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Mental Disorder Definitions
and Program Definitions

Disorders Defined

Adjustment Disorder

Where a person experiences difficulty adjusting to a stressor – the distress is in excess of what would be expected and this distress causes the person significant problems in social or occupational (academic) functioning


A lot of worry, feeling uptight, nervousness

Asperger’s Disorder

A type of Autism, with less severe symptoms

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – (Also known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD))

A condition that causes the person to have difficulty sustaining attention and difficulty with hyperactivity and impulsivity.


A disorder that is characterized by the person having severe impairment in social interactions, difficulties with non-verbal communication, appearing to lack interest in activities, problems communicating with others, repetitive patterns of behavior, activities, and interests.

Bipolar Disorder

Formerly known as “manic depression”, is a mood disorder that causes severe emotional changes and mood swings, from manic (excessively happy and energized, feelings of restlessness) to feelings of depression (feeling sad, down, blue).

Conduct Disorder

Conduct Disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior, usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, where the person violates the basic rights of other people and / or societal rules. People with Conduct Disorder may have: Aggression to people and / or animals, be destructive of property, may lie to others or engage in stealing, and / or have serious violations of rules (i.e. staying out at night despite parents’ rules, running away from home overnight, etc.). In order to qualify for a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder, the person must have at least one problem identified above within the last 12 months and at least one of these problems within the last 6 months.


A very strong belief held with strong convictions despite evidence to the contrary (i.e. believing you can fly)


Feeling sad, down, blue, and hopelessness

Dysthymic Disorder

A type of depressive disorder where a person experiences low grade depressive symptoms consistently over a long period of time with returning to a euthymic (normal) mood


The normal emotional responses a person feels due to experiencing a loss (i.e. death of a family member).

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Failure to resist aggressive impulses and the person often displays extremely aggressive behaviors that are grossly out of proportion to the issue at hand

Mood Disorder

Describes a variety of mood disorders that range from excessively happy, energized, and feelings of restlessness (manic) to extremely sad or feeling down (depressed)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (also known as OCD)

When a person has recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are intrusive and the person is not able to control them.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

A child that displays a pattern of negative, hostile, and defiant behavior for at least 6 months that may include: (1) Often losing temper; (2) Often arguing with adults; (3) Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules; (4) Often deliberately annoys people; (5) Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior; (6) Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others; (7) Is often angry and resentful; (8) Is often spiteful or vindictive

Panic Disorder (Also known as Panic Attack)

A sudden overpowering feeling of fear or anxiety that prevents somebody from functioning, often triggered by a past or present source of anxiety (Bing Dictionary)

Personality Disorder

A personality disorder refers to a class of personality types and enduring behaviors associated with significant distress or disability, which appear to deviate from social expectations particularly in relating to others (Wikipedia)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as PTSD)

A common anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a terrifying event in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened (Medicinenet.com Definition)


Where a person experiences psychosis (hallucinations, delusions)

Psychotic Disorder

A psychotic disorder may be diagnosed in individuals who experience hallucinations or delusions. A hallucination is where a person hears or sees things that others cannot hear or see. Other types of hallucinations can include olfactory hallucinations (experiencing smells), gustatory (tastes), or tactile (feeling like someone or something is touching you). Delusions are where a person holds a false belief held by the person despite evidence that the belief is false – i.e the person is convinced they are Jesus Christ reincarnated. Schizophrenia is a type of psychotic disorder.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

A disorder that is present before 5 years of age, where the child has difficulty making and maintaining healthy attachments with caregivers or where the child displays excessive familiarity with strangers (i.e. sitting on an adults lap when meeting for the first time)

Schizoaffective Disorder

A psychotic disorder where the individual experiences hallucinations (typically seeing or hearing things that others cannot) and also experiences some type of mood disorder such as Bipolar or Depressive Disorder.


A psychotic disorder where the individual typically experiences hallucinations (typically seeing or hearing things that others cannot)


An extremely distressing experience (automobile accident, abuse, etc.) that causes severe emotional shock and may have long-lasting psychological effects. Bing Dictionary

Services Defined


A treatment intervention provided by a Mental Health Professional (someone with a Master’s degree in a behavioral health field – Psychology, Social Work, etc. who is licensed or under supervision for licensure) that may consist of Individual Therapy, Family Therapy, or Group Therapy.

Medication Management

A service provided by GLMHC whereby clients may be prescribed medications by a medical provider (Psychiatrist or APRN) that assist in the treatment of the persons mental health disorder

Psychiatrist / Psychiatry

A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor who has received extensive training in psychology and is Board Certified to provide psychiatric services / medication management.


The study of behaviors and mental functions with the goal to understand individuals and groups

Rehabilitation (Also known as Rehab.)

A treatment intervention provided by someone with a Bachelor’s Degree (typically in a mental health related field) where the focus is on teaching and learning skills to assist the person with their mental health issues

Systems of Care

Systems of Care is a term that describes when individuals from a community come together to identify what are the needs of the community and ultimately what they can do as a group to resolve those needs. Typically this specifically refers to children’s mental health issues. The focus is on improving services or systems for children and families. Rather than being individually focused on one child or one family, it is focused more globally to provide for system changes / improvements.


A type of medication management where the medical provider (Psychiatrist or APRN) is in one location and meets with the client by video conference at a separate location


Meaning is the same as Counseling


Wraparound is an intense home-based service for children and families who are at higher risk – i.e. the youth is at risk of going to an inpatient psychiatric hospital, the youth has had multiple psychiatric hospitalizations, the youth has been suspended or expelled from school, the youth is involved with law enforcement, etc. The family works with a Care Coordinator (someone with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a MH related field) and a Family Support Provider (A person who has experience raising a child with behavioral or emotional issues – typically a parent). The CC and FSP assist the family in the development of a “Family Team”. The family team is made up of people close to the family (extended family members, friends, people from their church, neighbors, the child’s coach, etc.) whose role is to help the family meet their needs. The CC and FSP assist the family by developing detailed crisis / safety plans that will help the family know how to respond to crisis situations. Each family develops an individualized Care Plan that is designed to address the specific needs each family has. Wraparound is a strengths-based approach to working with children and families and has shown to be very successful for many, many families.