The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders
T

Taboo - discouraged by social convention.

Tachycardia - rapid heart beat. Also see cardiology, dysautonomia.

Talk Therapy - see psychoanalysis.

Taper - to gradually decrease, as in "tapering down a dosage" or "tapering off of a medication." Often, medications used to treat anxiety disorders are best tapered off of, as opposed to being ceased abruptly. Also see dose, ramped dosage.

Tardive Dyskinesia - see dyskinesia.

TCA - see Tricyclic Antidepressant.

TCET - Transcranial Electrotherapy. See Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES).

Tea - a plant (Thea sinensis) whose dried leaves are used to make a popular drink that contains caffeine (unless decaffeinated).

Temporal Lobe - the lower central lobe of the cerebrum. Contains the auditory cortex.

Temporal Lobe Seizure - a seizure of the brain's temporal lobe that can cause temporary paralysis, a sensation of fear, and occasionally hallucinations. Temporal lobe seizures may be responsible for sleep paralysis, lycanthropy, or even misinterpreted as omnipotence, mystical or religious experiences, alien abduction experiences, etc. Such seizures may also be the basis for the incubus and succubus of myth.

Tension - a state of anxiety or stress.

Terror - intense fear. Also see Phobos.

Terrorism - any act intended to induce terror.

Terrorist - anyone who conducts terrorism.

Thalamus - an inner brain structure that relays sensory information to the cerebrum, brain stem and spinal cord.

Therapy - any technique employed to promote recovery, reduce symptoms or prevent worsening of a disorder. Therapies may be medical, psychiatric or psychological in character. Also see cure, treatment.

Therapeutic Dosage - the dosage at which a medication is generally considered to have optimal effect. Medications used to treat anxiety disorders often have recommended therapeutic dosages which may vary depending on age or other factors. On an individual basis, however, an appropriately effective dosage may be less than or greater than the recommended therapeutic dosage. Generally, the smallest effective dosage for an individual is best. Always consult the prescribing doctor before changing dosage. Also see dose.

Therapeutic Index - the ratio of largest non-toxic dose to smallest effective dose of a medication.

Therapeutic Touch - an alternative medicine practice where the practitioner passes their hands over the patient, without actually touching, in an effort to balance a person's energy. Scientific investigation of this method strongly suggests that only a placebo effect is involved.

Thrill - a state of excitement. Thrills are often associated with a period of stress or anxiety that is brief or controlled enough to be enjoyed or appreciated. Contrast with panic. Also see adrenaline rush, adventure, courage, morbid curiosity.

Thyroid Gland - an endocrine gland within the neck that produces thyroid hormone.

Thyroid Disorder - dysfunction of the thyroid gland which can produce symptoms similar to anxiety disorders. See hyperthyroid, hypothyroid.

Tic - spastic movement of particular muscles. Muscular tics are a common symptom of anxiety. Also see tremor.

TID - three times a day. Prescription direction based on the Latin phrase "ter in die." Also see dose.

TIDM - three times a day with meals. Also see dose.

TIR - see Traumatic Incident Reduction.

Tinnitus - a disorder that produces a constant ringing or roaring noise in the ears or head. This condition can be diagnosed by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist and treated with an acoustic therapy called Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT).

Tisiphone - see Erinys.

Tobacco - a plant (Nicotiana). Dried tobacco leaves are smoked as cigars or cigarettes. The effects of smoking tobacco on anxiety are somewhat ambiguous. While nicotine can be calming, it is also addictive which makes withdrawal syndrome a factor. It is also known that carbon dioxide can elevate anxiety. Furthermore, various psychological effects, both pro and con, can be influential. The overall effect of smoking on anxiety can greatly vary from person to person. Even for an individual, smoking may reduce anxiety at some times and aggravate anxiety at other times. CAUTION: as a dopamine agonist, the nicotine in tobacco can be highly addictive.

Tolerance - resistance to the effects of a sedative medication. Also see addiction.

Tranquilizer - any medication used to reduce anxiety or perception of stress. Includes antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Also known as antianxiety medication, anxiolytic medication, minor tranquilizer. Contrast with major tranquilizer.

Transcranial Electrotherapy (TCET) - see Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES).

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) - stimulation of the brain by electromagnetic pulses. Therapeutic application of TMS for treating depression is currently under study. Also see magnet.

Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) - a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that uses guided imagery to treat PTSD.

Treatable - able to be affected by treatment in a positive manner.

Treatment - application of any psychological or medical therapy to promote recovery, reduce symptoms or stabilize a disorder. Contrast with cure.

Tremor - shaking caused by rhythmic or sporadic muscle contractions. Tremors are a common symptom of acute anxiety. Also see convulsion, tic, war tremor.

Trench Neurosis - an alternate name for PTSD dating from WWI.

Tribulin - a chemical messenger associated with PTSD and GAD which inhibits benzodiazepine binding.

Trichotillomania - Compulsive pulling of own hair (body or scalp). Possibly related to obsessive compulsive disorder. Often treated with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.

Tricyclic Antidepressant (TCA) - an older class of antidepressant medications, still widely used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Like most psychiatric medications, TCAs are best started with ramped dosage. Imipramine was the first of the TCA medications; introduced in 1958 as an antidepressant, and found effective in treating anxiety in 1962. The TCA medications include (generic names) amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine, desipramine, dothiepin, doxepin, imipramine, lofepramine, maprotiline, mitriptyline, nortryptyline, trimipramine.

Trigger - any stimulus (image, odor, sound, thought, etc.) that evokes an emotional response. Regarding PTSD, a trigger is any stimulus that evokes a flashback. Regarding phobias, a trigger is any stimulus that evokes exaggerated fear.

Triscadecaphobia - a phobia of the number 13.

TRT - Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. See tinnitus.

Tryptophan - an essential amino acid involved in the biosynthesis of indoleamines. The order of this biosynthesis chain is tryptophan to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) to serotonin (5-HT) to N-acetylserotonin to melatonin to 6-hydroxymelatonin. Dietary sources of tryptophan include bananas.

Twitch - see tic.

Tyrosine - an essential amino acid involved in the biosynthesis of catecholamines. The order of this biosynthesis chain is tyrosine to dopa to dopamine to norepinephrine to epinephrine.

The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders