alertness, or hyper-vigilance …
Alexithymia - All presentations
Difficulty expressing emotions. Diminution of fantasy. 2. Reduced symbolic thinking 3. Literal thinking concerned with details 4. Difficulties in recognizing one's own feelings 5. Difficulties in differentiating body sensations and emotional states. 6. A 'robot-like existence' is suggested - but patients rarely complain in these terms
The absence of the ability to integrate, or incorporate, a wide range of 'feeling-words’, or expressions. Exceptions may include the expressions of the most primitive of affects such as anger, fear, frustration and despondency.
Alice in Wonderland experience
individuals perceive objects (including animals and other humans, or parts of humans, animals, or objects) as appearing substantially smaller than in reality. Generally, the object appears far away or extremely close at the same time. An alternate term for this is somaesthetic aura. Also see Lilliputian hallucinations
Either a forced, or voluntary withdrawal, or distancing, or isolation from others, or isolation of affect. It might vary in its degree, its frequency, its duration, or it may be selective.
Alloplastic Behavior
This is a type of behavior or process whose objective is to alter the environment in order to adapt, rather than altering oneself. When engaged in by a person the attempt may be expressed through obstinence, defiance, criminality, revolution, or other similar means.
This is a highly emotional, attention seeking, individual who is flirtatious, seductive, provocative, highly sexualized, ego-centric, theatrical, and dramatic. This individual requires excessive amounts of validation.
Literally, this term means "not having words". The term may refer to either "poverty of speech" or "poverty of thought". In the former, speech, though adequate in verbiage, conveys very little information and may consist of stock phrases or vague references. In poverty of thought, by contrast, there is a far-reaching impoverishment of the entire thinking of the individual, who, as a result, says very little. It is typically a negative symptom of schizophrenia, although it may also be seen in advanced dementia.
A marked presence of general indifference, or remoteness, or withdrawal.
Ambivalence is underscored with an ever-present state of conflicting ideas, attitudes, and emotions towards oneself and/or others that impede motivation, action, and decisiveness often leading to depersonalization, and debilitating dysphoria and anxiety. Ambivalence is not a synonym for indecision. Ambivalence more often than not entails contrasting feelings about the same object, whereas indecision refers to contrasting feelings of two, or more different objects. Ambivalence more often than not implies a ‘split’, or a double bind where (a) equals Doom, and (b) equals Disaster, without a visible source of an exit. Such a dilemma, in the opinion of this author forms the foundation for anxiety states be it generalized, in the form of attacks.
Anergia refers to a total lack of energy, or sleepiness, and often times is an indication of depression. It results in a loss, or diminished desire to perform needed tasks, or even engage in activities you typically enjoy.
There is, or are, distinct periods of loss, or limited, or constricted reservoirs of energy, where even menial tasks appear monumental with consequent difficulties in initiating, performing, or completing tasks; Unusual protracting and procrastinating not in congruence with the individual’s previous history.
This is a state of chronic or episodic loss of interest in pleasure, or socialization; absence of concern for pleasurable or sexual activities vis-à-vis dysthymic moods.
Anhedonia -types
social vs physical. in negative schizophrenia more social than physical
refers to an inability to experience pleasure, and may be described as a feeling of emotional emptiness. It can be a negative symptom of schizophrenia. It also may be seen in severe depressive states and schizoid personality disorder.
This is a state of chronic or episodic loss of interest in pleasure, or socialization; absence of concern for pleasurable or sexual activities vis-à-vis dysthymic moods.
Loss of, or decrease in, appetite.
is a condition in which a person who has a certain disability seems unaware of the existence of their disability. hemiasomatognosia is a subtype of anosognosia in which the person with hemiplegia neglects one half of their body.
A literal interpretation refers to the absence of smell or the absence of the ability to smell. However, in assessments we explore and report sleep difficulties using terms such as initial insomnia (Difficulty falling asleep), mid insomnia (waking up in the middle of the night), or terminal insomnia (waking up earlier than we planned, and unable to fall back to sleep.).
Anton syndrome
occasionally known as Anton-Babinski syndrome, is a form of cortical blindness in which the individual denies the visual impairment. The individual may attempt to walk, bumping into objects and injuring himself. Anton syndrome is caused by damaging the occipital lobes bilaterally or from disrupting the pathway from the primary visual cortex into the visual association cortex.
refers to the false perception of an unfamiliar presence. It is commonly associated with periods of grief, schizophrenia and other emotional disturbances.
A state dominated by excessive experiences of fear, intrapsychic agitation, intrusive thoughts, and feelings of morbid anticipation. ... If highly remarkable, it usually includes involuntary physiological reactions such as frequency of urination, shying respirations, tachycardia, sweating, and muscle weakness. It is usually episodic, and transitory. The individual may fear collapse, fainting, dying, or going crazy.
A marked presence of dispassion, or detachment, or unconcern, or indifference.
is the alternate term for mutism. Mutism is absence of speech with apparently normal level of consciousness. Mutism can be dissociative (hysterical) in which an individual (commonly a child or adolescent) stops speaking at once without involvement of any neurological or physical contributing factor; or it can be elective (selective) in which a child does not speak at all in certain situations (such as in school) but speaks well in other conditions (like at home or at play). A rare cause of mutism is akinetic mutism which results due to a lesion around the third ventricle of the brain.
Apophanous perception
This is an alternate term for delusional perception. It is one of the Schneiderian first rank symptoms and is defined as a true perception, to which an individual attributes a false meaning.
is a normal phenomenon and refers to the ability to understand sensory inputs in their context, to interpret them and to incorporate them into experience. Failure of apperception is seen in delirious states.
