Personality Disorder

Personality Disorder

It’s strange the word Disorder is attached to the word Personality. We want to believe our Personality shapes who we are. But from some, it may be a trait that feels uncontrolled and affects life experiences. I’ve read it described as: Set of enduring behavioral and mental traits that distinguish human beings Personality disorders are(…)

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD, also known as Dysmorphophobia) You can’t stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful that you don’t want to be seen by anyone. Body Dysmorphic Disorder has been called imagined ugliness. Manifested as excessive(…)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry.  Resulting in repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety. The frequent upsetting thoughts are called Obsessions.  Obsessions are thoughts that recur and persist despite efforts to ignore or confront them.  To try to control them (the upsetting(…)

Glutamate and GABA

Glutamate and GABA

Glutamate and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are the brain’s major “workhorse” neurotransmitters. Over half of all brain synapses release Glutamate, and 30-40% of all brain synapses release GABA. GABA and Glutamate regulate action potential traffic. GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, stops action potentials. Glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, starts action potentials or keeps them going. Since GABA is(…)

Addiction

Addiction

Normal Dopamine molecule binds to a Dopamine receptor (in pink).  After the Dopamine binds, it comes off the receptor and is removed from the synaptic cleft by uptake pumps (also proteins) that reside on the terminal (arrows show the direction of movement).  This process is important because it ensures that not too much Dopamine remains(…)

Exposure Therapy

Exposure Therapy

Exposure Therapy – Intended to treat anxiety disorders and involves the exposure to the feared object or context without any danger in order to overcome their anxiety. The therapist identifies the cognitions, emotions and physiological arousal that accompany a fear-inducing stimulus, and attempts to break the pattern of escape that strengthens the fear response, through measured(…)

Melancholia

Melancholia

Melancholia a mood disorder of non-specific Depression, characterized by low levels of both enthusiasm and eagerness for activity. Melancholic Depression or Depression with Melancholic features: one of the following symptoms anhedonia  (the inability to find pleasure in positive things) lack of mood reactivity  (i.e. mood does not improve in response to positive events) at least three of the(…)

Thought Disorder

Thought Disorder

Thought Disorder underlies multiple mental illnesses. Symptoms: Flight of Ideas – Language may be difficult to understand,  it switches quickly from one unrelated idea to another. Long-winded and very delayed at reaching its goal Schizophasia – (Incoherence or Word salad) Characterized by confused usage of words with no apparent meaning or relationship attached to them.  Words are inappropriately strung together resulting in(…)

Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder has features that resemble both Schizophrenia and Mood (affective) Symptoms. A person who has Schizoaffective Disorder will experience delusions, hallucinations, other symptoms that are characteristic of schizophrenia and significant disturbances in their mood. People who experience more than two weeks of psychotic symptoms in the absence of severe mood disturbances—and then have symptoms(…)

Neurotransmission

Neurotransmission

Some key words to help you better understand medications for mental disorders. Neurotransmission, also called synaptic transmission, is the process by which signaling molecules called neurotransmitters are released by a neuron (the presynaptic neuron), and bind to and activate the receptors of another neuron (the postsynaptic neuron).  Neurotransmission usually takes place at asynapse, and occurs when an action potential is initiated in the(…)