UNDERSTANDING PSYCHIATRIC TERMS
Psychiatrist: A doctor who has completed a minimum of five years of additional accredited training following four years of general medicine training. There are about 4,100 psychiatrists in Canada. Demand continues to exceed supply.
DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. First published in 1952. First edition contained 106 disorders. The DSM-5 was published on May 18, 2013.
Binge eating disorder: Frequent overeating at least once weekly over the last three months.
Bipolar disorder: Extreme shifts in mood, from extreme highs or “mania” (talking very fast, jumping from one idea to the other, racing thoughts) to depression (feeling worried or empty; loss of interest in activities once enjoyed).
Brief psychotic disorder: Delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech. Episodes last at least one day but less than a month.
Borderline personality disorder: A “pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image” and “marked impulsivity.”
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder: Severe temper outbursts that occur three or more times per week that are grossly out of proportion to the situation.
Generalized anxiety disorder: Excessive anxiety and worry occurring more days than not for at least six months. People find it difficult to control the worry. The anxiety and worry are associated with three or more of six symptoms, including restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, irritability, and poor sleep.
Manic episode: Distinct period (at least one week) during which there is an abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood.
Major depressive disorder: Severely depressed mood and activity level that persists two weeks or more.
Obsessive compulsive disorder: Recurrent obsessions (persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses) or compulsions (repetitive behaviours such as excessive hand-washing) that consume more than one hour a day or cause significant distress or impairment.
Panic attack: Period of intense fear or discomfort that is accompanied by at least four of 13 symptoms, including pounding heart, sweating, trembling or shaking, and fear of losing control or dying.
Social phobia: Fear of social or performance situations in which embarrassment may occur.