Impairments in this area include the whole gamut of selective or ravenous, or excessive appetite to a loss, or absence of a desire to eat. Symptoms may include significant gain or loss of weight, food or taste selectivity or sensitivity.
A marked absence of the ability to be socially, or behaviorally, appropriate, usually exceeding the limits of decorum. When this term is used in a socio-cultural context, it refers to socio-cultural codes of morality, ethics, and morays. Remarkable impairments are indicated by failure to observe boundaries, or etiquettes, or protocols, or by defects in automatic, and even retrospective insight, or sensitivity into the effect such behavior, appearance, or words, may have upon others.
Referring to the emotional quality of speech modulation, and intonation, or to the ability for understanding non-verbal language, subtleties, or nuances. Prosody may be expressive, receptive, or both.
Demonstrated by being haughty, pompous, lacking in humility, boasting, and/or self-aggrandizement.
Characterized by a profound inability to assert, or take control; Needy, clinging, indecisive. The individual is unable to function outside the bounds of a close relationship. They experience serious difficulties in initiating without assistance, support, or reassurance.
Referring to a process or ability to maintain a cohesive and coherent train of thought void of loss of associations from one thought to another resulting in going off in tangents, being circumstantial, or engaging in word-salads, or introducing neologisms. i.e. one does not go on and on talking while forgetting what the point was, or one gets to the point after an overelaborate story, explanation, or reason.
is a form of psychogenic gait disturbance in which gait becomes impaired in the absence of any neurological or physical pathology. The person usually walks in a bizarre manner. They stagger and appear as if going to fall, but always manage to catch hold of something in time. Sometimes these people cannot even stand, but on the other hand they are well able to move their legs while lying down or sitting. Often associated with conversion disorder or somatization disorder.
means loosening of association. A milder form of derailment of thought, it is marked by the individual leaping from topic to topic which have only the most tenuous, if any, connection with each other. This is in contrast with flight of ideas, whereby the individual's successive ideas may be linked and "understandable" to the listener. See also akataphasia and entgleisen term introduced by (Cameron).
Lack of constancy of ideas, and/or restlessness. Psycho-neurologically it may refer to a degenerative disease, or loss of power for voluntary movement.
Ataxic dysarthria or Scanning speech
in which syllable durations are equalized. It is characteristic of the dysarthria of multiple sclerosis. Together with nystagmus and intention tremor it forms Charcot's triad.
A state where in there is a total absence of any feelings or emotions; beyond just Major Depression.
Auditory hallucination
False perception of sound, usually voices but also other noises, such as music; most common hallucination in psychiatric disorders
From aut = "self" and -ism = "state or orientation". Originally, Eugen Bleuler used this term to describe schizophrenia. In general, it refers to any (pathological) tendency to be self-absorbed to such a degree that the feelings, thoughts and desires of a person are governed by their internal apprehension of the world and not by an external reality shared with others.
self-absorption; preoccupation with inner thoughts, daydreams, fantasies, delusions, drives, and personal logic. It is egocentric, subjective thinking lacking objectivity and preferring a narcissistic, inner, private reality to that with external validity
Autistic Spectrum
Implies a tendency to self-isolate, engage in sports, or activities, that are void of direct social interactions. ... and frequently expresses thoughts and ideas that have very limited basis in reality.
Autistic Thinking
Preoccupation with inner, private world; used somewhat synonymously with dereism. (One of the four A‘s of schizophrenias.)
Autistic thinking
refers to a cognitive progress that is not in accordance with consensus reality, but rather redishasizes preoccupation with inner experiences and needs. See also dereistic thinking. More generally, it means thinking that is driven by internally oriented wishes and desires regardless of external factors.
Autistic Thinking
This is indicative of a proclivity towards social withdrawal, and fantasy rather than assimilating to, and integrating external objective reality norms, ideas and behaviors.
Autochthonous delusion
Delusional intuition Jaspers defined this as a delusion arising without apparent cause. For example, suddenly, without apparent cause, having the delusional belief that one is an alien.
is a term for committing suicide by jumping from a very high place.
Automatic obedience
is an exaggerated co-operation with an examiner's request, as if the individual were an "automaton" robotically obeying a command. It is often a sign of catatonia.
are sequences of activity that occur without conscious control. They may be simple and repetitive (tic-like) or complex, and are usually natural-looking but purposeless. Automatic behavior is not usually recalled afterwards.
Autonomous Functions
Presence of certain, conflict-free functions that are capable of functioning continuously, e.g. learning, memory, perception, and concentration.
Autoplastic Behavior
Changing one's own behavior or self in order to adapt.
is the reduplicative hallucination of "seeing one's own body from the outside" while still maintaining an egocentric visuo-spatial perspective. Autoscopy is sometimes used synonymously with out-of-body experience.
Avolition is an inability to initiate and complete goal-directed behavior. It can sometimes be misinterpreted as laziness, but it is actually a negative symptom of schizophrenia.
The individual may be referred to as odd, nerdy, geeky, dorky, socially inept, or lacking in dexterity, or social skills, or conversational skills, or social appropriateness; they may, or may not be excessively concerned about social ridicule or humiliation.
Belle indifference or la belle indifférence
is characterized by a lack of concern and feeling of indifference about a disability or symptom. It can be seen in conversion disorder.
Bizarre delusion
An absurd, totally implausible, strange false belief
Abrupt interruption in train of thought before a thought or idea is finished.
Bouffée délirante
is a French term used in the past for acute and transient psychotic disorders it is described as "brief psychotic disorder. The symptoms usually have an acute onset and reach their peak within two weeks. The symptoms start resolving in a few weeks and complete recovery usually occurs within two or three months.
