At IntraSpectrum Counseling, we know that affirming psychotherapy is a powerful tool that can provide symptom relief, and help people discover their growth edges and form healthier relationships with themselves and others. We also know the importance of talking openly about mental health issues in as many forums as possible – including here on our website. Inclusive, respectful and meaningful conversations can increase awareness; reduce stigma and misinformation; and encourage those who are struggling to seek help. This glossary was created to add to the dialogue by sharing simple, concise definitions on many terms commonly used in mental health. Whether you’re looking to help guide mental health decisions for yourself; are seeking support for a loved one, friend or family member; or are just interested in gaining more understanding on the topic, we hope you find it helpful.

For anyone in need of affirming and validating support, click here to get started with therapy now. If you have questions or would like additional information about our services, please contact us at, or leave a message on our callback line at 312-379-9476. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

Click the links below to browse terms & definitions alphabetically.

Mental Health Glossary "A" Terms

Acceptance – the act of consenting to receive or undertake something that is offered. In the context of therapy, it relates to staying focused on the present moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment. It’s important to note that accepting is not the same as “liking” or “enjoying” but simply acknowledging its existence.

Acute – refers to symptoms or conditions that come on quickly, last only for a short time, are typically intense and have a high degree of impact on a person.

Addiction – continuing to use a substance (e.g. alcohol, prescription medication or street drug) for nonmedical purposes despite them having a negative impact on many areas of a person’s functioning in life. Addictive behavior is characterized by: abuse of the substance, seeking out / daily focus on the substance; craving for the substance. People who are addicted will often experience withdrawal (physical response to quickly stopping a chemical that affects the brain) when they stop using a substance.

Affect – the emotional experience that someone feels inside of themselves, which can also be recognized by others. For example: someone else picking up on the fact that you are feeling sad, because you look and / or are acting sad.

Affirming – the emotional strengthening of another person through being receptive and open to the goodness and value of that person. In the context of psychotherapy, it is an approach that embraces a positive view of LGBTQ+ identities and relationships, and addresses the negative influences and impact of homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism on the lives of LGBTQ+ clients.

Anger – a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.

Anhedonia – a feeling of lack of pleasure, which is sometimes a symptom of those who struggle with depression. People experiencing anhedonia don’t derive the usual pleasure when doing things that normally makes them feel good (e.g. spending time with friends, enjoying a favorite hobby or recreational activity). Anhedonia due to depression will typically resolve once the depression has been successfully treated.

Anxiety – a feeling of worry, nervousness or apprehension, typically about an anticipated event or something with an uncertain outcome. Anxious thoughts typically manifest in unpleasant sensations including worry, ruminations, “butterflies”, twitchiness, restlessness, muscle tension, headaches, dry mouth, faster / more difficult breathing, more rapid heartbeat. Anxiety is normal and experienced by everyone but can become a problem when it interferes with your normal routine or parts of life such as work, recreation, friends or family.

Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) – self-defeating language or thoughts that can limit a person’s ability to feel motivated or productive. ANTs can compel people to interpret difficult or triggering situations in unbalanced ways, without considering the actual / objective evidence.

Avoidance – the act of keeping away from or not doing something, the aim of which is “escaping” or decreasing feelings of anxiety.

Avolition – having little to no motivation or drive to do things. Examples can include not getting dressed, maintaining good hygiene, or wanting to go out / spend time with friends and loved ones.

Mental Health Glossary "B" Terms

Behavior Chain Analysis – a therapeutic tool that helps people identify the sequence of events that led up to a behavior they want to change, as well as the consequences of the behavior that may be maintaining it or reinforcing it in the first place.

Body Image – a person’s subjective picture / mental image of their own body; how they perceive, think and feel about their own body.

Body Neutrality – the act of taking a neutral stance (both physically and emotionally) toward your own body. This involves not supporting the hatred towards your body’s “flaws” or “limitations”, nor investing your time and energy in loving it either. It is the concept of simply being at peace with your body.

Body Positivity – the assertion that everyone deserves a positive body image, regardless of how a society views the “ideal” appearance. It involves challenging how society views people based upon their physical size and shape, and recognizing that judgments are often made based on race, gender, sexuality, and disability.

