Definitions

Anxiety

Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over something unlikely to happen, such as the feeling of imminent death. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is felt about something realistically intimidating or dangerous and is an appropriate response to a perceived threat; anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, and muscular tension. Anxiety is not considered to be a normal reaction to a perceived stressor although many feel it occasionally.


Depression

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate or attempt suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may also be present.


Insomnia

Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. While the term is sometimes used to describe a disorder demonstrated by polysomnographic evidence of disturbed sleep, insomnia is often practically defined as a positive response to either of two questions: "Do you experience difficulty sleeping?" or "Do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?"

Insomnia is most often thought of as both a sign and a symptom that can accompany several sleep, medical, and psychiatric disorders characterized by a persistent difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep or sleep of poor quality. Insomnia is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Insomnia can occur at any age, but it is particularly common in the elderly. Insomnia can be short term (up to three weeks) or long term (above 3–4 weeks), which can lead to memory problems, depression, irritability and an increased risk of heart disease and automobile related accidents.


Manic Depressive

Bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive disorder, or manic depression, is a mental illness classified by psychiatrists as a mood disorder. Individuals with bipolar disorder experience episodes of a frenzied mood known as mania alternating with episodes of depression.

Mania can occur with different levels of severity. At milder levels of mania, or "hypomania", individuals appear energetic, excitable, and may in fact be highly productive. As mania becomes more severe, individuals begin to behave erratically and impulsively, often making poor decisions due to unrealistic ideas about the future, and may have great difficulty with sleep. At the most severe level, individuals can experience very distorted beliefs about the world known as psychosis.

Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes; some experience a mixed state in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time. Manic and depressive episodes last from a few days to several months.


Attention Deficit Problems

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, similar to hyperkinetic disorder in the ICD-10) is a psychiatric disorder of the neurodevelopmental type in which there are significant problems of attention and/or hyperactivity and acting impulsively that are not appropriate for a person's age. These symptoms must begin by age six to twelve and be present for more than six months for a diagnosis to be made. In school-aged children the lack of focus may result in poor school performance.


Abuse & Trauma

Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event.

A traumatic event involves a single experience, or an enduring or repeating event or events, that completely overwhelm the individual's ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with that experience. The sense of being overwhelmed can be delayed by weeks, years or even decades, as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances. Psychological trauma can lead to serious long-term negative consequences that are often overlooked even by mental health professionals: "If clinicians fail to look through a trauma lens and to conceptualize client problems as related possibly to current or past trauma, they may fail to see that trauma victims, young and old, organize much of their lives around repetitive patterns of reliving and warding off traumatic memories, reminders, and affects."


Parent-Child Conflict

Parent–offspring conflict (POC) is a term coined in 1974 by Robert Trivers. It is used to signify the evolutionary conflict arising from differences in optimal parental investment (PI) to an offspring from the standpoint of the parent and the offspring. Here, PI is any investment by the parent in an individual offspring that decreases the parent's ability to invest in other offspring, while the selected offspring's chance of surviving increases.


Aggressive and Acting Out Behavior

Two broad categories of aggression are commonly distinguished. One includes affective (emotional) and hostile or retaliatory aggression, and the other includes instrumental, goal-oriented or predatory aggression. Data on violence from a range of disciplines lend some support to a distinction between affective and predatory aggression. However, some researchers question the usefulness of a hostile vs instrumental distinction in humans, despite its ubiquity in research, because most real-life cases involve mixed motives and interacting causes.


Grief & Loss

Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss.


School Problems

School psychology is a field that applies principles of clinical psychology and educational psychology to the diagnosis and treatment of children's and adolescents' behavioral and learning problems, to teachers, politicians and other responsible persons in the instituationalized education systems with pedagogic, didactic or systemic-organizational problems, sometimes also integrating parents of school children to find common solutions. School psychologists are educated in psychology, child and adolescent development, child and adolescent psychopathology, education, family and parenting practices, learning theories, and personality theories. They are knowledgeable about effective instruction and effective schools. They are trained to carry out psychological and psychoeducational assessment, counseling, and consultation, and in the ethical, legal and administrative codes of their profession.


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