The Depression Center  

Depression Glossary

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Schizophrenia: a psychotic disorder that is characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as in hallucinations and delusions), and actions.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): a depressive disorder usually associated with the winter months.

Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI): medications that selectively inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine.

Self Esteem: one’s feeling of personal worth

Self Help: treatment that is applied or practiced without the guidance of a professional therapist.

Self Medication: the use of substances (e.g., medications, alternative therapies, substances of abuse) for symptom relief without the guidance of a doctor.

Separation Anxiety Disorder: an anxiety disorder of childhood characterized by a variety of unrealistic fears about safety, oversensitivity, and chronic anxiety.

Serotonin and Norepinephren Re-uptake Inhibitor (SNRI): a medication that inhibits re-uptake of both serotonin and norepinephren.

Serotonin 2A antagonists/reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) : medications that block serotonin reuptake and increase serotonin by antagonism and serotonin 2A receptors.

Side Effects: the unintended and usually unwanted effects of treatment.

Sign: an observable characteristic of a physical or psychiatric problem or condition.

Simple Tension Headaches: headaches that result from prolonged contraction of the muscles of the head and neck due to stress.

Somatic: having to do with the body

Social Work: psychotherapy that emphasizes family and community relationships.

Somatic: having to do with the body.

Stage of Resistance: second stage of the general adaptation syndrome during which the organism actively tries to cope with stress.

Startle Reaction/Response: the sudden and involuntary reaction to unexpected events or stimulation.

Stimulants: substances that increase feelings of alertness and reduce feelings of fatigue.

Stress: biological or psychological variables that result in a change in adaptation and a change in physical or mental health. Stress is most often associated with a changing environment.

Stress: Inoculation Training/Therapy: a type of psychotherapy that focuses on teaching self-instruction to cope with negative thoughts and stress.

Stress Tolerance: the degree and nature of stress that a person can tolerate.

Stressor: anything that causes stress and results in coping behavior.

Substance Abuse: a pattern of substance use that results in significant negative consequences to the individual or others.

Substance Dependence: a pattern of behavior that results in increased tolerance for the substance, physiological and psychological dependence, and withdrawal symptoms.

Support Group: a group of people that meet to share encouragement and information.

Surdomutism: an inability to speak due to fear.

Sympathetic Division: division of nervous system responsible for activation of bodily responses under extreme conditions including emotional arousal and physical effort.

Symptom: reports of experience of a problem that is reported by the patient.

Syndrome: a pattern of signs and symptoms that tend to group together in a disorder.

SAD: seasonal affective disorder

Schema: the way in which a variety of information about any given behavior or knowledge is organized in the mind so that responses can occur relatively automatically and thinking is efficient.

Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI): medications that selectively inhibit the reuptake of serotonin at the synapse, thus increasing availability of serotonin at the synapse, and eventually resulting in down-regulation of post-synaptic receptors. SSRI medications include paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertaline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (luvox, feverin, Dumirox, floxyfral), and citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil, Serostat, Cipram).

Self Monitoring: a psychotherapy technique in which one is asked to observe and monitor their own behavior.

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-HT): a hormone and neurotransmitter (an indoleamine) important in a variety of functions including appetite, sleep, depression and anxiety and depression.

Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SRI): a medication that inhibits the re-uptake of serotonin by synaptic receptors. As compared to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the SRIs have more effects on neurotransmitter systems in addition to the serotonin system. Commonly used SRIs in anxiety and depression is clomipramine and desipramine.

SNRI: see Dual Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors

Social Phobia: a persistent and exaggerated fear of social situations that often includes fears of humiliation, embarrassment, rejection, and being observed. Most often treated with SSRIs and/or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

SSRI: see Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor

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

Status Panicus: a consecutive series of panic attacks that can last for hours or days.