Brain fag syndrome (synonym
clouding of consciousness) is an example of a culture-bound syndrome. "Brain fag" was once a common term for mental exhaustion. Today, the syndrome describes students (predominantly males, particularly in West Africa) experiencing symptoms including somatic, sleep-related and cognitive complaints, head and neck pains, difficulty in concentrating and retaining information, and eye pain.
refers to teeth grinding behavior that is usually seen in children.
Capgras syndrome
the individual feels that a person familiar to them, usually a family member, has been replaced by an imposter. This is a type of delusion that can be experienced as part of schizophrenia. Capgras syndrome and several other related disorders are referred to as "delusional misidentification syndrome".
is the term for catatonic rigidity of the limbs which often results in abnormal posturing for long intervals.
refers to a sudden loss of muscle tone and is commonly precipitated by a strong emotional response.
involves a significant psychomotor disturbance, which can occur as catalepsy, stupor, excessive purposeless motor activity, extreme negativism (seemingly motiveless resistance to movement), mutism, echolalia (imitating speech), or echopraxia (imitating movements). There is a catatonic subtype of schizophrenia.
Cerea flexibilitas
meaning "waxy flexibility", refers to people allowing themselves to be placed in postures by others, and then maintaining those postures for long periods even if they are obviously uncomfortable. It is characterized by an individual's movements having the feeling of a plastic resistance, as if the person were made of wax. This occurs in catatonic schizophrenia, and a person with this condition can have their limbs placed in fixed positions as if the person were in fact made from wax.
refers to erratic involuntary movements. The term comes from the Greek word "choreia" or "dance" since usually large groups of muscles are involved simulating dance-like movements.
Circumstantial thinking
or circumstantial speech, refers to a person being unable to answer a question without giving excessive, unnecessary detail. This differs from tangential thinking, in that the person does eventually return to the original point, circling back on-topic.
Indirect speech that is delayed in reaching the point but eventually gets from original point to desired goal
Clang associations
are ideas that are related only by similar or rhyming sounds rather than actual meaning.
Clang associations
Association of words similar in sound but not in meaning; words have no logical connection; may include rhyming and punning
Claparede's paradox
refers to retention of non-verbal and implicit memory in people with Korsakoff's syndrome.
Clouding of consciousness
also known as brain fog or mental fog, is a global impairment in higher central nervous functioning. All aspects of cognitive functioning are affected. On mental status examinations it is manifest by disorientation in time, place and person, memory difficulties caused by failure to register and recall, aphasia, and agnosia. Impaired perception functioning leads to illusions and hallucinations often in the visual sensory modality. This then causes agitation and distress and secondary delusions. The term confusion state is sometimes used to mean clouding of consciousness, but is avoided whenever possible because it is ambiguous.
Clouding of consciousness
Incomplete clear-mindedness with disturbances in perception and attitudes
Coenestopathic state
refers to a situation in which an individual in a coenestopathic state has a localized distortion of body awareness.
Coma vigil
Coma in which a patient appears to be awake with eyes open but cannot be aroused
Profound unconsciousness
Anything that may interfere with the normal activities, or feelings, or wellbeing.
Anything that may interfere with the normal activities, or feelings, or wellbeing.
Anything that may interfere with the normal activities, or feelings, or wellbeing.
is the confusion of imagination with memory, or the confusion of true memories with false memories.
Conversion disorder
involves the unintentional production of symptoms or deficits affecting motor or sensory function that are not fully explained by a neurological or medical condition. This can manifest as paralysis, for example. It generally involves psychological factors, and symptoms may worsen in the context of situational conflict.
Compulsive utterance of obscene words
is the involuntary utterance of socially inappropriate phrases. It is a phonic tic associated with Tourette syndrome, although less than 5% of persons with Tourette's have coprolalia.
Cotard delusion
involves the belief in an individual that one or more of their organs has changed in some way, has ceased functioning, or has disappeared entirely.This type of delusion is most commonly seen in patients with schizophrenia.
refers to an individual voluntarily ejecting themselves from a window or another elevated position, usually in the context of attempted suicide. Also see autokabalesis.
Déjà pensée
In déjà pensée, a completely new thought is seen as familiar by an individual, as if it had occurred before. The sensation may be caused by a type of convulsion known as a "partial seizure" which occurs in parts of the temporal lobe or other areas of the brain - the individual typically remains conscious throughout.
Déjà vu
In déjà vu, a person feels undue familiarity to an event or a person.
Bewildered, restless, confused, disoriented reaction associated with fear and hallucinations
Delusion of control
False feeling that a person‘s will, thoughts or feelings are being controlled by external forces
Delusion of doubles
"You look like my mom, but you aren't my mom". More common in kids. Capgras syndrome
Delusion of infidelity or delusion of jealousy
False belief derived from pathological jealousy about a person‘s lover being unfaithful.
Delusion of perception (or delusion of reference)
A person‘s false belief that the behavior of others refers to himself or herself.
Delusion of poverty
A person‘s false belief that he or she is bereft or will be deprived of all material possessions.
Delusion of self-accusation
False feeling of remorse and guilt.
Delusion of thought broadcasting
Delusion that a person‘s thoughts can be heard by others, as though being broadcast over the air
Delusion of thought control
Delusion that a person‘s thoughts are being controlled by other persons or forces
Delusion of thought insertion
Delusion that thoughts are being implanted in a person‘s mind by other persons or forces.
Delusion of thought withdrawal
Delusion that thoughts are being removed from a person‘s mind by other persons or forces
False belief, based on incorrect interference about external reality, not consistent with patient‘s intelligence and cultural background; cannot be corrected by reasoning.
