Glossary

Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

A

A.A.

An acronym used for Alcoholics Anonymous.

A.B.C. Model

A model describing the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors; A.B.C. stands for Activating event, Beliefs, Consequences.

A.D.A.

An acronym for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Abstinence

Voluntary forbearance from indulgence in a substance or activity (e.g., alcohol, substances, smoking).

Acceptance

To endure without protest or reaction.

Acute

Having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course.

AD

An abbreviation for the website afterdeployment.t2.health.mil.

Adaptation

The ability to adjust to new information and experiences.

Addiction

A condition in which the body requires a drug in order to function without physical and psychological reactions to its absence; often the outcome of tolerance and dependence.

Aggression

A type of behavior or action that is associated with anger (emotion).

Anger

A feeling/emotion; a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism.

Anger Cues

Signals that the anger level is rising. Cues can include physical sensations, thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Anger meter

A tool used on afterdeployment.t2.health.mil that helps you become more aware of the changes in your level of anger.

Anxiety

A feeling/emotion. An abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it.

Assertiveness

A type of behavior/communication style that gives equal respect both your and another’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a conflict.

Automatic response

Thoughts that are automatic or “pop up” without a person trying to “think” them.

Avoidance reactions

Behavior in which someone attempts to stay away from/avoid certain things/triggers (people, places, conversations, smells, sounds, etc.) that remind you of your trauma.

Go to top

B

B.A.C.

An acronym used for Blood Alcohol Concentration; the amount of alcohol in the blood at any given time that determines the effect that alcohol is having.

Behavior

The manner of conducting oneself; the response of an individual, group or species to its environment.

Binge Drinking

Drinking five or more drinks at a time.

Blaming

A type of negative self–talk/thinking error; the belief that physical or emotional pain was caused by someone trying to be hurtful on purpose.

Blood Alcohol Concentration

(also known as B.A.C.) The amount of alcohol in the blood at any given time that determines the effect that alcohol is having.

Go to top

C

Catastrophic thinking

If you continue to worry that something bad will happen, even in the face of realistic information that it probably won't.

Chronic

Marked by long duration or frequent recurrence.

Circadian rhythms

The natural sleep and wakefulness cycle that lasts approximately 24 hours.

Communication

A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.

Conflict

A fight, battle or war; competitive or opposing action of incompatibles (antagonistic state or action - as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons).

Conflict Resolution Model

A way of acting assertively in a situation; involves five steps: identify the problem, identify the feelings, identify the impact, make a decision and address/resolve.

Consequence

A result of an action or behavior.

Coping

The process of dealing with or overcoming problems and difficulties.

Crisis

An emotionally significant event or a radical change in a person's life.

Go to top

D

DCoE

An acronym for the Defense Centers of Excellence.

Deployment

The process of extending or moving out a military unit.

Depression

An emotional state marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

A deep breathing technique in which you focus breathing into the belly during inhale and exhale. This technique is used to reduce the effects of a stress response.

Discrimination

When an individual or thing is treated in a way that is based on their group, class, or category, instead of being treated based on their own individual merit. Examples of discrimination include racial and religious discrimination or discrimination based on mental health status or injury status.

Distress

A pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part or the mind.

DoD

An acronym for the Department of Defense.

Go to top

E

Emotion

A conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

Emotional Numbing

A decrease in the intensity or "turning off" of negative feelings/emotions to avoid unpleasant emotions. Can often affect positive emotions as a result.

Escalation Phase

The first phase in the aggression cycle where the level of anger is building.

Explosion Phase

The second phase in the aggression cycle where anger is released in the form of verbal or physical aggression.

Go to top

F

Feeling

A conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

Fight-or-flight response

A state of emotional and physical arousal that is a natural bodily response to danger. It helps the body prepare to either stay and fight the danger or escape.

Flashback

A past incident/event reoccurring vividly in the mind.

Forgiveness

Allowing room for error or weakness.

Go to top

G

Grief

A normal and natural reaction to loss.

Guilt

Feelings of culpability/responsibility especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy.

Go to top

H

Holistic

Involving the whole system; in medicine or mental health this is concerning the body and the mind.

Hyperarousal reactions

Stress reaction where the body maintains a high level of physical tension and alertness all the time.

Hypervigilance

A state of being associated with being overly watchful, especially to avoid danger.

Go to top

I

Injury

Hurt, damage or loss sustained by the body, mind or physical property.

Insomnia

Prolonged and usually abnormal inability to obtain adequate sleep.