Boundaries – limits that a person sets to protect themselves in relationships or during an activity. Boundaries are restrictions / rules you place for yourself to keep yourself from harm (or keep you from harming others. Examples include a person setting a boundary to not discuss their identity with unsupportive family members, or to meet up with friends at restaurants vs. at bars / taverns. Therapists’ boundaries would typically include that discussions of a personal nature, touching, gift-giving are off-limits. Respecting boundaries is an essential aspect of personal, work and therapeutic relationships.

Mental Health Glossary "C" Terms

Catharsis – an emotional moment of releasing pent-up negative emotions (such as grief or anger) that leads to positive change in a person’s life. The process of, for example, venting with a trusted friend, hitting a punching bag, going for a long run, having a cry / scream-session, can relieve the adverse psychological impact of the negative emotions.

Chronic – symptoms or conditions that are persistent, get worse over time, and that can last for years. Chronic symptoms often do not have a cure.

Circadian Rhythm – the body’s biological clock, with a cycle of about 24 hours. It helps control a person’s sleep and wake cycles, body temperature and hormone variations.

Claim – an invoice that you or your therapist forwards to your insurance company, seeking reimbursement for session(s) paid / services rendered.

Clinic – a healthcare facility where various health professionals work directly with patients, and that is used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, sometimes in emergency situations. A clinic can also refer to a brief or instructional program or session.

Clinical – relating to the observation and treatment of actual patients, as opposed to theoretical or laboratory studies; an activity that takes place between a health provider and a patient / client (for example: diagnosis, treatments, etc.)

Clinical Psychologist – a doctorate-level mental health professional trained in the diagnosis and treatment of mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. Clinical psychologists work in various settings including health and mental health clinics, research, academic settings, group practices, and independent practices. They are also consultants to medical, legal, social work, and community-relations professionals.

Clinical Social Worker – clinical social work is a specialty practice area of social work that focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, and emotional and other behavioral disturbances. The social workers who provide these services work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, private & group psychotherapy practices, community mental health centers, primary care practices and agencies, and are required to be licensed or certified at the clinical level in the state where they operate.

Co-Dependency – describing a relationship or psychological condition in which one person, typically with low self-esteem and a strong desire for approval, has an unhealthy attachment to another person, who is often controlling or manipulative (such as someone with an illness or addiction).

Co-Insurance – a type of insurance plan where the client pays a percentage share of the session fee, after their deductible is met.

Co-Pay – the fee, set by your in-network insurance company, that you pay for every therapy session once your deductible is met.

Cognition – the mental processes associated with thinking, learning, planning, memory etc.

Cognitive Distortion – exaggerated or irrational thought patterns or filters that impact how people see themselves and others, and cause them to perceive reality inaccurately.

Cognitive Restructuring – therapeutic techniques that help people identify ineffective patterns in thinking, and change them to be more effective.

Comorbidity -refers to more than one illness, disease, or disorder occurring simultaneously in the same individual.

Compulsions – repetitive behaviors or mental activities that a person engages in to reduce obsessive thoughts, feelings of distress or anxiety, or to prevent a future perceived event that they consider stressful. Examples of compulsions can include tapping, washing / cleaning, counting, checking, etc. Engaging in mild and occasional compulsions is common and they can provide temporary relief, but not any actual gratification. More severe and persistent compulsions can be a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Consent – to give approval or permission to someone, to do something. For example, a patient must give consent to receive treatment or participate in a research study.

Coping Skills / Mechanisms – psychological strategies or adaptations people use to deal with and decrease anxiety and unpleasant emotions, thoughts or behaviors during difficult situations. Getting rid of harmful (sometimes called maladaptive) coping mechanisms is often the focus of psychological interventions.

Core Beliefs – strong beliefs a person holds consistently over time and which inform their worldview and self-perception. Core beliefs can be positive (“I am deserving of love”, “people are essentially good”), neutral, or even negative (“the world is a dangerous place, “I am incompetent”). A person’s core beliefs act as “rules” for managing relationships and daily life. In a mental health context, negative core beliefs can cause distress and have a major impact on thought patterns, the interpretation of events, and decision-making.