Dementia praecox
refers to a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood.
Dementia pugilistica
also called "chronic traumatic encephalopathy", "pugilistic Parkinson's syndrome", "boxer's syndrome", and "punch-drunk syndrome", is a neurological disorder which affects career boxers and others who receive multiple dazing blows to the head. The condition develops over a period of years, with the average time of onset being about 6 years after the start of a career in boxing.
A person‘s subjective sense of being unreal, strange or unfamiliar
also known as loosening of associations, refers to disorganized thinking that jumps between ideas that seem entirely unrelated. Compare akataphasia, asyndesis, entgleisen, flight of ideas, knight's move thinking, and logorrhoea. It can be seen in individuals with schizophrenia, as well as those experiencing mania.
A subjective sense that the environment is strange or unreal
(see dereistic thinking), mental activity that is not in accord with reality, experience, or logic. It is similar to autistic thinking. Also called dereistic thinking.
Dereistic means
away from reality, undirected fantasy thinking. Carl Jung wrote, "This is the basic activity of psychic life, this fantasy making", and he used the term image not from afterimage, something one has experienced or seen, but says he takes it from poetic usage. Dereistic thinking: An old descriptive term used to refer to thinking not in accordance with the facts of reality and experience and following illogical, idiosyncratic reasoning. This term is also used interchangeably with autistic thinking though they are not exact synonyms: dereistic redishasizes disconnection from reality and autistic redishasizes preoccupation with inner experience.
Dereistic thinking
(see dereism), but the redishasis is on self-absorption rather than disconnection from reality.
Dhat syndrome
refers to a complaint of premature ejaculation or impotence and a false belief that semen is being passed in the urine.
A disease is a medical / physiological condition which disrupts normal functioning and processes. Diseases are identifiable through their own signs and symptoms.
Anything that cannot be accounted for solely by environmental circumstances that may result in a cognitive, emotional, or behavioral anomaly, or any combination of these.
Disturbance of orientation in time, place or person
The doppelgänger is a phenomenon in which the afflicted believe that their exact "double" is present alongside them all the time and goes with them wherever they go.
Dream state
Often used as a synonym for complex partial seizure or psychomotor epilepsy
Drive and Affect Modulation
Is the ability of an individual to modulate their desires and emotional states in order to adapt and meet the demands of their environment
A state of impaired awareness associated with a desire or inclination to sleep
Difficulty in articulation, not in word finding or in grammar
Loss of normal speech melody (called prosody). Should be called aprosody.
Someone who is invariably aloof, oblivious, overly serious, distraught, pensive, or unemotional, or excessively rigid, stern, gloomy, pessimistic .
Echo de la pensée
meaning "thought echo" in French, thoughts seem to be spoken aloud just after being produced. The individual hears the "echo" of their thoughts in the form of a voice after they have made the thought. See also gedankenlautwerden and thought sonorization.
Psychopathological repeating of words or phrases of one person by another
Ego Psychology
Focuses on the Ego portion of the Personality and its relationship to other aspects of the personality and the external world. Having the ability to ADAPT to social environments.
Literally means jumping off the rails.[dubious – discuss] Alternate term used for derailment of thought (a morbid form of loosening of association or asyndesis). A Schneiderian term by origin. In this form of thought the individual jumps from one topic to another during conversation and both topics have literally no connection with each other. This is in contrast with flight of ideas where connection is present between one topic and another. Compare akataphasia, asyndesis, and derailment.
Extracampine hallucinations
are hallucinations beyond the possible sensory field, e.g., an individual "seeing" somebody standing behind them is a visual extracampine hallucination experience.
is imagining that expresses desires and aims.
Fatuous affect
The moods of an individual with fatuous affect resemble the moods of a child. This condition is seen in hebephrenic schizophrenia.[citation needed]
Flight of ideas
describes excessive speech at a rapid rate that involves causal association between ideas. Links between ideas may involve usage of puns or rhymes.[20] It is typical of mania, classically seen in bipolar disorder. Compare derailment.
Flight of ideas
Rapid, continuous verbalizations or plays on words produce constant shifting from one idea to another.
Folie à deux
Also called "induced psychosis", folie à deux is a delusional disorder shared by two or more people who are closely related emotionally. One has real psychosis while the symptoms of psychosis are induced in the other or others due to close attachment to the one with psychosis. Separation usually results in symptomatic improvement in the one who is not psychotic.
Folie communiquée
or subtype C of folie à deux, occurs when a normal person has a contagion of their ideas after resisting them for a long time. Once they acquire these beliefs they maintain them despite separation.
Folie imposée
or subtype A of folie à deux, is the most common form in which the dominant person imposes a delusion into a person who was not previously mentally ill. Separation of the two results in improvement of the non-dominant person.
Folie simultanée
or subtype B of folie à deux, a delusional system emerges simultaneously and independently in two closely related persons, and the separation of the two would not be beneficial in the resolution of psychopathology.
Formal Thought Disorder
Thinking characterized by loosened associations, neologisms, and illogical constructs; thought process is disordered, and the person is defined as psychotic
Fregoli delusion
is considered a form of delusional misidentification "in which the false identification of familiar people occurs in strangers". A person has a delusional belief that various different people are in fact a certain other person, even if there is no physical resemblance.
an individual hears thoughts spoken aloud. Thoughts are heard in the form of a voice at the same time as they are thought, not afterwards. See also écho de la pensée and thought sonorization
is a catatonic phenomenon in which the subject opposes all passive movements with the same degree of force as applied by the examiner. It is slightly different from negativism in which the subject does exactly the opposite to what is asked in addition to showing resistance.
