Some terms used in the medical managment of mental health


Anxiolytic - agent which reduces anxiety Compliance – cooperation with prescribed treatment Disinhibition – behavioural disturbance which can lead to a person becoming over familiar and behaving in a way which is out of character for them. Gastric - relating to the stomach Generic – proper name of a drug as opposed to the name given by the drug company when marketing it. Generic named drugs are cheaper to prescribe as the company’s patent has usually elapsed. Hyper – often used in front of a word to indicate too much of something. Hypo – often used in front of a word to indicate insufficiency or not enough of something. Hypnotic – agent used to induce sleep, similar to a sedative. Neurotransmitter – a ‘messenger’ chemical present in the brain and nervous system, for example serotonin. Both low and high levels of certain neurotransmitters can lead to mental illness in the affected person Psychotropic - having an effect on the mind. Used of most medications that at prescribed for mental disorders. Sedative – an agent which causes feelings of sleepiness and lethargy. This can be as the result of medication typically used for poor sleep such as a benzodiazepine (e.g. temazepam) or as a result of an unwanted effect of the medication, for example some antipsychotics have a sedative effect. Other substance that have a sedative effect include alcohol or over the counter preparations such as antihistamines and some cough medicines. Side effect – sometimes referred to as adverse or unwanted effect. This refers to an undesired effect of medication e.g. some people experience symptoms of nausea when commencing anti-depressant medication. Seizure – sometimes referred to as convulsion or ‘fit’. This refers to an electrical discharge in the brain which leads to a range of symptoms seen in the body such as muscle spasms and loss of consciousness (grand mal) lasting generally for a few seconds and rarely more than two to three minutes. Sometimes seizures can present as ‘absences’ where the person appears momentarily distracted and unaware of their surroundings.
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