Counselor – a person trained to give guidance on psychological, personal or social issues.

Crisis – a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger; an unstable time or state of affairs. A crisis can last a few hours, for others / in other situations it can last for days or even weeks.

Crisis Appointment – an urgent & unplanned session between a therapist and a client in a high level of distress, to address a presenting problem that is life-threatening / complex and requires immediate attention. A crisis appointment typically includes an assessment / history of a crisis state; a mental status exam; psychotherapeutic intervention to minimize the potential for psychological trauma; and the mobilization of resources to defuse and restore safety.

Mental Health Glossary "D" Terms

Deductible – the sum total of medical costs you need to pay each year before your co-pay fee applies / insurance coverage begins.

Delusion – a personal idea or belief that a person maintains with firm conviction even though it contradicts reality; fixed false beliefs that something has occurred or will occur. Delusions are usually associated with psychosis, and can range from short-term and disconnected to highly organized and detailed. Examples include delusions of grandeur or persecution.

Depressant – any medication or drug that diminishes or slows down a person’s thinking and / or physical functioning. Examples include ethyl alcohol and some pain killers.

Depression – a mental health condition characterized by a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which interferes with the normal activities of daily life. Symptoms can range from relatively minor to severe. Generally, depression is not the result of a single event, but a mix of factors and events. Depression is commonly treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both.

Development – the physical, cognitive and psychological growth that occurs throughout a person’s life.

Diagnosis – (1) the description of a medical or mental disorder / illness, which identifies it. In the U.S. diagnoses are as determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and / or the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). (2) the process a trained health professional uses to determine a patient’s medical or mental disorder / illness, through the examination of its signs and symptoms. Diagnosis includes both identifying the nature of the disorder and distinguishing it from other possible conditions. Tools including health history, exam and the use of established assessment techniques / tests are used to help make a diagnosis. A diagnosis is not a label; it forms the basis for a course of treatment.

Disorder – an illness or abnormality in someone’s mental or physical health.

Distortion – the act of twisting or altering something out of its natural or original state. In the context of therapy, it refers to internal mental filters or biases that can increase our misery, fuel our anxiety, and make us feel bad about ourselves.

Distress – a state of extreme anxiety and significant mental / physical suffering (such as sadness, pain, fear, loss). Distress is a common reaction to feeling overwhelmed by difficult situations, losses, perceived threats, etc. It is part of normal life and not considered a mental disorder. Distress is not necessarily damaging, but in severe or long term cases it can create both pyschological and physical health risks.

Distress Tolerance – a person’s ability to manage actual or perceived emotional distress. It also involves being able to make it through an emotional incident without making it worse.

DSMDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnostic manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The DSM describes and names mental disorders, and divides them into categories called diagnoses based on specific criteria (symptoms). It is used by trained mental health professionals in the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients. The full name of the current DSM (as of March, 2024) is the DSM-5-TR (or DSM-V-TR). The five (5 or V) refers to the Fifth edition; “TR” refers to Text Revision, which means the DSM-5-TR is an updated version with new text, references, and updates since the initial DSM-5 was published (in 2013).

Dual Diagnosis – The diagnosis of two separate disorders that occur at the same time in one individual. An example of this is depression and substance use disorder co-existing simultaneously in the same person.

Mental Health Glossary "E" Terms

Emotion Regulation – a term generally used to describe a person’s ability to effectively manage and respond to an emotional experience / exert a sense of control over their own emotional state. It involves learning how to understand the function of your emotions, the urges that typically accompany each emotion, and whether to heed or oppose those urges.

Emotional Dysregulation – a mental health symptom that involves a person having trouble managing how they act or react to feelings/emotions. To those around them, their emotions and reactions seem out of proportion compared to what they’re reacting to.

Euphoria – a feeling of intense happiness or excitement and an increased sense of well-being.