Neologisms that simulate coherent speech; the expression of a revelatory message through unintelligible words (also known as speaking in tongues); not considered a disturbance in thought if associated with practices of specific religions
Gustatory hallucination
False perception of taste
False sensory perception not associated with real external stimuli
In its literal interpretation, it means 'without hap' Old Norse word for "good luck," however, haplessness is one of three major indicators of Suicidality : Haplessness, Hopelessness, Helplessness. It refers to a general state of despair, powerlessness, and absence of happiness underscored with feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, and resignation.
a subtype of anosognosia in which the person with hemiplegia neglects one half of their body.
Human behavior
Is the result of individuals attempting to adapt to stress, misfortune, or their environments.
Increase in intake of food.
Hypnagogic hallucination
False sensory perception occurring while falling asleep.
Hypnopompic hallucination
False perception occurring while awakening from sleep
Exaggerated concern about health that is based not on real organic pathology, but rather on unrealistic interpretations of physical signs or sensations as abnormal
is characterized by the reduced awareness of one's body image and aschemazia by the absence of it. These disorders can have many varied causes such as physical injuries, mental disorders, or mental or physical states. These include tran.section of the spinal cord, parietal lobe lesions (e.g. right middle cerebral artery thrombosis), anxiety, depersonalization, epileptic auras, migraines, sensory deprivation, and vertigo (i.e. "floating on air").
including screaming and uncontrolled wild behavior, depression, coprophagia.
Ideas of alienation
Thoughts that one's own body part or action is not of one's own.
Ideas of influence
Thoughts that one's own action is caused by someone else's will or some other external cause.
Ideas of reference
Ideas of reference and delusions of reference
Idée fixe
is an alternate term for an overvalued idea. In this condition, a belief that might seem reasonable both to the individual and to other people comes to dominate completely the individual's thinking and life.
is a false perception of a detectable stimulus.
Impulse Control
In Depth relations
Referring to the innate capacity, as well as desire, for in-depth social interactions that go beyond a circle of 'relatives'.
In folie induite
or subtype D of folie à deux, a person who is already psychotic adds the delusions of a closely associated person to their own.
Thought that generally is not understandable; running together of thoughts or words with no logical or grammatical connection, resulting in disorganization
Thought that generally is not understandable; running together of thoughts or words with no logical or grammatical connection, resulting in disorganization
Insight - Automatic
The ability to see and consider all existing variables a split second before, during, and immediately following a thought, feeling, or behavior.
Insight - Retrospective
Able to see a clear picture, or event following a revisit and reconsideration.
Integrative Functioning
ability to integrate parts of the personality to resolve conflict
is an unconscious mental image, or ideas, values, presumptions, interdictions, introjected and internalized by children in the course of development and influences from parental figures, and significant others. Introjects the voice of conscience is usually a parent's voice internalized. Introjection occurs when a person internalizes the ideas or voices of other people-often external authorities. Introjects impact on the development of moral dictums that occasionally may form the bases for racism, sexism, and tacit stereotypes.
Irrelevant answer
Answer that is not in harmony with question asked (patient appears to ignore or not attend to question)
Iusion affect
eotional states lead isperceptions often fearful, emotion provoking. Disappears on focussing the object with extra concentration. A depressed patient reading ‘deed’ as ‘dead.'
Jargon aphasia
is characterized by incoherent, meaningless speech with neologisms (newly invented words). These are unconscious thoughts that find expression when one is off one's guard and must be consciously repressed.
Jealousy paranoia.
A term used to describe unwarranted verbal, or behavioral demonstrations of excessive jealousy and possessiveness.
ability to identify and weigh the consequences of a behavior before acting.
Klüver–Bucy syndrome
an individual will display placidity, hyperorality, hypersexuality, and hyperphagia. This condition results from bilateral destruction of the amygdaloid bodies of the limbic system.
Knight's move thinking
is a complete loosening of associations where there is no logical link between one idea and the next. Based on a knight on a chessboard where the movement can be any L shaped direction, making it difficult to track.
is a culture-specific syndrome, generally seen only among Chinese people. It involves a panicked feeling that one's genitals are retracting into the abdomen, and that this will result in death.
(also known as "laughing sickness" due to the outbursts of laughter that mark its second phase) was first noted in New Guinea in the early 1900s. Kuru is now known to be a prion disease, one of several known transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
is a culture-specific syndrome usually seen in Southeast Asia and involves startle-induced disorganization, hypersuggestibility, automatic obedience, and echopraxia (a tendency to mimic examiner's or other person's actions). It is usually associated with women. There is controversy over whether Latah is a real psychiatric condition, or merely a display of exhibitionism that would otherwise not be socially acceptable.
Left–right disorientation
one of the four cardinal signs of Gerstmann's syndrome.
L'homme qui rit
(from the French, meaning "the man who laughs"), an individual displays inappropriate laughter accompanied by release phenomena of the frontal subdominant lobe.
Lilliputian hallucination
False perception in which objects are seen as reduced in size
Lilliputian hallucinations
are characterized by abnormal perception of objects as being shrunken in size but normal in detail. Usually seen in delirium tremens.
the individual often repeats the last syllable of a word. Compare echolalia. Often a symptom of Alzheimers or Parkinson's disease.
also known as "volubility", is characterized by fluent and rambling speech using numerous words. Compare derailment.
Loosening of association
Flow of thought in which ideas shift from one subject to another in a completely unrelated way; when severe, speech may be incoherent
Magical Thinking
A form of dereistic thought; in which thoughts, words, or actions assume power (for example, they can cause or prevent events)
Mania a potu
is an alcohol intoxication state with violent and markedly disinhibited behavior. This condition is different from violent behavior in otherwise normal individuals who are intoxicated.
is often mirrored as a minor image of depression. Mania is a state abnormally elevated arousal, affected, and energy level. As mania intensifies, irritability can be more pronounced and result in anxiety or violence. Mania symptoms are elevated mood, flights of ideas, pressure of speech, increased energy, decreased need or desire for sleep, and hyperactivity.
