semicolon: Glossary and Acronyms


Yes, it’s not in alphabetical order. Use the search function in your browser to find what you’re looking for. Or just read them all, it’s not very long.

Introduction | Glossary | About


Inpatient : Treatment for someone who is admitted to a hospital (also see Outpatient).

Outpatient : Treatment for someone who is not admitted to a hospital. (Also see Inpatient)

Psychiatrist : MD who specializes in psychiatry. Able to write prescriptions and work with a patient on their medication management.

Psychologist : MD who specializes in the mind and its functions.  Typically cannot prescribe medication, varies by state.

Therapist : One who is professionally trained and/or skilled in the practice of a particular type of therapy.

A : Anxiety, as an internal personality

D : Depression, as an internal personality

S : Suicide, as an internal personality


Affect : What someone feels inside that can be recognized by others.  For example: if you are looking/acting sad or have a flat tone of voice you can be recognized by someone else as you are feeling sad or depressed

Anhedonia : Describes a lack of pleasure. Often the person doesn’t feel good when they are doing the things that normally make them feel good.  Anhedonia due to depression will get better once the depression has been successfully treated.

DSM IV : A diagnostic manual published by the American Psychiatry Association that names and describes mental disorders. 

GAD-7 : Rapid screening for the presence of a clinically significant anxiety disorder, especially in outpatient settings.  ~10 questions

Involuntary status : A term used to describe someone who has been admitted into a psychiatric facility (usually a hospital) against their will or without their consent, under the authority and protection of the law.

PHQ-9 : A screening tool for the diagnosis of depression and to quantify depression symptoms and monitor severity.  ~10 questions

Recovery : When a person with a mental disorder is doing as well as they can be and is feeling mentally healthy – even if they still have a mental disorder.

Relapse : When a person with a mental disorder who has been in remission or recovery gets sick again.

Remission : When a person’s symptoms decrease and they return to their usual state after having an active phase of a disorder.

Voluntary admission : Being admitted as a patient to a mental health unit for treatment (usually in a hospital) based on a person’s agreement to be admitted.


Dysthymic Disorder : A mood disorder. People with Dysthymic Disorder experience persistent low mood for two or more years but experience fewer depressive symptoms than in Major Depression

GAD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder : Severe, ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities.

MDD, Major Depressive Disorder : A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

SAD, Social Anxiety Disorder : An anxiety disorder regarding the fear of having to be in social situations. A person with Social Anxiety Disorder also avoids the situations that make them feel anxious. 

Trauma, Psychological Trauma : Damage to a person’s mind as a result of one or more events that cause overwhelming amounts of stress that exceed the person’s ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences.

TRD, Treatment Resistant Depression : Refers to inadequate response to multiple antidepressant trials or therapies of adequate doses and duration.  (TRDc is the clinic specializing in TRD)

Negative behaviors

Self–harm : Any injury that a person inflicts on themselves without the intent to die.

SI, Suicidal Ideation : Thoughts, images or fantasies of harming or killing oneself.  Can be passive, a thought exercise, or active, intent and a plan to commit

Substance Use Disorders : Repeated misuse of alcohol and/or drugs — often occur simultaneously in individuals with mental illness, usually to cope with overwhelming symptoms.

Suicide : The act of deliberately killing oneself.

Suicide attempt : Any non-fatal suicidal behavior, refers to intentional self-inflicted poisoning, injury or self-harm which may or may not have a fatal intent or outcome.


Antidepressant : Medication used for depression and other mood and anxiety disorders.

CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy : A psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. Focuses on challenging and changing cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems.

CPAP, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure : A form of positive airway pressure ventilation in which a constant level of pressure is continuously applied to the upper respiratory tract.  It is intended to prevent upper airway collapse, as occurs in obstructive sleep apnea.  CPAP therapy is highly effective for managing obstructive sleep apnea. 

DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy : An evidence-based psychotherapy that began with efforts to treat borderline personality disorder. There is evidence that it can be useful in treating mood disorders, suicidal ideation, and for change in behavioral patterns such as self-harm and substance use. 

ECT, Electroconvulsive Therapy : Treatment where a generalized seizure (without muscular convulsions) is electrically induced to manage mental disorders.  Not like you’ve seen in the movies.

IOP, Intensive Outpatient Programs, or day programs : Treatment programs used to address addictions, depression, eating disorders, or other dependencies that do not require detoxification or round-the-clock supervision. They enable patients to continue with their normal, day-to-day lives in a way that residential treatment programs do not. Whereas residential treatment requires that clients reside on site, clients in intensive outpatient programs live at home.

OT, Occupational Therapists : Can have many different roles. They help people to adapt to their environment and to cope with their daily life.

OT, Occupational Therapy : The use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals, groups, or communities. 

PHP, Partial Hospitalization Program : Type of treatment program that is more intensive than IOP but less than full inpatient or residential treatment.  Often like an inpatient therapy, with the difference is that patients go home at night, and it is not a safety maintained environment.  Currently often virtual

PRN : Latin abbreviation used for prescriptions. translates to: when necessary.

Psychotherapy : Treatment of mental illness by talking about problems rather than by using medication.  Treatment is tailored to each client’s needs.

TMS, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation : Noninvasive form of brain stimulation in which a changing magnetic field is used to cause electric current at a specific area of the brain through electromagnetic induction. An electric pulse generator, or stimulator, is connected to a magnetic coil, which in turn is connected to the scalp. The stimulator generates a changing electric current within the coil which induces a magnetic field; this field then causes a second inductance of inverted electric charge within the brain itself.  VNS, Vagus Nerve Stimulation Medical treatment that involves delivering electrical impulses to the Vagus nerve. It is used as an add-on treatment for certain types of treatment-resistant depression.  The device consists of a generator the size of a matchbox that is implanted under the skin below the person’s collarbone. Lead wires from the generator are tunnelled up to the patient’s neck and wrapped around the left Vagus nerve at the carotid sheath, where it delivers electrical impulses to the nerve.

1 thought on “semicolon: Glossary and Acronyms”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s