Experiential Avoidance – a person’s unwillingness to remain in contact with private aversive experiences such as painful feelings, thoughts, and emotions. By avoiding these experiences, people distance themselves from aspects of life which are relevant to them, while also losing contact with the very circumstances in which change could (and should) occur. Consequently, distress increases and the person becomes trapped in a loop of avoidance, an unhelpful strategy which can affect functioning and normal activities of life.

Extraversion – a personality trait characterized by outgoingness, high energy, and / or talkativeness. Extroverts are typically very friendly and sociable, and draw their energy / “recharge” from what is happening outside of themselves vs. from being alone (which is known is introversion).

Mental Health Glossary "F" Terms

FSA (Flexible Spending Account) – a type of pre-tax savings account offered by some employers. FSA contributions are made via payroll deductions and can be used to pay for anticipated qualifying medical expenses. FSAs typically do not have eligibility requirements, but unused funds are forfeited at the end of each year. FSAs differ from HSAs (see below).

Functional Impairment – a state in which a person is not functioning as they normally would or not functioning well in one or more area of life (i.e. family, friends, intimate relationships, work, school, etc.).

Mental Health Glossary "G" Terms

Genetic Predisposition – the probability / increased likelihood that a specific physical or mental condition or disorder is due to genetic factors (those passed on from bio parents to their children). For example, some mental health disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder) are inherited genetically. Even though they affect a given / fixed percentage of the general population, they are present in larger percentages among biologically-related relatives.

Goals – in the context of psychotherapy, goals are what you and your therapist want to achieve from your therapy, in terms of a meaningful outcome. Creating therapy goals makes tracking progress easier for you and your therapist and will help give you a sense of direction.

Grandiosity – possessing an exaggerated and unsubstantiated sense of superiority and belief in your own importance, ideas or abilities. These feelings may be considered delusions of grandeur in extreme cases.

Grief – the deep emotional suffering commonly experienced by a person due to a significant loss, typically the death of a loved one. Grief is not always displayed publicly nor is it the same as bereavement and mourning (which do not always result in grief). Grief commonly causes distress, anxiety, confusion, obsession with the past, and apprehension about the future. Intense grief can cause disruption of the immune system, self-neglect, and thoughts of suicide. Grief is not a mental disorder.

Grounding – self-soothing techniques people can use to keep them in the present and help reorient themselves to reality when they’re dealing with stress, overwhelming feelings and / or intense anxiety, or just having a bad day.

Group Therapy – group psychotherapy is an effective form of therapy in which a certain number of people meet together for scheduled sessions under the guidance of professionally trained therapists, to help themselves and one another. There are many different approaches to group therapy, but they all share in common creating a safe, supportive, and cohesive space to address personal, relationship and societal issues.

Mental Health Glossary "H" Terms

Hallucination – false sensory disturbances of how your brain perceives the world. Hallucinations appear to be real to a person experiencing them, but they are actually created in the mind. The most common types of hallucinations are auditory (hearing things that aren’t there) and visual (seeing things that aren’t there); other types include false smells, tastes or touches. Hallucinations are usually a symptom of a psychotic mental health disorder (such as schizophrenia) but can also occur from the use of substances, neurological abnormalities, etc. Hallucinations differ from illusions, which are a misinterpretation of something that is actually happening.

Health – not just the absence of disease or infirmity, but a state of physical, mental, social, and / or spiritual well-being.

Health Care Professionals – the trained individuals who help care for those who are sick, or who help people and communities stay well. Examples of health care professionals include psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, etc.

Health insurance – a signed contract with a health insurance company that requires the company to pay for some of your health care costs.

HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) – a type of health insurance plan that typically limits coverage to providers who are in-network only. HMOs feature lower monthly premiums but less flexibility in out-of-network coverage. If you have this kind of plan, your options may be limited in-network, but it could be much more expensive to see an out-of-network therapist. You are also typically required to see a primary care physician for a referral to therapy before your insurance company will provide coverage.

Holistic – A type of care that focuses on the whole person, taking into account their physical and mental state and their social background, as opposed to simply treating the symptoms of an illness or disorder.

Hormone – chemicals produced in one part of the body and then carried to another part where they have an impact on how that part functions. Hormones are created by the pituitary gland, the adrenal glands, the reproductive glands, the hypothalamus and the stomach. Hormones are important for growth, development, mood, metabolism, sexual functioning, etc.