Mastery Competence
ability to successfully interact with the environment
Mental Illness
Any condition that impedes or dysregulates
is a speech disturbance in which patients, commonly with schizophrenia, use inappropriate words or expressions that are related to the proper ones. Examples include: consume a menu, instead of a meal; lose the piece of string of the conversation, not the thread of the conversation.
is an extreme form of mitmachen in which very slight pressure leads to movement in any direction, also called the "anglepoise" effect or "anglepoise lamp sign". This movement occurs despite instructions to resist the pressure, as individuals with this condition often experience even slight pressure as forcible grasping and pushing.
one's body can be put into any posture, despite instructions given to resist. Compare mitgehen.
Mood Congruence
Congruence refers to a sad person having a sad facial expression, or while attending a solemn event, one does not grin, or smile.
Mood congruent delusion
Delusion with mood-appropriate content
Mood incongruent delusion
Delusion with content that has no association to mood or is mood neutral
Mood Lability
A state where in there are frequent and intense instances of rapid mood-shifting form normal to -usually- agitated or aggressive mood. These instances are short-lasting and most often the mood is restored to normal. Please do not mistaken 'Mood Lability' with Bipolar.
is the condition characterized by euphoric behavior, such as frivolity and the inability to act seriously. In addition, there is a lack of foresight and a general indifference. It is found in frontal lobe lesions, often along with witzelsucht, particularly when the orbital surface is damaged. Recent research has shown its presence in frontotemporal dementia.
This is s a significant marker for detecting hyper-kinesis, intra, or extrapsychic agitation, excessive and unmitigated levels of energy, restlessness, and aspects of responses to stress, or conflict.
Resistance to attempts to move the subject, who then does the opposite of what is asked. Negativism is usually a sign of catatonia, and may progress to (catatonic) rigidity. It is slightly different from gegenhalten, in which the individual resists movement but does not perform the opposite movement. Also see: oppositional defiance disorder (ODD).
In a neurological or psychopathological context, neologisms are nonsensical words or phrases whose origins are unrecognizable, and are associated with aphasia or schizophrenia. Incorrectly constructed words whose origins are understandable may also be called neologisms, but are more properly referred as word approximations.[25][26]
New word created by a patient, often by combining syllables of other words, for idiosyncratic psychological reasons.
Nihilistic delusion
False feeling that self, others, or the world is nonexistent or coming to an end
Normal Thinking
Thinking refers to the ideational components of mental activity, processes used to imagine, appraise, evaluate, forecast, plan, create and will.
Object constancy/Permanence
Object Relations
Ability to interact with others.
Pathological persistence of an irresistible thought or feeling that cannot be eliminated from consciousness by logical effort
Olfactory hallucination
False perception of smell
sign is the occurrence of a fold (like the Greek letter omega, Ω ) in the forehead, above the nose, produced by the excessive action of the corrugator muscle. It is sometimes seen in depression.
Oneiroid state
From Greek oneiros as meaning "dream". In an oneiroid state one feels and behaves as though in a dream. Also known as "oneirophrenia" as described by Ladislas J. Meduna.
Organic hallucinosis
and delusional parasitosis, the continuous belief that one's skin or body has been infested by parasites or insects. This state cannot be diagnosed if the hallucinatory state is produced while the individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the individual fulfills the criterion for delirium. In general, if an individual is under the influence of a drug, or experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal from that drug, this condition is not psychiatric but medical, and termed formication.
Overvalued idea
Unreasonable, sustained false belief maintained less firmly than a delusion
Overvalued ideas
are exaggerated beliefs that a person sustains beyond reasons, but are not as unbelievable and are not as persistently held as delusions.[27][28] Preoccupation with spouse's possible infidelity can be an overvalued idea if no evidence exists to arouse suspicion. Body dysmorphic disorder's obsessive preoccupation that some aspect of one's own appearance is severely flawed is another example of an overvalued idea.[27]
is characterized by the repetition of a word or phrase; i.e., the subject continues to repeat a word or phrase after once having said. It is a form of perseveration.
the subject continues to hear a word, a syllable or any sound, even after the withdrawal of stimulus. It is a type of perseveration.
a visual image persists after the stimulus has gone (similar to an afterimage seen after looking into a bright light).
parapraxis: Freudian slip A Freudian slip, or parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory or
physical action that is believed to be caused by the unconscious mind.
A delusion in which a person believes they have seen a face transform into a grotesque form – often described as a 'monster', 'vampire', 'werewolf' or similar. This is very rare and most likely to be described by people with schizophrenia.
characterized by a distortion of body image. It can be caused by hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and mescalin, epileptic auras, and sometimes migraines.
Disruptive sleep-related disorders that may include one, or more of the following symptoms: Talking, sleep-walking, talk, sleep terrors, nightmares, sleep paralysis, abnormal movements.
a vague or random stimulus is mistakenly perceived as recognizable. Pareidolia is a type of illusion and hence called "pareidolic illusion".
Persisting response to a previous stimulus after a new stimulus has been presented
This term refers to uncontrollable repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of the original stimulus. Usually it is seen in organic disorders of brain, head injury, delirium or dementia, however can be seen in schizophrenia as well.
Pervasive distrust, or suspiciousness
This is a state underscored with suspicion, Hypervigilance, and not trusting others. Some individuals are hyper alert and hypersensitive to non-existent meanings between words, or to someone looking at them, and are virtually unable to fully comprehend humor.
