The Depression Center  
 
 

Depression Glossary

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ECG: electrocardiogram (EKG)

ECT: see electroconvulsive therapy

EEG: electroencephalogram

EKG: electrocardiogram (ECG)

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): a device for measuring the electrical rhythms of the heart.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): electrical stimulation used to induce a seizure within the brain. ECT has been proven to be useful in the treatment people whose depression is severe or life threatening or in cases of severe depression that does not respond to any other treatment. ECT is also used sometimes for people with severe depression who cannot take antidepressant medication.

Emetophobia: fear of vomiting

Emotional Disturbance: a psychiatric or psychological disorder or problem.

Empathy: the ability to understand someone else’s experience.

Epinephrine (adrenaline): a hormone and neurotransmitter secreted by the adrenal gland especially during high emotion that result in a variety of changes in the body including an increase in blood sugar and a rise in blood pressure. High levels of epinephrine have been associated with anxiety and panic attacks, and this condition can be diagnosed.

Endocrine Glands: ductless glands that secrete hormones directly into lymph or blood vessels.

Endogenous Factors: factors within the organism that determine behavior.

Endorphins: opiate-like substances produced in the pituitary gland and brain that are involved in the perception of pain.

Epidemiology: the study of the distribution of diseases in the population.

Epilepsy: a group of seizure disorders.

Episodic: term used to describe a problem that tends to get better and worse over time.

Equilibrium: steady state, balance.

ERP: exposure and response prevention therapy

Escape Learning: term used to describe how animals and humans will learn to escape a situation to avoid a negative experience.

Essential Hypertension: a term used to describe high blood pressure with no known cause.

Estrogens: hormones secreted by ovaries that determine and maintain female sexual characteristics.

Etiology: term used to describe cause

Exacerbate: to make worse

Exhaustion and Disintegration: third and final stage of the general adaptation syndrome (GAS) in which the organism can no longer resist stress.

Exposure: in cognitive behavioral or behavioral therapy a situation that a person puts themselves in on purpose in order to experience their anxiety and a reduction in their anxiety either over time or through repeated exposure.

Existential Anxiety: anxiety about finding one’s place and/or meaning in the world.

Exposure Therapy (ET): a form psychotherapy in which anxiety is treated by gradual exposure to the feared object, situation, or thought.

Exogenous: having to due with external causes outside of the organism.

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy: a form of Exposure Therapy used to treat OCD.

Extinction: gradual reduction of a response that occurs if the response is no longer reinforced.

Extraversion: a personality style characterized by an orientation towards the world of people and things.