Hospitalization – staying in / being kept in a hospital or other in-patient facility as a patient, so that doctors and other healthcare professionals can determine a diagnosis and implement a treatment plan. Hospitalization for a mental disorder is usually required only in severe cases or when the person is in a crisis situation.

HSA (Health Savings Account) – a type of pre-tax savings account offered by some employers. HSA contributions are made through payroll deductions, and funds can be used to pay for anticipated qualifying medical expenses. HSAs feature eligibility requirements and allow you to carryover balances if you change jobs. HSAs can be a good option for those with high-deductible in-network plans or out-of-network plans that do not offer reimbursement. HSAs differ from FSAs (see above).

Hypomania – a state of elevated or irritable mood characterized by inflated self-esteem, a decreased need for sleep, increased speech & activity, racing thoughts, engagement in risky behaviors, and a tendency to be more easily distracted. It is usually a part of bipolar disorder and can be effectively treated with medication and psychotherapy.

Mental Health Glossary "I" Terms

IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) – a part-time mental health outpatient treatment program that provides support to individuals experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues. IOPs are treatment programs used to address addictions, depression, eating disorders, or other dependencies that do not require detoxification or round-the-clock supervision. Most IOPs offer 3-4 hours of therapy 3-5 days per week. Compare with PHPs (Partial Hospitalization Programs).

Illness – a disease or period of sickness that affects the body or mind. Having an illness can mean someone has one disease or multiple diseases.

In-Patient – for in-patient therapy, a person lives in the hospital or other treatment facility with other patients during their stay. In-patient therapy may be considered “full-time” because patients need to pause other life obligations (such as work or school) during the program.

In-Person Therapy – face-to-face scheduled psychotherapy appointments between a client and a therapist, typically in the therapist’s place of business. In-person therapy allows clients to bring their mental health needs and issues to a supportive and neutral space. The benefits of in-person therapy include access to non-verbal communication and a more intimate personal relationship.

Interpersonal – involving the verbal and non-verbal interactions & relationships between two or more individuals. Having interpersonal skills refers to peoples’ ability to get along with others; the learned behaviors and tactics we use to interact and engage with others effectively.

Interpersonal Effectiveness – refers to the interpersonal skills & tactics people use to interact with others. These skills are not innate, they are learned over time. Interpersonal effectiveness helps people maintain and attend to their relationships, balance their priorities versus their demands, and develop self-respect.

Intervention (Therapeutic) – therapeutic intervention can take several forms and applies in a variety of settings. In the context of psychology, the term refers to actions or practices that improve the psychological, social or emotional wellbeing of another person.

Introversion – a personality trait characterized by shyness, a fondness for being alone and a reserved, quiet nature. Introverts are typically withdrawn, skeptical, deliberate and prefer to work on their own. They draw their energy / “recharge” from being along vs. what is happening outside of themselves (which is known is extroversion). See also Extraversion.

Involuntary Admission – a legal procedure used to confine someone who has a serious mental illness to a mental hospital for care and treatment. Individuals who are involuntarily hospitalized are considered a danger to themselves or others; may not recognize their need for treatment or understand the severity of their illness; and may not otherwise be able to survive without this medical intervention. Involuntary admission is also known as Hospitalization.


Mental Health Glossary "K" Terms

Kink-Friendly / Kink-Positive Therapy – Kink-positive (or kink-aware) therapy is a form of counseling that respects and validates non-traditional expressions of sexuality, including BDSM practices, fetishes, role-play, and other alternative sexual interests. A kink-friendly therapist is non-judgemental, and respects sexual preferences that fall outside of sexual activities that traditional society considers “normal” or “acceptable”.

Mental Health Glossary "L" Terms

LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) – denotes licensed with a Master’s degree in counseling. This is a higher designation than an LPC, and is often required for supervisory / management positions. This license allows for the clinician to practice independently without supervision by another clinician.

LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) – additional state licensure designation (often required for supervisory / management positions) available after earning an MSW and corresponding state license (LSW). This license allows for the clinician to practice independently without supervision by another clinician.

LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) – denotes licensed with a Master’s degree in counseling.

LSW (Licensed Social Worker) – a trained MSW who has passed their examination(s) for licensure.

Mental Health Glossary "M" Terms

MA (Master of Arts) – a graduate degree focused in the humanities, social sciences or fine arts, required in order to apply for a counseling license or to a PsyD program.

MAAT (Master of Arts Art Therapy) – graduate level degree with an emphasis in Counseling.

MS (Master of Science) – a graduate degree focused on research or analysis, or for an opportunity to apply for a counseling license or a PhD program.

MSW (Master of Social Work) – a graduate level degree.

Mania – an experience of very high energy and excessive activity, elevated to the point where they may have difficulty controlling themselves or acting in an expected manner. Specific symptons can include inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking, racing thoughts, distractibility, increase in goal-directed activity, excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a potential for painful or negative consequences, such as spending sprees or gambling. A manic phase often requires hospitalization for treatment. It can be effectively treated with medications plus other therapies.

Medication – medicine or chemical compound prescribed by a licenced medical doctor or prescriber, used to treat or cure illness or disease.

Mental Disorder – (or mental illness) are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, and / or behavior. They may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic).

Mental Health – more than just the absence of a mental or behavioral disorder, this terms refers to a state of emotional, behavioral, and social well-being. Mental health is measured by good behavioral adjustment, freedom from anxiety and disabling symptoms, the existence of healthy relationships, and the ability to cope with everyday life.

Mental Health Concern – anything that causes a person to believe their mental health may be suffering. It could be a symptom, a group of symptoms, or a diagnosable mental health condition.

Mental Health Professional – a licensed or certified mental health treatment provider. The terms includes a wide range of health care workers who help other people improve their mental health or treat mental disorders. Examples are psychiatrists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, mental health counselors, child and youth workers, etc. They have all received training in working with people who are living with a mental disorder.

Mental Health Screen – an evaluation of your mental health and well-being through scientifically validated assessment tools.

Mental Illness – refers to a range of disorders that affect mood, behavior, and thought processes. Mental illnesses are listed and defined in the DSM and the ICD. The terms mental illness and mental disorder are often used interchangeably.

Mindfulness – a type of meditation in which a person focuses on being intensely aware of what they are sensing and feeling in the moment. Mindfulness is a state of awareness of one’s internal surroundings that can be applied to various therapies. These types of therapy can help individuals connect to their thoughts and emotions in the present moment without interpretation, judgment or reaction, which can create healthier patterns and avoidance of destructive habits.

Mood – the on-going inner emotional feeling experienced by a person.

Mood Stabilizers – medicines used to help normalize mood. Mood stabilizers are sometimes used to manage symptoms of personality disorders, such as bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, as they reduce the symptoms of manic episodes.

Mental Health Glossary "N" Terms

Narcissistic – A quality or trait of a person who interprets and regards everything in relation to their own self and not to other people. It is associated with an unrealistic and highly-inflated sense of self.

Negative Symptoms – Are symptoms found in psychosis, often in Schizophrenia, that describe a lessening or absence of normal behaviors and functions related to motivation and interest, or to verbal / emotional expression. Examples include inertia (inability to get one’s self going), lack of energy, lack of interaction with friends and family, poverty of thought (significantly fewer thoughts), social withdrawal, and blunted affect (less emotionally responsive).

Neurodevelopment – How a person’s brain grows and changes over time.

Neurodivergent – A non-medical term to describe people whose brains process information differently from what is considered typical. This includes people with and a range of other neurodiverse conditions. These people may have autism, dyslexia, learning disabilities, attention deficit and anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome. Through a neurodiversity lens, such conditions simply reflect different ways of being that are all normal human experiences.

Neuroscience – Is the scientific study of the brain and the nervous system.

Neurosis – Is a non-clinical term describing a range of mental health issues that cause significant stress or distressing emotional symptoms (for example depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality. Neurosis is not a stand-alone mental condition; in more recent history, the term has been used to refer to anxiety-related conditions.

BACK to Glossaries MAIN PAGE