This refers to schizophrenia in people with mild learning disabilities.
Persistent, irrational, exaggerated, and invariably pathological dread of a specific stimulus or situation
Piblokto, pibloktoq, or Arctic hysteria
is a condition exclusively appearing in Inuit societies living within the Arctic Circle. Appearing most prevalently in winter, it is considered to be a form of a culture-specific disorder.
Poverty of ideas
Often associated with schizophrenia, dementia, and severe depression, poverty of ideas is a thought disturbance in which thought spontaneity and productivity are reduced, and are seen in speech that is vague, has many simple or meaningless repetitions, or full of stereotyped phrases.
Pressure of speech
Rapid speech that is increased in amount and difficult to interrupt.
Pressure, and qualities of speech
Speech-content is overelaborate, often circumstantial, imposing, and its amplitude is significantly louder than normal at a highly remarkable rate (fast).
Pseudologia fantastica
is a condition in which a person grossly exaggerates their symptoms or even tells a lie about their symptoms in order to get medical attention. Seen in malingering and Munchausen syndrome.
Pseudologia phantastica
A type of lying in which a person appears to believe in the reality of his or her fantasies and acts on them
Psychological Pillow
is a term which refers to either the study of mental illness or mental distress or to the manifestation of behaviours and experiences which may be indicative of mental illness or psychological impairment.
Inability to distinguish reality from fantasy; impaired reality testing with the creation of a new reality
Rabbit syndrome
characterized by rapid, vertical, rhythmic movements of lips so that it resembles a rabbit chewing. It is a type of extrapyramidal symptom, distinct from tardive dyskinesia as it spares the tongue and involves vertical movements only.
Reality Testing
ability to differentiate between accurate perceptions of the self and the environment
Reduplicative hallucinations
there is the perception of seeing a double. Particular kinds of reduplicative hallucination include autoscopy, heautoscopy and out-of-body experiences.
Reduplicative paramnesia
a delusional misidentification syndrome in which one's surroundings are believed to exist in more than one physical location.
Reflex hallucination
occur when true sensory input in one sense leads to production of a hallucination in another sense, e.g. seeing a doctor writing (visual) and then feeling him writing across one's stomach (tactile).
Regulation and Control of Drives and Impulses
ability to control drives, impulses and affect in accordance with reality
Its absence or limitations may impede, or interfere with our level of likeability, and/or our wish and desire to relate to others, feel connected, or being sought after as a friend, or companion.
Restlessness has two components
akathisia (subjective "inner" restlessness) and psychomotor agitation (an excess of motor activity).
(more commonly referred to as intellectual disability is a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of themselves, and social skills. In children, these limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child. Children with intellectual disability may take longer to learn to speak, walk, and take care of their personal needs such as dressing or eating. They are likely to have trouble learning in school. They will learn, but it will take them longer. There may be some things they cannot learn.
Running amok
The phrase "running amok" describes the behavior of an individual who is very agitated and may be at danger of causing harm to themselves or others.[5][6] The syndrome of "Amok" is found in the DSM-IV TR.[7]
Scanning speech or ataxic dysarthria
in which syllable durations are equalized. It is characteristic of the dysarthria of multiple sclerosis. Together with nystagmus and intention tremor it forms Charcot's triad.
commonly referred to as word salad, is confused, and often repetitious, language that is symptomatic of various mental illnesses.[39]
someonA12:B70e presenting with inappropriate silliness, grinning, or grimacing
is a grimace resembling pouting sometimes observed in catatonic individuals.
Self and Object-Representations
The term "Object" refers to persons, and especially significant others such as parents; that is the object or target of an individual's perceptions, sentiments, and/or intentions. This sets the stage for our assumption, impressions, and expectations of others. "Relations" is a reference to interpersonal relations and introjects derived and based on past experiences and relationships. 'Self and Object-Representations' is a term circumscribing the inner images of the self, significant others, and in general how one relates to people in general.
Self Observing Ego
Sense of Reality
ability to not only perceive things accurately but to experience them that way as well
Sensitiver beziehungswahn
alternate term for ideas of reference. In this the person thinks as people are talking about them or observing them or a talk is going on about them on television or radio. Seen in social phobia, depression, delusional disorder and in schizophrenia where they are often present up to a delusional extent.
Sleep Impairments
Initial, Mid, and Terminal insomnia evincing difficulty falling asleep, walking up in the middle of the night, or waking up earlier than expected. There may be parasomnias, hypersomnia, sleep apnea , narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome,.
Somatic delusion
False belief involving functioning of the body.
Somatic hallucination
False sensation of things occurring in or to the body
Involves no gray areas. It is an automatic defense in which bad traits are attributed to either a "bad object" (devaluation) or having "good qualities" ["good object"] (idealization).
Stimulus Barrier
ability to maintain current level of functioning despite increases and decreases in stimulation
Stockholm syndrome
is a psychological response sometimes seen in a hostage, in which the hostage exhibits loyalty to the hostage-taker, in spite of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed.] Stockholm syndrome is also sometimes discussed in reference to other situations with similar tensions, such as battered person syndrome, child abuse cases, and bride kidnapping.
Lack of reaction to, and unawareness of, surroundings
Syndrome in older persons that usually occurs at night and is characterized by drowsiness, confusion, ataxia, and falling as the result of being overly sedated with medications
The simultaneous presence of a set of signs and symptoms (constellation) that are underscored by variance over time and may be comprised of a group of diseases that are not clearly understood. (Downs Syndrome)
neurological phenomenon in which two or more bodily senses are coupled.
