Glossary of Terms


State Government of Victoria, Australia, Department of Health: Victorian Mental Health ServicesĀ 

2015 factsheet: A Guide To Mental Health Terminology

A Guide To Mental Health Terminology

This guide aims to provide a quick reference for anybody seeking to understand terms commonly used by mental health services.

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Nervous Breakdown

A lay term commonly used to describe an emotional disturbance or mental illness. This term is not used by mental health professionals.


This term is frequently used to refer to antipsychotic medication.

Neuroses/Neurotic Disorders

Mental disorders commonly associated with distressing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Neurotic disorders are different from psychotic disorders in that the person does not experience a loss of reality. Neuroses/Neurotic disorders has been largely replaced by more specific terms such as anxiety disorders and affective disorders.
See depression.

Non-Government Psychiatric Disability Support Services

Psychosocial rehabilitation and support services provided by non-government community agencies to people with psychiatric disability. Such services include housing support, day programs, prevocational training, residential services and respite care.

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