Pyromania is defined as a pattern of deliberate setting of fires for pleasure or satisfaction derived from the relief of tension experienced before the fire-setting. The name of the disorder comes from two Greek words that mean "fire" and "loss of reason" or "madness." The clinician's handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM, classifies pyromania as a disorder of impulse control, meaning that a person diagnosed with pyromania fails to resist the impulsive desire to set fires—as opposed to the organized planning of an arsonist or terrorist.


Quazepam belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs ease anxiety and slow the central nervous system.


Quetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. It is available with a prescription under the trade name Seroquel.

Rational emotive therapy

Rational emotive therapy (RET) is a psychotherapeutic approach which proposes that unrealistic and irrational beliefs cause many emotional problems.

Reactive attachment disorder of infancy or early childhood

In reactive attachment disorder, the normal bond between infant and parent is not established or is broken. Infants normally "bond" or form an emotional attachment, to a parent or other caregiver by the eighth month of life.

Reading disorder

Reading disorder is a learning disorder that involves significant impairment of reading accuracy, speed, or comprehension to the extent that the impairment interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily life. People with reading disorder perform reading tasks well below the level one would expect on the basis of their general intelligence, educational opportunities, and physical health.


A reinforcer is a stimulus that follows some behavior and increases the probability that the behavior will occur. For example, when a dog's owner is trying to teach the dog to sit on command, the owner may give the dog a treat every time the dog sits when commanded to do so.

Relapse and relapse prevention

In the course of illness, relapse is a return of symptoms after a period of time when no symptoms are present. Any strategies or treatments applied in advance to prevent future symptoms are known as relapse prevention.


Respite literally means a period of rest or relief. Respite care provides a caregiver temporary relief from the responsibilities of caring for individuals with chronic physical or mental disabilities.

Rett's disorder

Rett's disorder, which is also known as Rett's syndrome or RS, belongs to a group of childhood disorders known as pervasive developmental disorders(PDDs) or autistic spectrum disorders. It is classified by the mental health professional's handbook (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersor the DSM-IV-TR) as a developmental disorder of childhood.


Risperidone is classified as an atypical antipsychotic drug. It is sold in the United States under the brand name of Risperdal.


Rivastigmine is a drug used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. In the United States, rivastigmine is sold as the brand name drug Exelon.

Rorschach technique

The Rorschach technique, sometimes known as the Rorschach test or the inkblot test, is a projective personality assessment based on the test taker's reactions to a series of 10 inkblot pictures.


Rosemary is an herb derived from an evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, related to the mint or Lamiaceae family of plants. Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean regions of Europe and the Near East; Tunisia is a major modern-day source of the plant.

Rumination disorder

Rumination disorder may be diagnosed when a person deliberately brings food back up into the mouth and either rechews and reswallows it or spits it out.


SAMe (or S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is a naturally occurring chemical that is found throughout the entire body. It is involved in many chemical reactions that are necessary for life.

Schizoaffective disorder

One of the most challenging mental disorders to identify accurately and treat appropriately is schizoaffective disorder. This condition involves both psychotic symptoms and conspicuous, long-enduring, severe symptoms of mood disorder.

Schizoid personality disorder

Schizoid personality disorder is characterized by a persistent withdrawal from social relationships and lack of emotional responsiveness in most situations. It is sometimes referred to as a "pleasure deficiency" because of the seeming inability of the person affected to experience joyful or pleasurable responses to life situations.


Schizophrenia is the most chronic and disabling of the severe mental disorders, associated with abnormalities of brainstructure and function, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations. It is sometimes called a psychotic disorder or a psychosis.

Schizophreniform disorder

Schizophreniform disorder (SFD) is a time-limited illness wherein the sufferer has experienced at least two of the major symptoms of psychosisfor longer than one month but fewer than six months. Hallucinations, delusions, and strange bodily movements or lack of movements (catatonic behavior) are all symptoms that may be observed.

Schizotypal personality disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by an ongoing pattern in which the affected person distances him- or herself from social and interpersonal relationships. Affected people typically have an acute discomfort when put in circumstances where they must relate to others.

Seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder, often abbreviated as SAD, is a type of mood disorder that follows an annual pattern consistent with the seasons. The most common course for SAD includes an onset of depressive symptoms late in the fall, continuation of symptoms throughout winter, and remission of symptoms in the spring.

Sedatives and related disorders

Sedatives are compounds that cause physiological and mental slowing of the body. They have many legitimate medical uses.


