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Mental Health Glossary

2 min read

Stigma and misinformation surround mental health. Here are some of the most common terms and conditions to understand when discussing mental well-being:


► Anxiety
Persistent nervousness, fear; can include trembling, muscular tension, sweating, lightheadedness, palpitations, dizziness and discomfort

► Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
A type of therapy that aims to correct harmful thinking patterns. The goal is to replace such thinking with a more balanced view that will lead to more fulfilling and productive behavior.

► Coping Skill
A strategy to help deal with difficult situations and lessen unpleasant emotions, thoughts or behaviors

► Depression
Long-lasting or recurrent symptoms of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration

► Grief
Deep sorrow caused by loss, whether it be death or otherwise; can worsen and create other mental impacts

► HIPAA
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; law that protects your sensitive health information and prevents disclosure without your consent or knowledge

► Holistic Care
A type of care that takes into account physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being

► Imposter Syndrome
Self-doubt of intellect, skills or accomplishments among high-achieving individuals

► Loneliness
Mental or emotional discomfort from being alone or feeling alone. Stems from social needs not being met or an inability to get a desired social connection

► Meditation
Practice in which a person attempts to reach a mentally clear, emotionally calm and stable state through mindfulness, breathing, etc.; requires practice.

► Mental Health
The state of well-being in which an individual can realize their own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and make a contribution to the community.

► Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Recurrent obsessional thoughts or compulsive acts; almost invariably distressing and irresistible; ignoring compulsive acts causes anxiety

► Panic Attack
An episode of intense anxiety, which causes physical sensations such as a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling and muscle tension

► Seasonal Affective Disorder
Fatigue, depression, hopelessness and social withdrawal that occurs at the same time every year, most often in the fall or winter

► Stigma
When attached to mental health, it often leads to social exclusion and discrimination and creates an additional burden for the affected individual. Self-stigma regards a negative attitude and shame regarding an individual’s own mental health.

► Stress
A feeling of emotional or physical tension in response to being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental, emotional, social or physical pressures

► Substance Misuse
The use of any drug beyond legal or medical protocol; especially harmful to mental wellness

► Therapy
In regards to mental health, the treatment of mental conditions by verbal communication and interaction

► Trauma
An emotional response to a disturbing, scary or shocking experience that overwhelms the ability to cope

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