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Acupuncture: A form of Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body to relieve pain or to address some other therapeutic purpose.

Agitation: An emotional state of extreme excitement or restlessness often associated with mental tension or anxiety.

Akathesia: A movement problem often described as feeling restless, needing to continually move around, wanting to “jump out of your skin.”

Alzheimer’s disease: A loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It gradually gets worse over time. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.

Animal medicine: An ancient Native American spiritual belief and healing practice in which animal symbolism is used to impart guidance, wisdom, and self-reflection.

Antipsychotic medication: Medications used to control symptoms of psychosis.

Anxiety: An emotional reaction to stress (strong feelings of worry or dread) often accompanied by physical effects such as shortness of breath, nausea, stomach aches, or headaches.

Apathy: An emotional state of indifference or a lack of concern, excitement, passion or motivation.

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT): A team treatment approach designed to provide intensive community-based mental health treatment, rehabilitation, and support to individuals living with serious mental illness.

Atypical antipsychotic medications: A set of newer antipsychotic drugs introduced to treat serious mental health problems. They work differently than older “typical” medications and have different side effects. They are also called second- generation antipsychotic medications, are newer, and include medications such as Risperdal, Clozapine, Zyprexa, and Geodon.

Auditory hallucinations: When a person hears voices or other sounds that others do not hear.

Autism: Also known as Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), and a milder form known as Asperger syndrome. The main signs and symptoms of autism involve problems with communication, social interactions, and repetitive behaviors. It is usually diagnosed in early childhood, but can be seen in adults.

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Bipolar disorder: Mood disorder characterized by cyclic experiences with highs and lows.

Black Box Warnings: A black-bordered message on medication packages warning that the medication may cause serious and life-threatening adverse effects. It is the strongest warning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can require to be included on a medication package.

Blood pressure: The pressure exerted on the walls of the blood vessels by circulating blood.

Body Mass Index (BMI): A ratio of your weight and height. It is used to identify weight problems. There are charts and interactive calculators on the Internet to help you determine your Body Mass Index.

Case management: An approach for coordinating mental health treatment and services, which often includes connecting people with community resources and services for housing, education, and other supports.

Community health: Characteristics of well-being, growth, and vigor associated with geographic communities, neighborhoods, or groups of people sharing some similar feature or set of features.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): Treatments or practices that are used in addition to (complementary) or instead of (alternative) standard medical treatment for physical and mental health problems.

Confused thinking: An inability to focus thoughts with usual speed or clarity. It may be accompanied by a sense of disorientation.

Consumer-run or consumer-operated services: Mental health, substance abuse, or other related services and supports that are organized, managed, and delivered by people in recovery.

Control: To have power over something; to reduce the incidence or severity of something (such as a distressing symptom); to bring something to manageable levels.

Cultural traditions: The knowledge, attitudes, or behaviors that are passed from generation to generation.

Culture: The history, tradition, beliefs, values, and language system associated with a group of people and passed down from generation to generation.

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Decision aid: A tool that can help people to make important decisions about their personal health and mental health treatment. A decision aid does three things: gives balanced information about a range of options; helps you think about what is most important to you; and helps you prepare to talk to a provider about your choices or preferences.

Depression: A condition characterized by symptoms such as sadness, decreased energy, hopelessness, crying, helplessness, insomnia, weight loss or gain, or agitation.

DHEA: A hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that serves as a precursor to male and female sex hormones.

Diabetes: A condition in which blood sugar is too high. It is a very serious disease that can cause health complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Depending on the kind of diabetes, it can often be controlled by insulin and diet.

Diarrhea: Having frequent loose or liquid bowel movements.

Dietary supplements: Preparations intended to provide nutrients such as vitamins or minerals that are missing or not consumed in sufficient quantity in a person's diet.

Dopamine: A neurotransmitter in the brain that helps to regulate movement and emotion.

Dual disorder: A situation in which a person experiences two serious problems at the same time. It typically refers to the combination of mental health problems and substance abuse. It may also be called dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders, and comorbid conditions.

Dystonia: A movement disorder that causes the muscles to involuntarily contract, jerk, or spasm in repetitive movements or abnormal postures.

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Efficacy research: Research on medications to see how they work in carefully- controlled situations such as the laboratory or small samples of people.

Effectiveness research: Research done on medications to see how they work in the “real world” settings with different groups of people and a variety of circumstances.

Extended kinship networks: Includes parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, and other more distant relatives.

Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS): Movement problems characterized by muscle stiffness, difficulty or slowness in moving, tremors or shakiness in hands or face. The most well known EPS is tardive dyskinesia.

First generation antipsychotic medications: A class of antipsychotic drugs first developed in the 1950s and used to treat psychosis and other conditions. They are also called typical antipsychotics, neuroleptics, or major tranquilizers and include medications such as Haldol, Prolixin, and Thorazine.

Folk medicine: Healing and illness-prevention strategies passed from generation to generation within a culture, often involving the use of animal extracts or herbal remedies.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): A United States government agency responsible for regulating and supervising the safety of products such as medications, dietary supplements, foods, tobacco products, and cosmetics.

Ginkgo biloba: An extract from the Ginkgo tree used to treat circulatory disorders and to enhance memory.

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Herbal medicine: The study or use of medicinal herbs to prevent and treat diseases and ailments or to promote health and healing.

Herbal preparations: The process of transforming herbs for medicinal use into dried, tablet, liquid, ointment, or powder form.

Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs.

Indigenous medicine: Practice systems to promote health and healing that have been developed over generations within various societies before the era of modern medicine.

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Kitchen medicine: The study or use of everyday food items such as herbs, spices, vitamins, and minerals to promote health and healing.

