The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders

Radionics - a bogus therapy which claims to affect biological energy fields or auras. Originally developed in the early 1900s by a medical doctor named Albert Abrams, radionics used radio-like electrical devices to diagnose and treat illnesses. These devices were thoroughly debunked in the 1920s by investigators from Scientific American magazine and other later investigations. Nonetheless, Abrams reaped a small fortune from the use and leasing of his devices which were little more than empty boxes containing a few nonfunctional electrical circuits. Unfortunately, variations of radionic practices continue to dupe patients today.

Railroad Heart - an alternate name for PTSD, originating from horrific accidents during the industrial era.

Ramped Dosage - to gradually increase or decrease the dosage of a medication. Often, medications used to treat anxiety disorders may be less effective and promote severe side effects when started at a full therapeutic dosage, or when ceased abruptly. Such medications are more successful when started at a low dosage and slowly increased at weekly or monthly intervals. Likewise, such medications are best ceased in a gradual manner. Also see dose, taper.

RBD - see REM-sleep Behavior Disorder.

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) - a stage of sleep, characterized by eye movement, during which dreams occur. Also see REM-sleep behavior disorder.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT or RET) - a structured form of cognitive behavioral therapy therapy. When experiencing symptoms, a person is supposed to describe the "activating event," describe beliefs about the event, describe consequences of such beliefs and, then, dispute such beliefs in a rational manner while identifying which of 12 "thought errors" have been committed. Developed by Albert Ellis in 1955.

Rash - an irritation of the skin which can have many causes. Regarding anxiety disorders, rashes may sometimes be caused by a hypersensitive nervous system which may amplify normal sensations to irritable levels. When obsessive compulsive disorder is involved, rashes may be due to excessive washing.

Raynaud's Syndrome - a condition, often associated with anxiety or depression, which restricts blood flow and temperature at the extremities (making hands and feet cold even in warm conditions). This condition is associated with alpha-receptors which, when activated, cause vasoconstriction.

Rebound - see relapse.

REBT - see Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Recluse - someone who, by choice or health condition, has a secluded or solitary lifestyle. Also see housebound.

Recreational Drug - any substance used for enjoyment rather than nutritional value or treatment of a disorder. Contrast with self medication. Recreational drugs include alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, nicotine, opium, and many others. Also see addiction, drug, substance abuse.

Relapse - a return of symptoms after a period of apparent recovery. Since anxiety disorders are known to wax and wane over long periods (months or years) relapses are not unusual. Also see set back.

Relax - to relieve from excitement, stress or anxiety.

Relaxation Technique - any psychological or physical method of inducing calm. Such techniques include breathing exercises, exercise, guided imagery, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga. Also see spa.

Religion - any belief system based on faith. Also see mythology, prayer, scrupulosity, voodoo.

REM - see Rapid Eye Movement.

REM Sleep - see Rapid Eye Movement.

REM-sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) - a sleep disorder which involves acting out violent dreams. In other words, acts of self defense, protection or aggression within a dream are reflected by body movements while asleep. Also known as "sleep violence."

Remission - an ongoing decrease or absence of symptoms.

Repression - a psychoanalytic term regarding a psychological resistance to acknowledge an uncomfortable memory or feeling. According to psychoanalytic theory, severe repression may result in anxiety attacks. Adj. Repressive. Also see catharsis, hypnotic psychotherapy, Rorschach test.

Respiratory Disease - a disease of the lungs (such as asthma) which may have symptoms similar to an anxiety disorder. Contrast with hyperventilation.

Response-Stimulus (RS) Conditioning - see operant conditioning.

RET - see Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Re-uptake - reabsorption of a chemical messenger by a cell.

Re-uptake Inhibitor - any chemical (chemical messenger or substance) that reduces a cell's ability to reabsorb a chemical messenger. This effectively increases the amount of a chemical messenger between cells. See SNRI, SRI.

Rorschach Test - a psychological test involving the interpretation of ink blotches to undo repression and encourage catharsis.

RS Conditioning - see operant conditioning.

Rx - see prescription.

The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders