The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders
N

Narcotic - a legal term (non-scientific) generally applied to any substance that dulls senses, sedates, and, at excessive doses, can cause coma or convulsions.

Naturopathic - regarding the practice of naturopathy.

Naturopathy - a treatment philosophy that avoids use of pharmaceutical medication and surgery in favor of natural alternatives. Includes techniques that are considered forms of alternative medicine.

Nausea - stomach discomfort associated with loss of appetite and sense that vomiting may occur. Nausea is a common symptom of anxiety. Also see emetophobia.

NE - see norepinephrine.

Negative Thought - any thought associated with un-constructive or unpleasant emotional states (such as anger, anxiety, depression, futility, pessimism, etc.). An important concept of cognitive therapy. Contrast with positive thought. Also see automatic negative thought.

Neocortex - see cerebral cortex.

Nerves - see nervous illness or neuron.

Nervous - the feeling of anxiety, or regarding the nervous system as studied in neurology.

Nervous Breakdown - a dated term referring to anxiety disorders that notably affect functionality.

Nervous Disease - a dated term for an anxiety disorder.

Nervous Exhaustion - a dated term referring to anxiety disorders which seemed a product of stress.

Nervous Heart - a dated term for an anxiety disorder.

Nervous Illness - a dated term for an anxiety disorder.

Nervous Storm - a dated term for a panic attack.

Nervous System - the body's complete network of neurons. The nervous system is divided into the Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).

NET - see Neuroelectric Therapy.

Neural Network - any network of neurons. Computer models of such networks are often called "artificial neural networks."

Neurasthenia - a hypothetical disorder which explained nervous symptoms as a physical exhaustion of the nervous system. Declared by electrotherapist George Beard in 1869, neurasthenia was a popular diagnosis during the late 19th century.

Neurocirculatory Asthenia - an dated alternate name for post traumatic stress disorder or panic disorder.

Neuroelectric Therapy (NET) - see Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES).

Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) - any psychotherapy which uses a voice message that is intended to condition the conscious or unconscious mind. Often sold in the form of recordings.

Neurology - a field of medicine concerned with the nervous system. Adj. Neurologic.

Neuron - a nerve cell. Neurons have a central cell body (which contains the cell's nucleus, mitochondria, etc.), branching projections called dendrites (which convey incoming signals from other neurons) and other branching projections called axons (which convey outgoing signals to other neurons). Electrical transmission along a specific neuron involves the exchange of ions (electrically charged atoms) through the neuron's membrane. Each branch of an axon ends with a "synaptic bulb" (nerve terminal), which releases neurotransmitters across a "synaptic cleft" (synaptic gap or synapse) to excite the next neuron's dendrite. Different types of neurons in different parts of the nervous system vary in the neurotransmitters used.

Neuropathy - degeneration of the nervous system or nerves.

Neurosis - a dated psychoanalytic term applied to behavioral or psychosomatic symptoms produced by repressed inner conflict; particularly, conflict between the ego and libido. Pl. Neuroses. Adj. Neurotic. Neuroses were characterized by anxiety attacks, hypochondria, phobias, obsessions, compulsions, depression, etc.

Neurotransmitter - a chemical messenger that transmits information from one neuron to another neuron. In other words, a substance released from a nerve cell into a very small extracellular space called a synapse, where it then produces excitation or inhibition of an immediately neighboring nerve cell. Contrast with hormone. Many substances serve both as hormones in the blood and neurotransmitters in either the central or peripheral nervous systems (e.g., acetylcholine, monoamines such as norepinephrine and serotonin, and peptides such as cholecystokinin). Neurotransmitters in the brain can be divided conceptually into two classes: the classical small molecule neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, are locally synthesized in nerve terminals, and the neuropeptide neurotransmitters, such as the endorphins, are synthesized in the perikaryon (a neuron's cell body).

Nicotine - a chemical found in tobacco products. CAUTION: as a dopamine agonist, nicotine can be highly addictive.

Nightmare - an unpleasant dream, sometimes formally characterized as an unpleasant dream that causes the dreamer to awake. Contrast with bad dream, daymare, sleep terror.

Night Terror - see sleep terror.

NLP - see Neurolinguistic Programming.

Nocturnal Bruxism - clenching and/or grinding of teeth while sleeping. May be associated with serotonin.

Nocturnal Panic Attack - see sleep terror.

Non-functional - unable to function in society because of a disorder. Contrast with functional.

Noradrenaline - see norepinephrine.

Norepinephrine (NE) - a hormone and neurotransmitter (a catecholamine) produced by the adrenal gland. Norepinephrine is particularly important in sympathetic arousal and vasoconstriction. Involved with one's sense of energy. For biosynthesis details see tyrosine.

Nosophobia - a phobia of disease.

Nostalgia - aside from the common meaning of dwelling on the past, nostalgia is also a dated psychiatric term often applied to soldiers suffering exogenous anxiety or combat fatigue leading to obsessions of returning home. Symptoms included extreme apathy, an inability to concentrate, excessive physical fatigue, an unwillingness to eat or drink leading at times to anorexia, diarrhea, a feeling of isolation and total frustration leading to a general inability to function. Also see demoralization.

Numb - a loss of sensation. Also see paresthesia.

Nutrition - the consumption and utilization of a diet. To varying degrees, anxiety disorders can be affected by nutritional issues.

The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders