Mental health

From WikiMD's Health & Wellness Encyclopedia

(MEN-tul helth) A person’s overall psychological and emotional condition. Good mental health is a state of well-being in which a person is able to cope with everyday events, think clearly, be responsible, meet challenges, and have good relationships with others.

Glossary of mental health terms

Glossarry of mental health terms

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  • Antidepressant: medication used to treat depression and other mood and anxiety disorders.
  • Auditory hallucinations: hearing something that is not real. hearing voices is an example of auditory hallucinations.


  • Bipolar disorder:  a disorder that causes severe and unusually high and low shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels as well as unusual shifts in the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. (also known as manic depression)


  • Cbt:  see cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Cbt-p:  see cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis
  • Chronic: persisting for a long time or constantly recurring.
  • Clinical trial:  a scientific study using human volunteers (also called participants) to look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments.
  • Cognition: conscious mental activities (such as thinking, communicating, understanding, solving problems, processing information and remembering) that are associated with gaining knowledge and understanding.
  • Cognitive impairment: experiencing difficulty with cognition. examples include having trouble paying attention, thinking clearly or remembering new information. (also see cognition)
  • Cognitive remediation:  training that uses a variety of techniques including computer exercises and adaptive strategies to improve cognition. this therapy is designed to strengthen the underlying brain functions that help support cognitive skills such as memory, attention and problem solving.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy:  cbt helps people focus on how to solve their current problems. the therapist helps the patient learn how to identify distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns, recognize and change inaccurate beliefs, relate to others in more positive ways, and change behaviors accordingly.
  • Comorbidity: the existence of two or more illnesses in the same person. these illnesses can be physical or mental.
  • Coordinated specialty care for first episode psychosis: csc is a type of treatment that uses a team of specialists who work with the client to create a personal treatment plan. the specialists offer psychotherapy, medication management, csc case management, family education/support, and supported employment/education, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. the client and the team work together to make treatment decisions, involving family members as much as possible. the raise project tested the effectiveness of csc for people with first episode psychosis.
  • Csc:  see coordinated specialty care
  • Csc case manager: this member of the csc treatment team helps clients with problem solving and coordinates social services. the case manager has frequent in-person meetings with the clinician, the client, and the client’s family.
  • Csc team leader: this member of the csc treatment team coordinates the client’s treatment, leads weekly team meetings, oversees treatment plans and case review conferences, and develops transitions to and from the csc program.

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  • Delusions: beliefs that have no basis in reality.
  • Depression:  lack of interest or pleasure in daily activities, sadness and feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt that are severe enough to interfere with working, sleeping, studying, eating and enjoying life.
  • Dup: see duration of untreated psychosis
  • Dual diagnosis: having a mental health disorder and an alcohol or drug problem at the same time.


  • Early treatment program (raise-etp):  one of the two studies that make up the raise (link to “what is raise?” page) research project. raise-etp compares a coordinated specialty careprogram for first episode psychosis called navigate to care typically found in community clinics.
  • Etp: see early treatment program


  • Family education and support: this part of coordinated specialty care teaches family and friends about first episode psychosis and helps them support the client’s recovery. family and friends are involved in the client’s treatment as much as possible, and as long as it is consistent with the client’s wishes.
  • Fep:  see first episode psychosis


  • Hallucinations: hearing, seeing, touching, smelling or tasting things that are not real.


  • Inpatient: health care treatment for someone who is admitted to a hospital (also see outpatient).
  • Intervention: an action intended to help treat or cure a condition.
  • Irt: see individual resiliency training
  • Individual resiliency training: one part of the navigate treatment program (see navigate). irt promotes recovery by identifying client strength and resiliency factors, enhancing illness management, and teaching skills to help functional recovery in order to achieve and maintain personal wellness.

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  • Lai: see long-acting injectable (drugs)
  • Long-acting injectable (drugs):  a shot of medication administered once or twice a month. the shot is an alternative to taking a daily dose of medication.


  • Mania: an abnormally elevated or irritable mood. associated with bipolar disorder.
  • Mood disorders: mental disorders primarily affecting a person’s mood.
  • Nami:  see national alliance on mental illness
  • National alliance on mental illness (nami):  the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. nami is one of over 80 national nonprofit organizations that participate in the nimh outreach partnership program.
  • Navigate: a coordinated specialty care treatment program for people experiencing first episode psychosis. navigate is a team-based approach of treatment options that include medication management, case management, individual resiliency training, family psychoeducation, and supported employment/education. navigate is one of the two coordinated specialty care models tested as part of the raise research study. the other program is the connection program.
  • Negative symptoms:   symptoms of schizophrenia are often classified as positive or negative. examples of negative symptoms that “take away” from life include social withdrawal, lost interest in life, low energy, emotional flatness, reduced ability to concentrate and remember. (also see positive symptoms)


  • Ontrackny: a coordinated specialty care treatment program in new york for youth and young adults experiencing first episode psychosis. ontrackny is based on the work of lisa dixon and her team on the raise implementation and evaluation study (raise-ies), part of the raise research study.
  • Outpatient: health care treatment given to individuals who are not admitted to a hospital. (also see inpatient)


  • Pharmacotherapy: medication selection, dosing and management. pharmacotherapy for first episode psychosistypically involves a low dose of a single antipsychotic medication and careful monitoring for side effects.
  • Positive symptoms: psychotic symptoms are often classified as positive or negative. examples of positive symptoms that “add to” a person’s experiences include delusions (believing something to be true when it is not) and hallucinations (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting something that is not real). (also see negative symptoms)
  • Psychosis: the word psychosis is used to describe conditions that affect the mind, where there has been some loss of contact with reality. when someone becomes ill in this way it is called a psychotic episode. during a period of psychosis, a person’s thoughts and perceptions are disturbed and the individual may have difficulty understanding what is real and what is not. symptoms of psychosis include delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear). other symptoms include incoherent or nonsense speech, and behavior that is inappropriate for the situation. a person in a psychotic episode may also experience depression, anxiety, sleep problems, social withdrawal, lack of motivation and difficulty functioning overall.
  • Psychoeducation: learning about mental illness and ways to communicate, solve problems and cope.
  • Psychosocial interventions: non-medication therapies for people with mental illness and their families. therapies include psychotherapy, coping skills, training and supported employment and education services.
  • Psychotherapy:  treatment of mental illness by talking about problems rather than by using medication. treatment for first episode psychosis is based on cognitive behavioral therapyprinciples and emphasizes resilience training, illness and wellness management, and coping skills. treatment is tailored to each client’s needs.

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  • Raise: recovery after an initial schizophrenia episode (raise) is a large-scale research initiative that began with two studies examining different aspects of coordinated specialty care (csc) treatments for people who were experiencing first episode psychosis. one study focused on whether or not the treatment worked. the other project studied the best way for clinics to start using the treatment program. the goal of raise was, and is, to help decrease the likelihood of future episodes of psychosis, reduce long-term disability, and help people to get their lives back on track so they can pursue their goals.
  • Recovery: the process by which people with mental illness return or begin to work, learn and participate in their communities. for some individuals and their families, recovery means the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life.


  • Samhsa: substance abuse and mental health services administration (samsha) is the agency within the u.s. department of health and human services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. samhsa's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on america's communities.
  • Schizoaffective disorder:  a mental condition that causes both a loss of contact with reality (psychosis) and mood problems (depression or mania).
  • Schizophrenia: a severe mental disorder that appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. people with schizophrenia may have hallucinations, delusions, loss of personality, confusion, agitation, social withdrawal, psychosis and/or extremely odd behavior.

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