PICA

A craving for unnatural foods such as clay, plaster, ashes, hair, starch, and dirt. The term derives from the word for magpie, a bird...

PICK’S DISEASE

A rare degenerative disease of the brain, first described in 1892 by the Czech psychiatrist Arnold Pick (1867-1926).The disease occurs between the ages of...

PONS

A protruding part of the brain stem just above the medulla (plate 1).The pons is part of the hindbrain, the oldest portion of the...

PRECONSCIOUS

psychoanalytic term for thoughts which are not presently in awareness, but which can be recalled more or less readily.The preconscious includes images, ideas or...

PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

In recent years there has been a growing realization that the period between conception and birth is a crucial one for the development of...

PRIMARY GAIN

The basic psychological benefit derived from neurotic symptoms.According to many theorists, and particularly Freud, neurotic symptoms serve the primary purpose of relieving or controlling...

PATHOLOGICAL INTOXICATION

An acute psychotic episode occurring in (1) individuals whose tolerance for alcohol is low due to an unstable personality or epileptic tendencies, and (2)...

PEAK-CLIPPING

Increasing the intelligibility of transmitted speech by “clipping,” or eliminating, high intensity sounds and amplifying the low intensities.Peak-clipping is accomplished by special circuits in...

PELLAGRINOUS PSYCHOSIS

A metabolic disorder produced by a severe deficiency of vitamin B (niacin, nicotinic acid). Deficiencies of thiamine, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid may also be...

PEPTIC ULCER

A craterlike wound in the inner wall of the stomach or duodenum resulting from the corrosive effects of acid-containing digestive juices. Although certain types...

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