Glossary

I give below a brief list of some of the more commonly used terms in clinical psychiatry. The interested reader is referred to larger works for a fuller word list.

Long words in Greek, Latin, German, etc., are not necessarily included if they are not in common clinical use. Plain English has advantages; if someone is colour blind, it is probably better to say so, rather than that he is 'suffering from achromatopsia'.

Words are included for the various catatonic phenomena, even though these are now rarely seen in UK clinical practice, since they are of historical importance.

Certain aspects such as named syndromes (Capgras) and psychodynamic terms are also included, not because of their practical usefulness, if any, but because they are part of the language and culture of psychiatry - and because they have not yet completely disappeared from the memory banks of examination setters.

abreaction A technique, now little used, in which the patient is administered a sedative such as a barbiturate and then interviewed, usually about difficult matters.

acculturation The process of adapting to a different culture or envi ronment; difficulties here need to be distinguished from mental disorder.

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