Interpretation

To conceive in the light of individual belief, judgment or circumstance.

Interpretation

To conceive in the light of individual belief, judgment or circumstance.

Isolation

To be alone, set apart or separate from others; a common behavior for service members following the return from deployment and is often associated with depression and post-traumatic stress reactions.

Go to top

J

Judgment

The process by which people form opinions, reach conclusions, and make critical evaluations of events and people based on available material; also, the product of that mental activity.

Go to top

L

Learning

A process based on experience that results in a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavioral potential.

Lesions

Injuries to or destruction of brain tissue.

Libido

The psychic energy that drives individuals toward sensual pleasures of all types, especially sexual ones.

Go to top

M

Maintenance

To keep in an existing state or sustain a behavior.

Meditation

To focus one's thoughts, reflect on or ponder; to engage in mental exercise (as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.

Mental Reframing

A process aimed at interrupting the automatic thought process and challenging negative thoughts by substituting positive thoughts. Mental reframing has five steps: self-monitoring, the ABC model, identifying thinking errors, challenging your thoughts and using positive self-talk.

Mindfulness

To be aware; a mental state, characterized by calm awareness of one's body functions, feelings, content of consciousness, or consciousness itself are occurring within mind.

Go to top

N

N.A.

An acronym used for Narcotics Anonymous.

Narcolepsy

A condition characterized by brief attacks of sleep that can happen at any time.

Narcotic

A drug that in moderate doses dulls the senses, relieves pain, and induces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, or convulsions; subject to restriction regardless of psychological addiction.

Negative thoughts

Thoughts that are pessimistic or downbeat; present in the depressive cycle with negative thoughts leading to depression.

Nightmare

A frightening dream that usually awakens the sleeper.

Go to top

P

P.C.P.

An acronym for Primary Care Provider.

P.L.A.N. Tool

A tool used on afterdeployment.t2.health.mil to prepare for triggers when you know they are coming; P.L.A.N. stands for Prepare, Let Go, Accept, Note.

Pain

The body's response to noxious stimuli that are intense enough to cause, or threaten to cause, tissue damage.

Panic

A sudden overpowering fright; acute extreme anxiety and worry.

Perseverance

A continued persistence in an undertaking despite counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement.

Physiological dependence

The process by which the body becomes adjusted to and dependent on a drug.

Podcast

A program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.

Post-explosion Phase

The third phase in the aggression cycle involving the negative outcomes from explosion phase.

Post-traumatic stress

A psychological reaction occurring after experiencing a highly stressing event (as wartime combat, physical violence, or a natural disaster) that is usually characterized by depression, anxiety, flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the event.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

A technique in which you learn to relax your muscles and reduce tension during a stress response.

Psychiatrist

An individual who has obtained an M.D. degree and also has completed postdoctoral specialty training in mental and emotional disorders; a psychiatrist may prescribe medications for the treatment of psychological disorders.

Psychological dependence

The psychological need or craving for a drug.

Psychological diagnosis

The label given to psychological abnormality by classifying and categorizing the observed behavior pattern into an approved diagnostic system.

Psychologist

An individual with a doctoral degree in psychology from an organized, sequential program in a regionally accredited university or professional school.

Psychology

The scientific study of the behavior of individuals and their mental processes.

PTSD

An acronym that stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Go to top

R

R.E.M.

(also known as Rapid Eye Movements ) A behavioral sign of the phase of sleep during which the sleeper is likely to be experiencing dreamlike mental activity.

R.I.D. Tool

A tool used on afterdeployment.t2.health.mil to reduce the emotional and physical impact of trauma triggers. R.I.D. stands for Relax, Identify, Decide.

R.L.S.

An acronym for Restless Leg Syndrome; referring to the odd or uncomfortable sensations in the legs that cause an overwhelming urge to move them; described as crawling, tingling or burning and is typically made better by moving the legs.

Rapid eye movements

(also known as R.E.M.) A behavioral sign of the phase of sleep during which the sleeper is likely to be experiencing dreamlike mental activity.

Re-experiencing

Having feelings as if you are experiencing events from your deployment or trauma again. It can feel as if deployment memories suddenly pop into your mind. Something may remind you of what happened or you find yourself having nightmares about deployment.

Reasoning

The process of thinking in which conclusions are drawn from a set of facts; thinking directed toward a given goal or objective.

Reintegration

To bring something back together; with deployment, this is the process of returning to family, community and work.

Relapse

Backsliding, worsening or subsiding after improvement.