A seizure is a sudden change in behavior characterized by changes in sensory perception (sense of feeling) or motor activity (movement) due to an abnormal firing of nerve cells in the brain. Epilepsy is a condition characterized by recurrent seizures that may include repetitive muscle jerking called convulsions.

Selective mutism

Selective mutism is a childhood disorder in which a child does not speak in some social situations although he or she is able to talk normally at other times.

Self-control strategies

Self-control strategies are cognitive and behavioral skills used by individuals to maintain self-motivation and achieve personal goals. Initially the skills may be learned from a therapist, text, or self-help book.

Self-help groups

Self-help groups—also called mutual help or mutual aid groups—are composed of peers who share a similar mental, emotional, or physical problem, or who are interested in a focal issue, such as education or parenting. Historically, people banded together to improve their chances for survival by pooling their social and economic resources; however, contemporary groups are more likely to organize around a theme or problem.

Separation anxiety disorder

Like many childhood concerns, separation anxiety is normal at certain developmental stages. For example, when a child between the ages of eight and 14 months is separated from her mother or other primary caretaker, she may experience distress.


Sertraline is an antidepressant that belongs to the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In the in United States it is sold under the brand name Zoloft.

Sexual aversion disorder

Sexual aversion disorder is a disorder characterized by disgust, fear, revulsion, or lack of desire in consensual relationships involving genital contact.

Sexual dysfunctions

Sexual dysfunction disorders are problems that interfere with the initiation, consummation, or satisfaction with sex. They occur in both men and women and are independent of sexual orientation.

Sexual masochism

The essential feature of sexual masochism is the feeling of sexual arousal or excitement resulting from receiving pain, suffering, or humiliation. The pain, suffering, or humiliation is real and not imagined and can be physical or psychological in nature.

Sexual sadism

The essential feature of sexual sadism is a feeling of sexual excitement resulting from administering pain, suffering, or humiliation to another person. The pain, suffering, or humiliation inflicted on the other is real; it is not imagined and may be either physical or psychological in nature.

Sexual Violence Risk-20

The Sexual Violence Risk-20, also called the SVR-20, is an assessment instrument used by mental health professionals.

Shared psychotic disorder

Shared psychotic disorder, a rare and atypical psychotic disorder, occurs when an otherwise healthy person (secondary partner) begins believing the delusions of someone with whom they have a close relationship (primary partner) who is already suffering from a psychotic disorder with prominent delusions.

Single photon emission computed tomography

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is an imaging study that uses radioactive materials injected through a vein that will pass into the brain generating a high-resolution brain image.

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders are chronic disturbances in the quantity or quality of sleep that interfere with a person's ability to function normally.

Sleep terror disorder

Sleep terror disorder is defined as repeated temporary arousal from sleep, during which the affected person appears and acts extremely frightened.

Sleepwalking disorder

Sleepwalking disorder, also called somnambulism, is characterized by repeating episodes of motor activity during sleep such as sitting up in bed, rising, and walking around, among others. The person appears to be awake because their eyes are usually open and they can maneuver around objects, but is considered asleep.

Social phobia

Social phobia is defined by DSM-IV-TRas an anxiety disorder characterized by a strong and persistent fear of social or performance situations in which the patient might feel embarrassment or humiliation. Generalized social phobia refers to a fear of most social interactions combined with fear of most performance situations, such as speaking in public or eating in a restaurant.

Social skills training

Social skills training (SST) is a form of behavior therapy used by teachers, therapists, and trainers to help persons who have difficulties relating to other people.

Social workers

A social worker is a helping professional who is distinguished from other human service professionals by a focus on both the individual and his or her environment. Generally, social workers have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited education program and in most states they must be licensed, certified, or registered.

Somatization and somatoform disorders

Somatization is a term that describes the expression of psychological or mental difficulties through physical symptoms. Somatization takes a number of forms, ranging from preoccupation with potential or genuine but mild physical problems to the development of actual physical pain, discomfort, or dysfunction.

Somatization disorder

Somatization disorder is a psychiatric condition marked by multiple medically unexplained physical, or somatic, symptoms. In order to qualify for the diagnosisof somatization disorder, somatic complaints must be serious enough to interfere significantly with a person's ability to perform important activities, such as work, school or family and social responsibilities, or lead the person experiencing the symptoms to seek medical treatment.

