Psychiatric glossary

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The following words are defined in terms of a real-world understanding of insanity; some of them (illusion, for example) have different meanings in a d20 game context. As with all aspects of the Sanity variant, GMs need to determine how each race and culture within the campaign world views insanity and how capable each race and culture is of treating mental disorders in order to know which of these words might come into play.

Psychiatric Glossary

Affect

The external expression of a patient’s mood (sadness, anger, joy, fear). May be inconsistent with patient’s mood, depending on the disorder.

Anorexia

Loss or decrease of appetite.

Catatonia

Various strong motor anomalies, for instance catatonic stupor (slowed activity to the point of immobilization); ceraflexibilitas (the victim can be molded into strange postures that are maintained), and catatonic excitement (agitated, purposeless movements).

Compulsion

The need to perform certain actions repetitively, including various personal rituals, dipsomania, kleptomania, nymphomania, satyriasis, trichotillomania (pulling out hair), and so on.

Delirium

A reversible syndrome of bewilderment, restlessness, confusion, and disorientation, associated with fear and hallucinations, all caused by some underlying medical condition.

Delusion

A firmly fixed false belief, one not based in real ity. It can be bizarre, as in schizophrenia, or systematized, as in delusional disorders.

Dementia

A loss of cognitive function, often first manifesting in memory loss.

Depersonalization

A subjective feeling of being unreal, or unfamiliar to self.

Derealization

A subjective feeling that the environment is strange or unreal; for instance, feeling the world to be a stage or a two-dimensional painting.

Dissociation

Confusion over one’s sense of self and identity.

Formication

The feeling that insects are crawling all over one’s body, a tactile hallucination caused by cocaine and delirium tremens.

Hallucination

A perception of a sensory stimulus in the absence of sensory stimuli; for instance, seeing or hearing some one who isn’t there.

Illusion

The misperception of a sensory stimulus; for instance, seeing the rustling branches of a tree as tentacles.

Logorrhea

Copious, coherent, logical speech.

Mania

A mood characterized by elation and increased activity.

Mood

A pervasive feeling that is experienced internally.

Neurosis

Symptoms of depression, anxiety, or the like arising from stress. A neurosis is less severe than a psychosis. A neurotic character may still be able to function; a psychotic one generally cannot.

Obsession

An idea or thought that constantly intrudes into one’s consciousness.

Paranoia

Persistent, consistent, plausible, and ingenious delusions of persecution or jealousy. New information always seems to support the increasing threat of some great conspiracy. Paranoia is more a symptom than a disorder, because it can appear in schizophrenia, mania, and so on

Psychosis

Severe mental illness in which the character experiences thoughts and perceptions that are out of touch with reality. A psychosis is more severe than a neurosis.

Somnambulism

Sleepwalking.

Somnolence

Abnormal drowsiness.

Synthesia

Sensation caused by another sensation; for instance, seeing sound.

Tic

Involuntary spasmodic motor movement.

Trailing Phenomenon

Perceptual abnormality associated with hallucinogens in which moving objects are seen in a series of discrete discontinuous images.

Trance

Focused attention and altered consciousness, usually seen in hypnosis, dissociative disorders, and ecstatic religious experiences.

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