Sensation or hallucination caused by another sensation (e.g., an auditory sensation accompanied by or triggering a visual sensation)
Systematized delusion
False belief or beliefs united by a single event or theme.
Tactile (haptic) hallucination
False perception of touch or surface sensation, as from an amputated limb
Inability to have goal-directed associations of thought; speaker never gets from point to desired goal
Telegraphic speech
conjunctions and articles are missed out; meaning is retained and few words are used.
The Ego ( Ego Psychology)
Believe that the ego is the portion of the personality that is responsible for human behavior. It has the ability to function Autonomously
Thought blocking: also referred to as thought withdrawal, refers to an abrupt stop in the middle of a train of thought; the individual might or might not be unable to continue the idea. This is a type of formal thought disorder that can be seen in schizophrenia.
Thought Processes
ability to have goal-directed, organized, and realistic thoughts
Torpor in psychopathology
usually taken to mean profound inactivity not caused by reduction in consciousness.
Tourette syndrome
(abbreviated as TS or Tourette's) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood or adolescence. It is characterized by multiple movement (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic. Common tics are blinking, coughing, throat clearing, sniffing, and facial movements. These are typically preceded by an unwanted urge or sensation in the affected muscles, can sometimes be suppressed temporarily, and characteristically change in location, strength, and frequency. Tourette's is at the more severe end of a spectrum of tic disorders. The tics often go unnoticed by casual observers.
Trailing phenomenon
Perceptual abnormality associated with hallucinogenic drugs in which moving objects are seen as a series of discrete and discontinuous images. Misinterpretation of real external sensory stimuli.
Traumatic bonding
occurs as the result of ongoing cycles of abuse in which the intermittent reinforcement of reward and punishment creates powerful emotional bonds that are resistant to change.
Also known as "hair pulling disorder", trichotillomania (TTM) is an impulse control disorder characterised by a long term urge that results in the pulling out of one's hair. This occurs to such a degree that hair loss can be seen. Efforts to stop pulling hair typically fail. Hair removal may occur anywhere; however, the head and around the eyes are most common. The hair pulling is to such a degree that it results in distress
Twilight state
Disturbed consciousness with hallucinations
Such persons are either unable, or unwilling to forget, or forgive, with a propensity for holding grudges.
verbal stereotypy in which usually one or several sentences or strings of fragmented words are repeated continuously. Sometimes individuals will produce incomprehensible jargon in which stereotypies are embedded. The tone of voice is usually monotonous. This can be produced spontaneously or precipitated by questioning. The term verbigeration was first used in psychiatry by Karl Kahlbaum in 1874, and it referred to a manner of talking which was very fast and incomprehensible. At the time verbigeration was seen as a "disorder of language" and represented a central feature of catatonia. The word is derived from the Latin word verbum (also the source of verbiage), plus the verb gerĕre, to carry on or conduct, from which the Latin verb verbigerāre, to talk or chat, is derived. However, clinically the term verbigeration never achieved popularity and as such has virtually disappeared from psychiatric terminology. Compare Echolalia.
Meaningless repetition of specific words or phrases
Refers to an ill-humored mood state often accompanied by low mood and depressive symptoms. The people surrounding the individual often feel upset by this condition.
Visual hallucination
False perception involving sight consisting of both formed images and unformed images
Volubility (logorrhea)
Copious, coherent, logical speech. Can't interrupt.
Vrbeigehen or vorbeireden
an individual will answer a question in such a way that it is clear the question was understood, though the answer itself is very obviously wrong. For example: "How many legs does a dog have?" – "Six". This condition occurs in Ganser syndrome and has been observed in prisoners awaiting trial. Vorbeigehen (giving approximate answers) was the original term used by Ganser but Vorbeireden (talking past the point) is the term generally in use . This behavior is also seen in people trying to feign psychiatric disorders (hence its association with prisoners).
s an alternate term for autochthonous delusions or delusional intuition. This is one of the types of primary delusions in which a firm belief comes into the individual's mind "out of the blue" or as an intuition, hence called "delusional intuition". Other types of primary delusions include delusional mood (or atmosphere), delusional (apophanous) perception and delusional memories. Care is taken not to impugn an otherwise-rational individual's instinctive aversion or inexpressible sense of or belief about a thing by dismissing it as wahneinfall.
Waxy flexibility
also known as cerea flexibilitas, is characterized by an individual's movements having the feeling of a plastic resistance, as if the person were made of wax. This occurs in catatonic schizophrenia, and a person with this condition can have his limbs placed in fixed positions as if the person were in fact made from wax.
Windigo psychosis
a culture-bound disorder which involves an intense craving for human flesh and the fear that one will turn into a cannibal. This was alleged to have occurred among Algonquian Indian cultures.
a tendency to tell inappropriate jokes and creating excessive facetiousness and inappropriate or pointless humor. It is seen in frontal lobe disorders usually along with moria. Recent research has shown that it may also be seen in frontotemporal dementia.
Word approximation
Usage of words in an unconventional or inappropriate way (as in metonymy), or usage of new but understandable words that are conventionally constructed, contrasting with neologisms, which are new words whose origins cannot be understood.
Word salad
Incoherent mixture of words and phrases characterized by confused, and often repetitious, language with no apparent meaning or relationship attached to them. It is often symptomatic of various mental illnesses, such as psychoses, including schizophrenia. Compare derailment.
refers to speaking in an odd muffled or strangled voice. It is mainly seen in schizophrenia.
A araphilia, characterized by marked distress over, or acting on, urges to indulge in sexual activity that involves animals.
Copyright © 1987 Michael Kasdaglis, Abmhd. All rights reserved!