PSYCHOANALYSIS
PSYCHOSOMATIC
P
and trace the patient's personal and
family history. Treatment may include
medication,
counselling, psychotherapy,
psychoanalysis,
or
behaviour therapy.
psychoanalysis A treatment based on
psychoanalytic theory
that can help peo-
ple who have
neuroses
and
personality
disorders.
A modified approach may also
be used to treat
psychosis
. Psychoan-
alysis aims to help the patient to
understand his or her emotional devel-
opment and to make adjustments in
particular situations. Interpretation of
the patient's dreams is another aspect
of the treatment (see
dream analysis).
psychoanalytic theory A system of
ideas developed by Sigmund Freud that
explains personality and behaviour in
terms of unconscious wishes and con-
flicts.
The main
emphasis was
on
sexuality. Freud believed that a child
passes through 3 stages in the first 18
months of life: oral, anal, and genital.
After this, the child develops a sexual
attraction to the parent of the opposite
sex and wants to eliminate the other
parent
(Oedipus complex).
Sexual feel-
ings become latent around age 5 but
reemerge at puberty. Psychological prob-
lems may develop if
fixation
occurs at a
primitive stage. Modern psychoanalysis
has progressed from these ideas and is
generally based on the observation that
most emotional problems are caused
by childhood experiences. Psychoanaly-
sis attempts to free the individual from
the past, helping him or her to become
a real person in the present. Psychoana-
lytic theory is decreasing in influence.
psychodrama An aid to
psychotherapy
in which the patient acts out certain
roles or incidents. Psychodrama is often
carried out with a partner or in a group;
music, dance, and mime are often used.
psychogenic A term for a symptom or
disorder that is caused by psychological
or emotional problems.
psychology The scientific study of men-
tal processes. Psychology deals with all
internal aspects of the mind, such as
memory,
feelings,
thought,
and
percep-
tion,
as well as external manifestations,
such as
speech
and behaviour. Psychol-
ogy is also concerned with
intelligence
,
learning,
and
personality
development.
psychometry The measurement of psy-
chological functions using
intelligence
tests
,
personality tests
, and tests for spe-
cific aptitudes, such as
memory
, logic,
concentration, and speed of response.
psychoneurosis A term
used inter-
changeably with
neurosis
.
psychopathology The study of abnor-
mal mental processes. There are 2 main
approaches: the descriptive, which aims
to record symptoms that make up a
diagnosis of mental illness; and the
psychoanalytic, which is concerned with
the unconscious feelings and motives
of the individual.
psychopathy An outdated term for an
antisocial personality disorder
.
psychopharmacology The
study
of
drugs that affect mental states, such as
antipsychotic drugs
,
antidepressant drugs
,
and
anti-anxiety drugs
.
psychosexual disorders A range of
disorders that are related to sexual func-
tion. Psychosexual disorders include
transsexualism
,
psychosexual dysfunc-
tion,
and sexual
deviation.
psychosexual dysfunction A disorder
in which there is interference with the
sexual response for no physical cause.
psychosis A severe mental disorder in
which the individual loses contact with
reality. Three main categories of psy-
chosis are recognized:
schizophrenia,
manic-depressive illness,
and organic
brain syndrome (see
brain syndrome,
organic
). The main feature of psychotic
illnesses is that they cause a person to
have a distorted view of life.
Symptoms include
delusions, halluci-
nations
,
thought disorders
, loss of
affect
,
mania,
and
depression.
The cause is
most likely to be a disorder of brain
function.
Antipsychotic drugs
are usu-
ally effective in controlling symptoms.
Long-term treatment,
rehabilitation
, and
support are often needed.
psychosomatic A term that describes
physical disorders that seem to have
been caused, or made worse, by psycho-
logical factors. Common examples of
conditions that may be psychosomatic
are headache, breathlessness, nausea,
asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic
ulcer
, and types of
eczema
. (See also
somatization disorder.)
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