The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders

Factitious Disorder - intentional production of symptoms in the absence of tangible personal gain.

Faint - to lose consciousness. Also see akinetic seizure, orthostatic hypotension, postural hypotension, vasovagal syncope.

Family Therapy - any psychotherapy intended to help family members better understand each other or better address issues of treatment and recovery.

Fear - a response to external stress, which does not persist in the absence of such stress. Contrast with anxiety. Also see courage.

Fear Bradycardia - slowed heartbeat in response to fear. Also see cardiology.

Fear of Flying - a phobia of flying. Also known as flight phobia, aerophobia or aviophobia.

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) - a medical disorder which causes muscular pain, fatigue, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, headaches and IBS. FMS apparently involves hormonal disturbances similar to some forms of anxiety and panic disorders. Treatment often involves mild exercise and may involve medications such as BDZs, SRIs or TCAs. Also see chronic fatigue syndrome.

Fight or Flight Response - a quick and unconscious neurological response to a perceived threat that stimulates defensive behavior. Proposed by Walter Cannon in 1914. Also see freeze, startle response.

Flashback - a vivid recollection of an experience. Regarding PTSD, flashbacks tend to be extremely potent and intrusive memories of a trauma and the emotions associated with the trauma. Though flashbacks are often triggered, they do not always require a trigger and may simply occur in the absence of distractions (e.g., when trying to relax or sleep). To avoid flashbacks, people with PTSD often embrace activities that will keep them distracted.

Flight Phobia - a phobia of flying. Also known as aerophobia or aviophobia.

Flooding - a technique of exposure therapy that attempts to desensitize an anxiety response through intense exposure to the anxiety.

FMS - see Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

Free Association - speaking thoughts and feelings associated with a topic without regard to how others might judge them. Free association is an important aspect of psychoanalysis. Also see Rorschach test.

Freeze - to cease moving. A common survival response induced by fear. Also see fight or flight response, paralysis, pseudoparalysis, surdomutism.

Freudian - relating to the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Also see psychoanalysis.

Fright - a sudden and brief episode of fear.

Frontal Lobe - the forward lobe of the cerebrum. Also see prefrontal cortex.

Functional - able to function in society despite a disorder. Contrast with nonfunctional.

The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders