Agoraphobia: Intense fear of two or more of the following situations: using public transportation, being in open spaces (e.g., parking lots, marketplaces, or bridges), being in enclosed spaces (e.g., shops or theaters), standing in line or being in a crowd, or being outside of the home alone.

Anxiety: A universal human experience that includes feelings of apprehension, uneasiness, uncertainty, or dread resulting from a real or perceived threat.

Compulsions: Repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought.

Coping strategies: An action, a series of actions, or a thought process used to address a stressful or unpleasant situation or modify one’s reaction to such a situation.

Defense mechanisms: Reaction patterns used by individuals to protect themselves from anxiety that arises from stress and conflict.

Exposure and response prevention (EX/RP): A type of psychotherapy effective in reducing compulsive behaviors in clients with OCD. EX/RP includes spending time in the very situation that triggers compulsions (for example, touching dirty objects) but then being prevented from undertaking the usual resulting compulsion (handwashing).

Exposure therapy: A type of psychotherapy that focuses on confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder to help people engage in activities they have been avoiding.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Excessive anxiety and worry occurring for at least six months about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).

Obsessions: Repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A common chronic disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviors (compulsions) they feel the urge to repeat over and over. Performing the compulsive behaviors often brings the person brief relief from the anxiety the obsessive thoughts cause them.

Panic: The most extreme level of anxiety that results in significantly dysregulated behavior. The individual is unable to process information from the environment and may lose touch with reality.

Panic attacks: Sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes. Attacks can occur unexpectedly or can be brought on by a trigger, such as a feared object or situation.

Phobia: An intense fear or aversion to specific objects or situations (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, or seeing blood).

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, frightening, or dangerous event where they feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS): Treatment that uses a magnet to activate specific sites in the brain.

Selective mutism: A condition when people fail to speak in specific social situations despite having normal language skills.

Separation anxiety disorder: A condition where an individual has a fear about being separated from people to whom they are attached.

Social anxiety disorder: Significant fear or anxiety about one or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Nursing: Mental Health and Community Concepts Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book