The Depression Center  
 
 

Depression Glossary

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Maladaptive Behavior: behavior that works against the individual or the group.

Maladjustment: relative inability or failure of the organism to adapt to the environment.

Mania: an emotional or psychological state characterized by unrealistic feelings of excitement, invincibility, power, energy, intelligence, and euphoria.

Medical Model:: the perspective that psychiatric or psychological problems are the result of disordered or abnormal physiology or structure, rather than the result of learning or thinking.

Medicine: an academic discipline devoted to the understanding and treatment of disorders of the human body.

Migraine: an intensely painful recurring headache that often involves only one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and visual disturbance.

Model: an analogy that helps a scientist understand how something works.

Modeling: a powerful form of learning in which people learn by watching someone else (the model) do something.

Mood Disorders: problems characterized by disturbances of mood that are intense enough to cause suffering and maladaptive behavior.

MVP: mitral valve prolapse

Major Depressive Disorder: mood disorder in which only symptoms of depression occur.

MAOI: see Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor

Medication: a chemical substance that has a medical affect on the body. There are a wide variety of classes of medications used to treat anxiety disorders; including benzodiazepines, MAOIs, SRIs, SARIS, SSRIs, SNRIs and TCAs.

Melancholic Subtype: subtype of depression that involves a loss of pleasure (anhedonia), sleep problems, changes in eating appetite, motor agitation or retardation, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness.

Melatonin: a hormone produced by the pineal gland that is derived from serotonin and involved in a number of functions including biological circadian rhythms and sleep.

Minor Tranquilizers: an older term used to describe some anti-anxiety drugs such as the benzodiazepines.

Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP): a relatively benign cardiac condition involving a heart valve abnormality. MVP has been associated with autonomic nervous system dysfunction and some anxiety disorders in which case it is referred to as Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome.

Monoamines: a class of hormones or neurotransmitters that includes the catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine) and the indoleamines (serotonin and melatonin).

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI): an inhibitor of one of the enzymes that degrades and thereby inactivates monoamine neurotransmitters. MAOIs act irreversibly and nonselectively. Includes medication such as phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and isocarboxazid (Marplan). Phenelzine is perhaps the most commonly prescribed MAOI for anxiety disorders. Generic names for MAOIs include brofaromine , isocarboxazid, moclobemide, pargyline, phenelzine, selegeline, tranylcypromine,. These medications are used much less than previously because the SSRIs, and other agents have been found to be as effective and the MAOIs have been associated with serious side effects. People who use MAOI medications have to adhere to a very strict diet that excludes all foods that contain high concentrations of certain dietary amino acids, such as tyramine, that are ordinarily degraded by monoamine oxidase enzymes.