Specific phobias

Specific phobia is a type of disorder in which the affected individual displays a marked and enduring fear of specific situations or objects. Individuals with specific phobias experience extreme fear as soon as they encounter a defined situation or object, a phobic stimulus.

Speech-language pathology

Speech-language pathology is the treatment for the improvement or cure of communication disorders, including speech, language, and swallowing disorders. The term used to describe professionals in this discipline is speech and language pathologist (SLP).

St. John's wort

St. John's wort has been used as a popular herbal folk remedy for centuries.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition (SB: FE) is a standardized test that measures intelligence and cognitive abilities in children and adults, from age two through mature adulthood.

Stereotypic movement disorder

Stereotypic movement disorder is a disorder characterized by repeated, rhythmic, purposeless movements or activities such as head banging, nail biting, or body rocking. These movements either cause self-injury or severely interfere with normal activities.


The 1999 report on mental health by the Surgeon General of the United States was regarded as a landmark document in the United Kingdom, as well as the United States. This was because of its straightforward identification of the stigma associated with mental illness as the chief obstacle to effective treatment of persons with mental disorders.


Stress is a term that refers to the sum of the physical, mental, and emotional strains or tensions on a person. Feelings of stress in humans result from interactions between persons and their environment that are perceived as straining or exceeding their adaptive capacities and threatening their well-being.


A stroke, also called a cerebral vascular accident (CVA), is the sudden death of cells in a specific area of the braindue to inadequate blood flow.


There is no standard definition of stuttering, but most attempt to define stuttering as the blockages, discoordination, or fragmentations of the forward flow of speech (fluency). These stoppages, referred to as disfluencies, are often excessive and characterized by specific types of disfluency.

Substance abuse and related disorders

Substance-related disorders are disorders of intoxication, dependence, abuse, and substance withdrawal caused by various substances, both legal and illegal. These substances include: alcohol, amphetamines, caffeine, inhalants, nicotine, prescription medications that may be abused (such as sedatives), opioids (morphine, heroin), marijuana (cannabis), cocaine, hallucinogens, and phencyclidine (PCP).

Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory

The Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory is also referred to as the SASSI. Dr.

Substance-induced anxiety disorder

Prominent anxiety symptoms (i.e., generalized anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, or phobia symptoms) determined to be caused by the effects of a psychoactive substance is the primary feature of a substance-induced psychotic disorder. A substance may induce psychotic symptoms during intoxication (i.e., while the individual is under the influence of the drug) or during withdrawal (i.e., after an individual stops using the drug).

Substance-induced psychotic disorder

Prominent psychotic symptoms (i.e., hallucinationsand/or delusions) determined to be caused by the effects of a psychoactive substance is the primary feature of a substance-induced psychotic disorder. A substance may induce psychotic symptoms during intoxication (while the individual is under the influence of the drug) or during withdrawal (after an individual stops using the drug).


Suicide is defined as the intentional taking of one's own life. In some European languages, the word for suicide translates into English as "self-murder " Until the end of the twentieth century, approximately, suicide was considered a criminal act; legal terminology used the Latin phrase felo-de-se, which means "a crime against the self." Much of the social stigmathat is still associated with suicide derives from its former connection with legal judgment, as well as with religious condemnation.

Support groups

Support groups are an informal resource that attempts to provide healing components to a variety of problems and challenges. An informal support outside of family, friends, or professionals often provides greater understanding, more similarity (from individuals experiencing similar life events), an opportunity for empathy and altruism, and a sense of identity for participants.

Systematic desensitization

Systematic desensitization is a technique used to treat phobias and other extreme or erroneous fears based on principles of behavior modification.


Tacrine is a drug used to treat dementiaassociated with Alzheimer's disease. In the United States tacrine is sold under the brand name drug Cognex.

Talk therapy

Talk therapy is an alternate name for the various forms of psychotherapy that emphasize the importance of the client or patient speaking to the therapist as the main means of expressing and resolving issues.

Tardive dyskinesia

Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder consisting of abnormal, involuntary body movements caused by certain medicines. It is usually associated with long-term use of medicines for treating schizophreniaand other psychotic disorders.


Temazepam is a drug that belongs to a family of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Temazepam is sold under the brand name Restoril in the United States.

Thematic Apperception Test

The Thematic Apperception Test, or TAT, is a projective measure intended to evaluate a person's patterns of thought, attitudes, observational capacity, and emotional responses to ambiguous test materials. In the case of the TAT, the ambiguous materials consist of a set of cards that portray human figures in a variety of settings and situations.


