General Psychiatry is a field of medical science which is related to the functioning of brain. It incorporates psychology or knowledge of human thinking and behavior with anatomical/physiological knowledge of brain. It deals with various personality related, neurological, substance use, psychotic and neurotic disorders.


This glossary covers terms found in the psychiatric literature.


Abreaction is a process of vividly reliving repressed memories and emotions related to a past event.


Aboulia or Abulia, in neurology, refers to a lack of will or initiative.


Acquired agnosia for color. This term includes color blindness.

Affect illusion

Illusions (Misperceptions) associated with or based on changes with mood; for example, at midnight a person may take a shadow as a ghost, but in the early part of night this may not be the case.


Akataphasia (Kraepelin 1896) refers to disorder of thought expression in speech and results due to dissolution of logical ordering of trains of thought..


Akathisia refers to a subjective feeling of restlessness in the lower limbs that is related to abnormal activity in the extrapyramidal system in the brain, often due to antipsychotic medication.


Alexithymia refers to an inability to identify and describe emotions in the self.


Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in neighbouring words.


Literally, this term means "not having words".


The phrase "running amok" describes the behavior of an individual, who is very agitated and can become a danger to others and himself.


Anosognosia is a condition in which a person who suffers certain disability seems unaware of the existence of his or her disability.

Anton's syndrome

Anton syndrome.  is caused by damaging the occipital lobes bilaterally or from disrupting the pathway from the primary visual cortex into the visual association cortex.


Anwesenheit refers to the feeling of presence of something or some person.

Apophanous perception

This is an alternate term for delusional perception.


Aphemia is the alternate term for mutism. Mutism is absence of speech with apparently normal level of consciousness.


 Failure of apperception is seen in delirious states.


Astasia-abasia is a form of psychogenic gait disturbance in which gait becomes impaired in the absence of any neurological or physical pathology.


Alternate term for loosening of association.


From aut ="self" and -ism = state or orientation. Originally, Eugen Bleuler used this term to describe schizophrenia.

Autistic thinking

Autistic thinking is a term used to refer to thinking not in accordance with consensus reality that emphasizes preoccupation with inner experience.

Autochthonous delusion

Jaspers defined this as a delusion arising without apparent cause.


Autokabalesis is a term for committing suicide by jumping from a very high place.

Automatic obedience

Automatic obedience is an exaggerated co-operation with an examiner's request, as if the patient were an 'automaton' robotically obeying a command. It is usually a sign of catatonia.


Automatisms are sequences of activity that occur without conscious control.


Autoscopy is the reduplicative hallucination of "seeing one's own body at a distance" and the person sees it from the place where he or she is located.


Avolition is an inability to initiate and complete goal-directed behaviour.


Belle indifference

Belle indifference or la belle indifférence is characterized by a lack of concern and/or feeling of indifference about a disability or symptom.

Bouffée délirante

it is described as Brief Psychotic Disorder (298.8).

Brain fag syndrome

Brain fag syndrome is an example of a culture-bound syndrome.

Brain Fog

Brain fog is another term for #Clouding of consciousness.


Bruxism refers to teeth grinding behaviour that is usually seen in children.


Capgras' syndrome or Illusion des sosies

In Capgras syndrome, the patient feels that a person familiar to him, usually a family member has been replaced by an imposter.


Catalepsy is the term for catatonic rigidity of the limbs which often results in abnormal posturing for long intervals.


Cataplexy involves a sudden loss of muscle tone, and is generally precipitated by a sudden emotional response.


Catatonia involves a significant psychomotor disturbance, which can occur as catalepsy, stupor.

Cerea flexibilitas

Cerea flexibilitas, meaning "waxy flexibility", refers to people allowing themselves to be placed in postures by others, and then maintaining those postures for long periods even if they are obviously uncomfortable.


Chorea is manifest by abnormal involuntary movements.

Circumstantial speech

Circumstantial thinking, or circumstantial speech, refers to a person being unable to answer a question without giving excessive, unnecessary detail.

Clang association

Clang associations are ideas that are related only by similar or rhyming sounds rather than actual meaning.

Claparede's paradox

Claparede's paradox refers to retention of non-verbal and implicit memory in sufferers of Korsakoff's syndrome.

Clouding of consciousness

Clouding of consciousness, also known as brain fog or mental fog, is a global impairment in higher central nervous functioning.

Coenestopathic state

A patient in a coenestopathic state has a localized distortion of body awareness.


Confabulation is the confusion of imagination with memory, and/or the confusion of true memories with false memories.

Conversion disorder


Coprolalia is the involuntary utterance of socially inappropriate phrases.

Cotard delusion

 It is a type of delusion that can be experienced in schizophrenia.