Resiliency

An ability to adapt to, recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

Restless Leg Syndrome

(also known as R.L.S.) Odd or uncomfortable sensations in the legs that cause an overwhelming urge to move them; described as crawling, tingling or burning and is typically made better by moving the legs.

Rumination

Going over something (such as an event) over and over again in your mind.

Go to top

S

S.T.A.R.T.

A tool used on afterdeployment.t2.health.mil that assists in smoking cessation; S.T.A.R.T. stands for set a date, tell others, anticipate challenges, remove cigarettes and tobacco from your environment, and talk to a doctor.

S.T.E.P.S.

A tool used on afterdeployment.t2.health.mil that assists in confident communication with others in a social environment. S.T.E.P.S. stands for self-talk, tone of voice, eye contact, posture and smile.

Self-esteem

A confidence and satisfaction in oneself; self-respect.

Self-monitoring

Reflecting or monitoring the things you think, say and your own behavior.

Self-Stigma

Harsh or unjustified beliefs about yourself that lead to feeling worse than your peers and the avoidance of certain activities or conversations because of these beliefs.

Self-talk

The thoughts that reflect your beliefs and attitudes about the world, other people and yourself.

Shame

A painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming or impropriety.

Sleep Apnea

A sleep disorder of the upper respiratory system that causes the person to stop breathing while asleep; caused by the throat briefly caving in and blocking the air flow into the lungs.

Sleep Terrors

(also known as night terrors) Typically occurring during the first half of the night, involve intense fear, or terror during sleep.

Spiritual Fitness

Carries different meanings for people; having a spiritual life, or a set of values and beliefs that guide and give life meaning.

Spirituality

Carries different meanings for people; a state involving the meaning and significance of life, values, beliefs, ethics, transcendent experiences and awareness beyond oneself, connection (with self, others, God), and reflection on life.

Stereotype

An overly simple way of thinking about a certain group that is based on general trends or cultural expectations. Each group (including races, nationalities, religious groups, service groups, age ranges, etc.) may have characteristics that people expect to see. Although stereotypes sometimes have an element of truth, they are never accurate for all individuals in a group.

Stigma

Stigma is defined by The New Oxford American Dictionary as "a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance." In other words, a group of people are stigmatized or rejected if they are seen as different from or worse off than their peers.

Stress

A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.

Stressor

Internal or external "signals" that cause stress.

Substance

something (as drugs or alcoholic beverages) deemed harmful and usually subject to legal restriction.

Go to top

T

T.R.A.P.

A tool on afterdeployment.t2.health.mil used for identifying the behaviors that may contribute to depression; T.R.A.P. stands for Trigger, Response, Avoidance Pattern.

T2

An abbreviation for the National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

TBI

Traumatic Brain Injury.

Thinking errors

(also called Thought Distortions) Negative automatic thoughts that distort or twist the truth, making things seem worse than they really are. Errors in thinking happen when thoughts don't really fit all the facts. Thinking errors can be grouped into at least ten common types: All-or-nothing, exaggerating/minimizing, overgeneralization, mental filter, discounting the positive, emotional reasoning, jumping-to-conclusions, labeling, "should" statements, and personalization.

Thought Distortions

(also called Thinking Errors) Negative automatic thoughts that distort or twist the truth, making things seem worse than they really are. Errors in thinking happen when thoughts don't really fit all the facts. Thinking errors can be grouped into at least ten common types: All-or-nothing, exaggerating/minimizing, overgeneralization, mental filter, discounting the positive, emotional reasoning, jumping-to-conclusions, labeling, "should" statements, and personalization.

Time-out

A tool used to manage anger by giving the person an opportunity to cool down by leaving the situation or stopping whatever is triggering the anger. Time-outs provide a person some time to carefully consider the possible options before reaching a decision.

Trauma

An agent, force, or mechanism that causes significant distress; a psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental, emotional or physical stress.

Trauma Trigger

Something that reminds you of your trauma and is usually associated with unwanted thoughts or memories of the event(s). Can include: sights, sounds, smells, body sensations, internal thoughts/memories/feelings.

Trigger Ladder

A tool used on afterdeployment.t2.health.mil for ranking the severity and impact of triggers.

Trigger Record

A tool used to identify your personal triggers.

Go to top

W

Wellness

Optimal health, incorporating the ability to function fully and actively over the physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental domains of health.

Withdrawal

The syndrome of often painful physical and psychological symptoms that follows discontinuance of an addicting drug (substances); social or emotional detachment (psychological/physical).

Go to top