Major tranquilizers: A term that was once used to describe antipsychotic medications. The term "tranquilizers" is now generally limited to medications intended to sedate—mostly barbiturates and benzodiazepines.

Meditation: A mental discipline in which one tries to move beyond the thinking mind to a deeper state of relaxation and awareness.

Metabolic syndrome: A syndrome marked by the presence of high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high triglyceride levels, low HDL levels, and high levels of Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS), resulting in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Morbidity: Either the incidence rate, or the prevalence of a disease or medical condition.

Mortality: The proportion of people dying during a given time period.

Movement problems: Abnormal movements are common side effects of many antipsychotic medications. Examples of movement problems include: stiffness or extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS); restlessness or akathesia; and tardive dyskinesia.

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Nausea: The sensation of the need to vomit.

Neuroleptic medication: A class of medication that affects the brain by reducing the intensity of nerve function, resulting in a tranquilizing effect.

Neurotransmitters: A chemical messenger that carries information from one nerve cell to another. Examples of neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, melatonin, and acetylcholine.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A type of anxiety disorder in which a person has repeated, and upsetting thoughts (obsessions). They feel the need to do the same thing over and over again (compulsions) to make the thoughts go away.

Off-label use of medications: The use of a particular medication for purposes other than those specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This includes use of the medication for a different condition, in a different dose, or for a different group of people.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty acids that are essential to brain function and necessary for normal growth and development; found only in fish, nuts, oils, and some plants.

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Paranoia: A thought process characterized by extreme anxiety and fear of being harmed by others.

Polypharmacy: The practice of prescribing more than one medication for a medical condition or more medication than is clinically warranted.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): An anxiety disorder resulting from experiencing frightening events such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; crimes or violence; accidents; disasters; or battle.

Prayer: The act of communicating with one’s God or Higher Power in praise, worship, or requests for guidance or assistance.

Premature death: Death that occurs prior to the expected or predicted life course or duration.

Prostate problems: Symptoms associated with the prostate gland that include but are not limited to urinary frequency, blood in urine or semen, or difficulty ejaculating.

Psychotropic or psychoactive medications: Any medication capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and lithium.

Psychosis: Condition in which an individual has difficulty distinguishing what is real from what is not real because of unusual thinking and perceptions.

Qi Gong: (pronounced chee-gung) A practice that combines movement and rhythmic breathing to develop and control the “qi” or vital-life-force within the body.

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Racing thoughts: When the mind jumps quickly from one thought to another, often without the ability to focus or complete one thought before moving to the next.

Recovery: A journey of healing and transformation that enables a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

Recovery Plan: A list of tools and activities you do every day to get and stay well to create/maintain a sense of well-being in your life. It may also include things you do if you begin to have difficulties or to prevent a mental health crisis.

Relaxation techniques: Any method, process, procedure, or activity that helps a person to attain a state of increased calmness.

Restlessness: A common term for akathesia, a movement problem characterized by feeling the need to continually move around and wanting to “jump out of your skin.”

Rituals: A customary observance or practice, often related to religious beliefs, practices, or ceremonies.

Root medicine: A form of herbal medicine in which plant roots are used to prevent and treat diseases and ailments or to promote health and healing.

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Second generation antipsychotic medications: A set of newer antipsychotic drugs introduced used to treat serious mental health problems. They work differently than older “first generation” medications and have different side effects. They are also called atypical antipsychotic medications and include medications such as Risperdal, Clozapine, Zyprexa, and Geodon.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It works to improve the quality and availability of mental health, substance abuse prevention, and addiction treatment services.

Schizoaffective disorder: Condition characterized by elements of psychosis plus mood problems such as mania or depression.

Schizophrenia: Disorder characterized by confused thoughts, hallucinations, and delusions.

Self-esteem: A feeling of pride in oneself; a person’s overall evaluation of his or her own value or worth.

Side effects: An effect or problem, often unwanted, that occurs in addition to the intended or desired effects of a medication.

Sleep habits: Behaviors and routines related to bedtime, waking, rising, and naps.

Social skills training: Training or education activities designed to promote more positive and productive interactions with others.

Social withdrawal: Pulling away from or isolating from social interactions and relationships with others.

Spiritual and religious beliefs: Ideas, values, and practices associated with a person’s belief in God, some Supreme Being, Higher Power, or life force.

Spiritual healing: Use of spiritual means to treat disease and promote healing. May include prayer, mental practices, spiritual insights, and channeling or moving of energy.

Stiffness: A common term for a set of movement problems, also called Parkinsonian symptoms or extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), characterized by difficulty or slowness in moving, tremors or shakiness in hands or face.

Supported employment: A program designed with built-in support mechanisms to help people with disabilities get and keep a desired job.

Supportive housing: A combination of affordable housing and other services to help people with disabilities live more stable, productive lives.

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Tardive dyskinesia: A movement disorder characterized by involuntary repetitive motions such as chewing or grimacing, often seen as a side effect of antipsychotic medicines.

Traditional medicine: Health and healing knowledge and practice systems that have been developed over generations within various societies before the era of modern medicine, often involving the use of plant or animal extracts.

Typical antipsychotic medications: A class of antipsychotic drugs first developed in the 1950s and used to treat psychosis and other conditions. They are also called first generation antipsychotics, neuroleptics, or major tranquilizers and include medications such as Haldol, Prolixin, and Thorazine.

Vitamins: Nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to grow and stay strong.

Watchful waiting: An approach to a medical or mental health problem in which no formal intervention or therapy is used for now.

Well-being: A state of feeling happy, healthy, or prosperous.

Yoga: An ancient Hindu practice of bringing the mind and body together using meditation, physical postures, breathing, and exercise.

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