[ Browse by Service Category : Disabilities and Health Conditions : Sub-Topics of Mental Illness/Emotional Disabilities (61) ]

Anxiety Disorders

Disorders that are characterized by persistent feelings of apprehension, worry, uneasiness or dread the source of which is frequently nonspecific or unknown to the individual which may be accompanied by restlessness, irritability, lack of concentration, difficulty sleeping, increased heart rate, shortness of breath and other physiological symptoms.

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Chronic/Severe Mental Illness

A number of mental or emotional conditions of a seriously debilitating nature which progress or do not respond positively to treatment over a period of time and which require adjustments on the part of the individual and his or her significant others, or long-term medication, to make daily functioning possible.

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Concurrent Disorder

A condition in which individuals have a diagnosed mental illness that interferes with their functioning in a substantial way in combination with a chemical dependency problem which aggravates their ability to become stabilized or recover.

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Disorders of Infancy/Childhood

Mental disorders that are generally diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolescence and require treatment prior to the individual reaching adulthood.

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Dual Diagnosis

A condition in which individuals have a diagnosed mental illness which interferes with their functioning in a substantial way in combination with a developmental disability. This is the definition used in Ontario and Nova Scotia, for example, while in most of Canada, "Dual Diagnosis" has the same meaning as and is used interchangeably with "Concurrent Disorder" (YF-5000.1500).

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Eating Disorders

A condition that is characterized by a compulsive obsession with food or weight and an inability to accurately perceive one's physical appearance in which the individual may compulsively overeat, engage in eating binges which may or may not be followed by purging, refuse to eat or otherwise use food or the process of eating or not eating in a self-destructive manner.

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Impulse Control Disorders

Disorders that are characterized by the individual's inability to resist an impulse, drive or temptation to engage in behaviour that is harmful to the person or to others.

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Mood Disorders

Disorders that are characterized by disturbances of mood, i.e., a recurrent series of episodes in which the individual suffers from depression, excessive feelings of well-being or a combination of the two.

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Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

A group of mental disorders including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder and postpartum psychosis that negatively affect an estimated 15% to 21% of pregnant and postpartum women in the weeks before and/or after birth. Risk factors for developing PMADs include low socioeconomic status, low educational attainment, a history of mental illness, delivering a preterm baby, exposure to interpersonal violence and a lack of social support. Mood and anxiety disorders during the perinatal period can impair the maternal behavioural response, leading to long-term behavioural problems among exposed children. Treatment often relies on the use of psychotropic medications, which may not be indicated for mild to moderate PMADs and may not be an acceptable option for a pregnant or breastfeeding woman.

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Psychotic Disorders

Disorders that are characterized by psychogenic disturbances including delusions and/or hallucinations that are of such magnitude that there is personality disintegration and loss of contact with reality.

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Sexual Dysfunction

Disorders that are characterized by a persistent or recurring disturbance in the processes that constitute the sexual response cycle (desire, arousal, orgasm and resolution) or by pain associated with intercourse. Included are cases of dysfunction where there are identifiable organic factors such as illness or injury, substance abuse or medication, as well as conditions that are associated with mental disorders such as depression. Whether mainly due to physical or emotional causes, sexual dysfunctions can result in marked distress and/or interpersonal difficulty. Clinical judgments about the presence of a sexual dysfunction should take into account the individual?s ethnocultural, religious and social background, all of which influence sexual desire, expectations and attitudes about performance.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.

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