Thioridazine is a potent antianxiety and antipsychotic agent. It is a member of the phenothiazine family of compounds.


Thiothixene is in a class of drugs called antipsychotics. It is available with a prescription under the generic name of thiothixene or the brand name Navane.

Tic disorders

Tic disorders are characterized by the persistent presence of tics, which are abrupt, repetitive involuntary movements and sounds that have been described as caricatures of normal physical acts. The best known of these disorders is Tourette's disorder, or Tourette's syndrome.

Token economy system

A token economy is a form of behavior modificationdesigned to increase desirable behavior and decrease undesirable behavior with the use of tokens. Individuals receive tokens immediately after displaying desirable behavior.

Transvestic fetishism

Transvestic fetishismis defined by the mental health professional's handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision (2000), which is also called DSM-IV-TR, as one of the paraphilias. The paraphilias are a group of mental disorders characterized by obsessionwith unusual sexual practices or with sexual activity involving nonconsenting or inappropriate partners (such as children or animals).


Tranylcypromine is classified as a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor. It is used to treat serious depression.


Trazodone is an oral antidepressant. It is sold in the United States under the brand name Desyrel and is also available under its generic name.


Triazolam is a hypnotic drug. It is a member of the benzodiazepine family of drugs.


Individuals with trichotillomania repetitively pull out their own hair. Trichotillomania as an impulse-control disorder.


Trifluoperazine is a phenothiazine antipsychotic agent. In the United States, this drug is sold under the brand name Stelazine.


Trihexyphenidyl is classified as an antiparkinsonian agent. It is sold in the United States under the brand name Artane and is also available under its generic name.


Trimipramine is an oral tricyclic antidepressant. It is sold in the United States under the brand name Surmontil.

Undifferentiated somatoform disorder

Undifferentiated somatoform disorder occurs when a person has physical complaints for more than six months that cannot be attributed to a medical condition. If there is a medical condition present, the complaints must be far more severe than can be accounted for by the presence of the medical problem.

Urine drug screening

Urine drug screening, or toxicological screening, is a process of chemical analysis designed to test patients for drug abuse, or to insure that a patient is substance-free before undergoing a medical procedure.


Vaginismus occurs when the muscles around the outer third of the vagina contract involuntarily when vaginal penetration is attempted during sexual intercourse.


Valerian is an herbal remedy derived from the dried roots of the valerian plant, Valeriana officinalis. The plant belongs to the Valerianaceae family.

Valproic acid

Valproic acid is an anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) drug. In the United States, valproic acid is also known as valproate, and is sold under the brand name Depakene.

Vascular dementia

Dementia is a decline in a person's mental capacities and intellectual abilities that is great enough to affect the person's normal daily functioning. Vascular dementia is dementia that is caused by disease of the blood vessels of the brain (cerebrovascular disease).


Venlafaxine is an antidepressant available in the United States under the trade name of Effexor or Effexor XR.

Vocational rehabilitation

Vocational rehabilitation (VR) is a set of services offered to individuals with mental or physical disabilities. These services are designed to enable participants to attain skills, resources, attitudes, and expectations needed to compete in the interview process, get a job, and keep a job.


Voyeurism is a psychosexual disorder in which a person derives sexual pleasure and gratification from looking at the naked bodies and genital organs or observing the sexual acts of others. The voyeur is usually hidden from view of others.

Wechsler adult intelligence scale

The Wechsler adult intelligence scale (WAIS) is an individually administered measure of intelligence, intended for adults aged 16–89.

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, often abbreviated as WISC, is an individually administered measure of intelligence intended for children aged six years to 16 years and 11 months.

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a severe memory disorder usually associated with chronic excessive alcohol consumption, although the direct cause is a deficiency in the B vitamin thiamin.

Wide Range Achievement Test

Wide Range Achievement Test, 3rd ed. or WRAT-3 is a screening test that can be administered to determine if a more comprehensive achievement test is needed.


Yoga is an ancient system of breathing practices, physical exercises and postures, and meditation intended to integrate the practitioner's body, mind, and spirit. It originated in India several thousand years ago, and its principles were first written down by a scholar named Patanjali in the second century B.C.


Zaleplon is classified as a hypnotic drug. These drugs help people sleep.


Ziprasidone is a drug used to treat schizophrenia. It is available with a prescription under the brand name Geodan.


Zolpidem is classified as a hypnotic drug. These drugs help people sleep.