: an anxiety disorder, often precipitated by the fear of having a panic attack in a setting from which there is no easy means of escape. As a result, sufferers of agoraphobia may avoid public and/or unfamiliar places. In severe cases, the sufferer may become confined to his or her home, experiencing difficulty traveling from this "safe place."
: An eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion to food. Anorexia is a serious psychological disorder. It is a condition that goes well beyond out-of-control dieting. The person with anorexia, most often a girl or young woman, initially begins dieting to lose weight. Over time, the weight loss becomes a sign of mastery and control. The drive to become thinner is thought to be secondary to concerns about control and fears relating to one's body. The individual continues the endless cycle of restrictive eating, often to a point close to starvation. This becomes an obsession and is similar to an addiction to a drug. Anorexia can be life-threatening. Also called anorexia nervosa.
: Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. These disorders fill people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are chronic and relentless. They also have biological and environmental causes and can grow progressively worse if not treated.
: A treatment program that involves substituting desirable behavior responses for undesirable ones. (See Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD, sometimes referred to as Body dysmorphia)
: a psychiatric disorder in which the affected person is excessively concerned about and preoccupied by an imagined or minor defect in their physical features. The sufferer may complain of several specific features or a single feature, or a vague feature or general appearance, causing psychological distress that impairs occupational and/or social functioning, sometimes to the point of complete social isolation. It is estimated that 1-2% of the world's population meet all the diagnostic criteria for BDD.
: Also called bulimia nervosa. An eating disorder characterized by episodes of secretive excessive eating (binge-eating) followed by inappropriate methods of weight control, such as self-induced vomiting (purging), abuse of laxatives and diuretics, or excessive exercise. The insatiable appetite of bulimia is often interrupted by periods of anorexia.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (or cognitive behavior therapy, CBT)
: a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to influence dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts
cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change our thought patterns to feel / act better even if the situation does not change.
: The coexistence of two or more disease processes.
: Repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts are not actually connected to the issue, or they are excessive.