The Depression Center  
 
 

Depression Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Habit: a learned behavior that is a typical or customary pattern of response.

Habituation: the process by which a person’s response to a feared stimulus is reduced over time following repeated exposure.

Hepatitis: an infection or irritation of the liver that may cause permanent damage.

Heredity: the genetic transmission of characteristics from parents to children.

Homeostasis: the tendency of an organism to maintain a steady state that permits a constant level of physiological functioning.

Hostilit: an emotional reaction that involves the thought and/or intent to destroy or damage something that is perceived as a threat.

Huntington’s Disease: an disease of sub-cortical brain tissue that includes symptoms of jerking and twitching movements as well as a progressive deterioration of physical and mental functioning.

Hypersomnia: excessive sleeping

Hypertension: high blood pressure

H2 Blockers: a class of drugs used to treat ulcers and heartburn.

Hypervigilance: extreme sensitivity to cues that may signal presence of feared object or situation.

Hypochondria: an exaggerated concern about bodily processes and the possibility of having various diseases.

Hypothalamus: a structure at the base of the brain importantly involved in emotion and motivation.

Homework: a term used in cognitive behavioral therapy or behavioral therapy to describe the assignments that people are asked to complete between therapy sessions.

Hormone: a product of an endocrine gland that is released into the blood that regulate development and activity in target tissues somewhere else at a distance in the body. Steroid hormones include cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone. Non-steroid hormones include choleckystokinin, epinephrine, dopamine, insulin, norepinephrine, serotonin, and vasopressin.

Housebound: an inability to leave one’s house. Common in severe cases of panic, agoraphobia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Can also occur in social phobia.

HRT: hormone replacement therapy.

Hyperactivity: see attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Hypersensitivity: exaggerated sensitivity. People with panic disorder are often hypersensitive to internal bodily sensations such as heart rate, respiration, and stomach and intestinal movements.

Hyperthyroid: a disorder in which the thyroid gland produces too much hormone, resulting in a condition characterized by excessive energy and difficulty sleeping.

Hyperventilation: chronic excessive breathing that results in changes in carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and oxygen levels in the blood. Associated with intense anxiety. Can produce panic attacks.

Hypnotherapy: the use of hypnosis in psychotherapy.

Hypochondriac: someone who has hypochondria.

Hypochondriasis: see hypochondria

Hypomania: a temporary mild to moderate elevated (manic) mood.

Hypothyroid: a thyroid disorder characterized by underproduction of hormone by the thyroid gland resulting in symptoms including exhaustion and excessive sleeping.