Literally jumping out of window.

Déjà vu

In Déjà vu, a person feels undue familiarity to an event or a person.

Déjà pensé

In Déjà pensé, a completely new thought sounds familiar to the person and he feels as he has thought the same thing before at some time.

Dementia praecox

Dementia praecox refers to a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood.

Dementia pugilistica

Dementia pugilistica, is a neurological disorder which affects career boxers and others who receive multiple dazing blows to the head.


refers to disorganized thinking that jumps between ideas that seem entirely unrelated.

Dereistic thinking

Dereistic means: Away from reality, undirected fantasy thinking.



In Dhat syndrome there is a complaint of premature ejaculation or impotence and a belief that semen is being passed in the urine.


The Doppelgänger is a phenomenon in which the person feels that his exact “double” is present alongside him every time and goes with him wherever he goes.


Écho de la pensée

In écho de la pensée, meaning "thought echo" in French, thoughts seem to be spoken aloud just after being produced.


Literally means jumping off the rails. In this form of thought the patient jumps from one topic to another during conversation and both topics have literally no connection with each other.


Extracampine hallucinations are hallucinations beyond the possible sensory field.


Fantasy is imagining that expresses desires and aims.

Fatuous affect

The moods of a patient with fatuous affect resemble the moods of a child.

Flight of ideas

Flight of ideas describes excessive speech at a rapid rate that involves causal association between ideas.

Folie à deux

Also called induced psychosis, folie à deux is a delusional disorder shared by two or more people who are closely related emotionally.


Fregoli delusion

In Fregoli delusion, the person has a delusional belief that various different people are in fact a certain other person, even if there is no physical resemblance.



In Gedankenlautwerden, a patient hears thoughts spoken aloud.


Gegenhalten is a catatonic phenomenon in which the subject opposes all passive movements with the same degree of force as applied by the examiner.



Hemiasomatognosia is a subtype of Anosognosia in which the person suffering from hemiplegia neglects one half of his body.

Hyposchemazia; Aschemazia

Hyposchemazia is characterized by the reduced awareness of a patient's body image and Aschemazia by the absence of it.


Idée fixe

Idée fixe is an alternate term for an overvalued idea.

Ideas of alienation

Thoughts that one's own body part or action is not of one's own.

Ideas of influence

Thoughts that one's own action is caused by someone else's will or some other external cause.

Ideas of reference

Ideas of reference are a delusional belief that general events are personally directed at oneself.


An illusion is a false perception of a detectable stimulus.


Jargon aphasia

Jargon aphasia is characterized by incoherent, meaningless speech with neologisms (newly invented words).


Klüver–Bucy syndrome

In Klüver–Bucy syndrome, a patient will display placidity, hyperorality, hypersexuality, and hyperphagia.

Knight's Move thinking

Knight's move thinking is a complete loosening of associations where there is no logical link between one idea and the next.


Koro is a culture-specific syndrome usually seen in Chinese people.


Kuru (also known as laughing sickness due to the outbursts of laughter that mark its second phase) was first noted in New Guinea in the early 1900s.



Latah is a culture-specific syndrome usually seen in Southeast Asia and involves startle-induced disorganization, hypersuggestibility, automatic obedience, and echopraxia (a tendency to mimic examiner’s or other person’s actions).

L'homme qui rit

In l'homme qui rit, meaning "The man who laughs" in French, a patient displays inappropriate laughter accompanied by release phenomena of the frontal subdominant lobe.

Lilliputian hallucinations

Lilliputian hallucinations are characterized by abnormal perception of objects as being shrunken in size but normal in detail.


In logoclonia, the patient often repeats the last syllable of a word.


Logorrhoea, also known as "volubility", is characterized by a patient's fluent and rambling speech using numerous words.


Mania a potu

Mania a potu is an alcohol intoxication state with violent and markedly disinhibited behavior. This condition is different from violent behavior in otherwise normal individuals who are intoxicated.


Mitgehen is an extreme form of mitmachen in which very slight pressure leads to movement in any direction, also called the "anglepoise" effect or "anglepoise lamp sign".


In mitmachen, the patient's body can be put into any posture, despite instructions given that the patient resist.


Moria is the condition characterized by euphoric behavior, such as frivolity and the inability to act seriously.



Negativism is found if, on examination, a patient resists attempts to move him and does opposite to what is asked.


Omega sign

The omega sign is the occurrence of a fold (like the Greek letter omega, Ω ) in the forehead, above the nose, produced by the excessive action of the corrugator muscle.

Oneiroid state

From Greek "oneiros" as meaning 'dream'. In the Oneiroid state one feels and behaves as though in a dream.




Palilalia is characterized by the repetition of a word or phrase; i.e., the subject continues to repeat a word or phrase after once having said.


