: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts, that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with a depressive disease cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression.
Dermatillomania (also known as compulsive skin picking or CSP)
: an impulse control disorder and form of self-injury characterized by the repeated urge to pick at one's own skin, often to the extent that damage is caused. Dermatillomania may be related to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Sufferers of dermatillomania find skin picking to be stress relieving or gratifying, though it can still be as physically painful as it would be for a non-skin picker.
: a process for mitigating the harmful effects of phobias or other disorders. It also occurs when an emotional response is repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary. Agoraphobics, who fear open spaces and social gatherings outside their own home, may be gradually led to increase their interaction with the outside world by putting them in situations that are uncomfortable but not panic-provoking for them. Mastering their anxiety in very small doses can allow them to take greater steps to self-reliance. Desensitization can be an alternative or a supplement to anxiety-reducing medication
: a cognitive behavioral therapy technique for reducing fear and anxiety responses, especially phobia, based on the principles of habituation and cognitive dissonance. It is similar to systematic desensitization, though it works more quickly and produces more robust results. It is also very closely related to exposure and response prevention, a method widely used for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP)
: a treatment method for a variety of anxiety disorders, especially Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is an example of an Exposure Therapy, with the addition of Response Prevention. The method is predicated on the idea that a therapeutic effect is achieved as subjects confront their fears and discontinue their escape response. An example would be of a person who repeatedly checks light switches to make sure they're turned off. They would carry out a program of exposure to their feared stimulus (leaving lights switched on) while refusing to engage in any safety behaviors. It differs from Exposure Therapy for phobia in that the resolution to refrain from the avoidance response is to be maintained at all times and not just during specific practice sessions. Thus, not only does the subject experience habituation to the feared stimulus, they also practice a fear-incompatible behavioral response to the stimulus.
Fight-or-flight response (also called the fright, fight or flight response, hyperarousal or the acute stress response)
: a reaction to a threat or a perceived threat that triggers a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the human or animal for fighting or fleeing. This response is recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms.