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Depression: Depression Glossary


Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is term used to describe a variety of different talking therapies used to treat depression, anxiety and dissatisfaction in life situations. Psychotherapy involves talking to a licensed professional during a scheduled series of appointments. It has proven to be effective in treating mild and moderate forms of depression, and can be combined with drug therapy to treat all degrees of depression.

Reflexology: A technique in which a therapist applies pressure to acupuncture points on the ears, hands and feet.

Registered nurses: Health care professionals who are registered and licensed to practice nursing. They have completed nursing school and passed an exam administered by a State Board of Nurse Examiners.

Schizophrenia: A mental illness in which the person suffers from distorted thinking, hallucinations and a reduced ability to feel normal emotions.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): SAD is a depression that occurs each year at the same time, usually starting in fall or winter and ending in spring or early summer.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): A class of antidepressant drugs that help to increase serotonin, a chemical responsible for communication between nerves in the brain. Representative drugs include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox and Viibryd.

Sexual abuse: Abuse of a sexual nature such as rape, incest, and indecent exposure. Sexual abuse can cause various physical and emotional problems including lack of self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, anxiety and depression.

Social phobia: A disorder that results in extreme anxiety in social situations. Those who suffer from social phobia experience intense and disabling self-consciousness in social situations. People with social phobia have an intense and persistent feeling of being watched, judged and evaluated in a negative manner.

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum): An herbal remedy that may be helpful (although it has not yet been proven useful by scientists) for depression. It has been widely used to treat mild to moderate depression in Europe, especially in Germany.

Tourette's syndrome: A neurological disorder beginning in childhood that is characterized by involuntary body movements called tics, and uncontrollable speech.

Trichotillomania: Psychological disorder that produces an uncontrollable desire to pull out one's hair.

Tricyclic antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants are older antidepressants still commonly used to treat depression or anxiety. They can be very helpful in restoring sleep and appetite. Examples include Elavil, Pamelor, Tofranil and Norpramin.

Violence: To injure or abuse another person or an object with physical force. Can occur in a wide range of psychiatric disorders including depression, drug abuse, trauma reactions, psychosis, personality disorders, and cognitive problems such as dementia.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on May 11, 2014

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