darryl cunningham (tallguywrites) wrote,
darryl cunningham

Psychiatric Terminology

Here is a partial list of psychiatric terms that may interest you. Many of these words will no doubt become a familiar part of my life in the years to come, as I complete my training and become a staff psychiatric nurse.

Anxiety - Emotional disorder characterised by uncertainty, apprehensiveness and unresolved fear. It's a fear response, e.g. fight or flight. Also known as anxiety state and anxiety reaction.

Aphasia - Loss of the ability to express meaning by the use of speech or writing, or even understand spoken or written language.

Blocking - The sudden stoppage of a train of thought (er... what was I saying?).

Compulsion - Continuous preoccupation with impulse or movement to the exclusion of most other interests.

Confabulation - Fabrications to fill memory gaps.

Delusion - A false belief in the face of contrary evidence, which is held with conviction and is unmodified by appeals to reason or logic (See George Bush and Iraq).

Dementia - Irreversible impairment of intellectual ability, memory and personality due to permanent damage or disease of the brain (See George Bush).

Denial - Defence mechanism by which painful experiences are rejected.

De-realisation - The feeling that the environment is unreal or flat, as if everything experienced is happening on a stage.

Echolalia - Repetition of words and phrases spoken to the individual. Repetition of words and phrases spoken to the individual.

Euphoria - Feelings of well being, more than elation.

Flight of ideas - Succession of thoughts with no rational connection.

Folie a deux - A sharing of delusions by two closely associated individuals, such as husband and wife, one of whom suffers from a paranoid illness and who eventually succeeds in inducing similar delusions in the other.

Formication - A feeling as if insects were crawling all over the body.

Fugue - Altered state of consciousness combined with the impulse to wander. Occurs in depression, epilepsy, schizophrenia and organic cerebral diseases.

Ideas of reference - Where the client may have unfounded beliefs that others are talking about him, both in his environment and on TV or radio.

Incongruity of effect - A disharmony between the client's mood and thought content. For example a client may laugh on receiving sad news.

Lability of effect - The tendency of the client to experience sudden changes of mood. It occurs in personality disorders and brain-damaged individuals (insert your own George Bush joke here).

Neologism - Making new meaningless words (we had a patient who used to insert made up words when she was playing scrabble, in the full belief that they were real).

Paraphasia - Speech disorder, in which the suffer uses the wrong word.

Word salad - Incomprehensible speech containing nonsense syllables, jargon and neologisms (a great name for a poetry magazine).
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