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Schizophrenia Glossary

Terms used to explain Schizophrenia can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.


Pronunciation: \ˌā-ˌgran-yə-lō-ˌsī-ˈtō-səs\

Function: noun

1: an acute febrile condition marked by severe depression of the granulocyte-producing bone marrow and by prostration, chills, swollen neck, and sore throat sometimes with local ulceration and believed to be basically a response to the side effects of certain drugs of the coal-tar series (as aminopyrine) —called also agranulocytic angina, granulocytopenia

Anxiety Disorder

Function: noun
: any of various disorders (as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, a phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder) in which anxiety is a predominant feature —called also anxiety neurosis, anxiety state


Pronunciation: \ˈo-ˌtiz-əm\

Function: noun

1: a developmental disorder that appears by age three and that is variable in expression but is recognized and diagnosed by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns esp. as exhibited by a preoccupation with repetitive activities of restricted focus rather than with flexible and imaginative ones

Bipolar Disorder

Function: noun
: any of several mood disorders characterized usu. by alternating episodes of depression and mania or by episodes of depression alternating with mild nonpsychotic excitement —called also bipolar affective disorder, bipolar illness, manic depression, manic-depressive psychosis, compare major depressive disorder

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Function: noun
1: see: cognitive therapy


Pronunciation: \di-ˈlü-zhən\

Function: noun

1. a: the act of deluding : the state of being deluded
b: an abnormal mental state characterized by the occurrence of psychotic delusions
2: a false belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that persists despite the facts and occurs in some psychotic states compare hallucination 1 illusion 2a


Pronunciation: \di-ˈpresh-ən\

Function: noun

1: a displacement downward or inward <depression of the jaw>
2: an act of depressing or a state of being depressed: as
a (1): a state of feeling sad
(2): a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked esp. by sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts or an attempt to commit suicide
b: a reduction in functional activity, amount, quality, or force <depression of autonomic function> <depression of red blood cells>


Function: noun
: psychopathological inconsistency in personality, mental functions, or overt behavior <psychotic disorganization> <psychomotor disorganization>


Pronunciation: \ˈdō-pə-ˌmēn\

Function: noun
1: a monoamine C8H11NO2 that is a decarboxylated form of dopa and occurs esp. as a neurotransmitter in the brain and as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of epinephrine see intropin


Pronunciation: \yu-ˈfōr-ē-ə, -ˈfor-\

Function: noun
1: a feeling of well-being or elation; esp: one that is groundless, disproportionate to its cause, or inappropriate to one's life situation compare dysphoria


Pronunciation: \hə-ˌlüs-ən-ˈā-shən\

Function: noun

1: a perception of something (as a visual image or a sound) with no external cause usu. arising from a disorder of the nervous system (as in delirium tremens or in functional psychosis without known neurological disease) or in response to drugs (as LSD) compare delusion 2 illusion 2a
2: the object of a hallucinatory perception


Pronunciation: \il-ˈü-zhən\

Function: noun

1: a misleading image presented as a visual stimulus
2. a: perception of something objectively existing in such a way as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature; esp: see: optical illusioncompare delusion 2
b: see: hallucination 1
c: a pattern capable of reversible perspective


Pronunciation: \ˌn(y)ur-ō-ˌfiz-ē-ˈäl-ə-jē\

Function: noun
1: physiology of the nervous system


Function: abbreviation
obsessive-compulsive disorder

Panic Disorder

Function: noun
: an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks followed by a month or more of worry about their recurrence, implications, or consequences or by a change in behavior related to the panic attacks


Pronunciation: \ˌpar-ə-ˈnoi-ə\

Function: noun

1: a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usu. without hallucinations
2: a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others


Pronunciation: \ˈpar-ə-ˌnoid\

Function: adjective

1: characterized by or resembling paranoia or paranoid schizophrenia
2: characterized by suspiciousness, persecutory trends, or megalomania


Pronunciation: \ˌpäl-i-ˈjēn-ik, -ˈjen-ik\

Function: adjective
1: of, relating to, or resulting from polygenes : see: multifactorial<a polygenic disorder>


Pronunciation: \sī-ˈkō-səs\

Function: noun

1: a serious mental disorder (as schizophrenia) characterized by defective or lost contact with reality often with hallucinations or delusions


Pronunciation: \ˌskit-sə-ˈfrē-nē-ə\

Function: noun
: a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as in delusions), perception (as in hallucinations), and behavior —called also dementia praecox, see paranoid schizophrenia

Tardive Dyskinesia
Function: noun
: a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary uncontrollable movements esp. of the mouth, tongue, trunk, and limbs and occurring esp. as a side effect of prolonged use of antipsychotic drugs (as phenothiazine) abbr. TD

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Reference: Mental Health and Behavior section on Better Medicine

What to Ask Your Doctor About Schizophrenia

Be prepared to ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment for schizophrenia.

Did You Know?

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Years of drug abuse will cause schizophrenia.