Frequently Used Terms...

Depression is more than just sadness. People with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.  Depression is the most common mental disorder. Fortunately, depression is treatable.  Read more here

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.  People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.  Read more here

Anger itself is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. Anger can be a good thing. It can give you a way to express negative feelings, for example, or motivate you to find solutions to problems.  But excessive anger can cause problems. Increased blood pressure and other physical changes associated with anger make it difficult to think straight and harm your physical and mental health.  When anger gets out of hand, it can cause problems at home and at work. There are ways you can get control of your anger, instead of letting it control you.  Read more here.

Bipolar Disorder is a serious mental illness in which common emotions become intensely and often unpredictably magnified. Individuals with bipolar disorder can quickly swing from extremes of happiness, energy and clarity to sadness, fatigue and confusion. These shifts can be so devastating that individuals may choose suicide.  All people with bipolar disorder have manic episodes — abnormally elevated or irritable moods that last at least a week and impair functioning. But not all become depressed.  Read more here.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual's sense of identity.  It can manifest as mood instability and difficulty with interpersonal relationships, and has a high rate of self-injury without suicidal intent.  Read more here.

Marital Therapy is a type of psychotherapy. Marriage therapy helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Through marriage counseling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding your relationship or going your separate ways.  Read more here.

EMDR Trauma Therapy (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro that emphasizes the role of distressing memories in some mental health disorders, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  It is an evidence-based therapy used to help with the symptoms of PTSD.  It is thought that when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm normal coping mechanisms. The memory and associated stimuli are inadequately processed and stored in an isolated memory network.  Read more here.

Addiction is a condition in which the body must have a drug to avoid physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Addiction’s first stage is dependence, during which the search for a drug dominates an individual’s life. An addict eventually develops tolerance, which forces the person to consume larger and larger doses of the drug to get the same effect.  Read more here.

Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior.  Read more here.

Sexual Abuse  is unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. Most victims and perpetrators know each other. Immediate reactions to sexual abuse include shock, fear or disbelief. Long-term symptoms include anxiety, fear or post-traumatic stress disorder. While efforts to treat sex offenders remain unpromising, psychological interventions for survivors — especially group therapy — appears effective.  Read more here.

Domestic Violence can affect anyone of any age or gender. Whether it's physical or psychological, domestic abuse is destructive for both the battered and the batterer. Its tendency to be passed down over generations makes it all the more important that we develop effective methods for combating abuse.  Read more here.

Professional Pre-marital Therapy is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage. Premarital counseling can help ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy relationship — giving you a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage. Premarital counseling can also help you identify weaknesses that could become problems during marriage.  Read more here.

Eating Disorders are abnormal eating habits that can threaten your health or even your life. They include:

  • Anorexia nervosa: Individuals believe they’re fat even when they’re dangerously thin and restrict their eating to the point of starvation.     

  • Bulimia nervosa: Individuals eat excessive amounts of food, then purge by making themselves vomit or using laxatives.  

  • Binge eating: Individuals have out-of-control eating patterns, but don’t purge.  Read more here.

ADHD/ADD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a behavioral condition that makes focusing on everyday requests and routines challenging.  People with ADHD typically have trouble getting organized, staying focused, making realistic plans and thinking before acting. They may be fidgety, noisy and unable to adapt to changing situations.  Children with ADHD can be defiant, socially inept or aggressive.  Read more here.

All definitions provided by the APA, Mayo Clinic, Psych Central, Wikipedia and Psychology Today