Palinacousis refers to a phenomenon in which the subject continues to listen to a word, a syllable or any sound, even after the withdrawal of stimulus.


In palinopsia a visual image persists after the stimulus has gone (similar to an afterimage seen after looking into a bright light).


A Freudian slip, or parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory or physical action that is believed to be caused by the unconscious mind.


 This is very rare and most likely to be described by people suffering from schizophrenia.


Paraschemazia is characterized by a distortion of a patient's body image.



This term refers to uncontrollable repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of the original stimulus.


This refers to schizophrenia in people with mild learning disability.


Piblokto, Pibloktoq, or Arctic hysteria is a condition exclusively appearing in Inuit societies living within the Arctic Circle.

Pseudologia fantastica

Pseudologia fantastica is a condition in which a person grossly exaggerates his symptoms or even tells a lie about his symptoms in order to get medical attention .

Psychological pillow

Where the individual holds his/her head a few centimetres above the bed.


Psychopathology is a term which refers to either the study of mental illness or mental distress.

Rabbit syndrome

This syndrome is characterized by rapid rhythmic movements of lips so that it resembles a rabbit chewing.

Reduplicative hallucination

In reduplicative hallucinations there is the perception of seeing a double.

Reduplicative paramnesia

Reduplicative paramnesia is a delusional misidentification syndrome in which the patient's surroundings are believed to exist in more than one physical location.

Reflex hallucination

Reflex hallucinations occur when true sensory input in one sense leads to production of a hallucination in another sense, e.g. seeing a doctor writing (visual) and then feeling him writing across one’s stomach (tactile).


Restlessness has two components: akathisia (subjective "inner" restlessness) and Psychomotor agitation (an excess of motor activity).


Mental retardation is a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of him or herself, and social skills.

Left–right disorientation

Left–right disorientation is one of the four cardinal signs of Gerstmann's syndrome.


Scanning speech

Scanning speech is an ataxic dysarthria in which syllable durations are equalized.


Schizophasia, commonly referred to as word salad, is confused, and often repetitious, language that is symptomatic of various mental illnesses.


A schnauzkrampf is a grimace resembling pouting sometimes observed in catatonic patients.

Sensitiver beziehungswahn

Sensitiver beziehungswahn, is an alternate term for ideas of reference.

Stockholm syndrome

 Stockholm syndrome is also sometimes discussed in reference to other situations with similar tensions, such as battered person syndrome, child abuse cases, and bride kidnapping.


(also spelled synæsthesia, synaesthesia, or synesthesia—plural synesthesiae), from the Greek "syn-" meaning union and "aesthesis" meaning sensation, is a neurological phenomenon in which two or more bodily senses are coupled. For instance, a person may hear colors.


Telegrammatic or telegraphic speech

In telegraphic speech conjunctions and articles are missed out; meaning is retained and few words are used.

Thought blocking

Thought blocking, also referred to as thought withdrawal, refers to an abrupt stop in the middle of a train of thought; the individual might or might not be unable to continue the idea.


Torpor in psychopathology is usually taken to mean profound inactivity not caused by reduction in consciousness.

Traumatic bonding

Traumatic bonding occurs as the result of ongoing cycles of abuse in which the intermittent reinforcement of reward and punishment creates powerful emotional bonds that are resistant to change.

Trichotillomania (TTM)

trichotillomania also known as hair pulling disorder, is an impulse control disorder characterised by a long term urge that results in the pulling out of one's hair.



Verbigeration is the stereotyped repetition of words or phrases that may or may not have meaning to others.


It refers to an ill humoured mood state often accompanied by low mood and depressive symptoms.

Vorbeigehen; Vorbeireden

In vorbeigehen or vorbeireden, a patient will answer a question in such a way that one can tell the patient understood the question, although the answer itself may be very obviously wrong.



Wahneinfall is alternate term for autochthonous delusions.

Waxy flexibility

Waxy flexibility, aka #Cerea flexibilitas, meaning is characterized by a patient's movements having the feeling of a plastic resistance, as if the person were made of wax.

Waxy rigidity

#Waxy flexibility.

Windigo Psychosis

Windigo (also Wendigo, Windago, Windiga, Witiko, and numerous other variants) psychosis is a culture-bound disorder which involves an intense craving for human flesh and the fear that one will turn into a cannibal.


Witzelsucht is a tendency to tell inappropriate jokes and creating excessive facetiousness and inappropriate or pointless humor.


Word Salad (derived from the German Wortsalat) is characterized by confused, and often repetitious, language with no apparent meaning or relationship attached to them.


Würgstimme refers to speaking in an odd muffled or strangled voice. It is mainly seen in schizophrenia.