Explanation of technical words and terms

Anticoagulant

A medicine used to prevent blood clots.

Anticonvulsant

A medicine used to treat epilepsy.

Antidepressant

Medication used to treat depression. Antidepressants work by increasing the activity and levels of certain chemicals in the brain that help to lift a person's mood.

Carer

In this information we use 'carer' to mean a friend or family member who cares for someone with an illness or disability.

Carer's assessment

An assessment by social services of a carer's physical and mental health and their needs in their role as a carer. Every person aged 16 years and older who cares for someone on a regular basis has the right to request such an assessment. There should be a written carer's plan, which is given to the carer.

Delusions

Having fixed beliefs that are false but which the person believes in completely.

Hallucinations

Hearing voices and sometimes seeing things that are not there.

Lithium

Medication used mainly in the treatment of a mental disorder called bipolar disorder (or manic depression) but which can also be used to treat moderate or severe depression in combination with an antidepressant.

Psychological treatment

A general term used to describe meeting with a therapist to talk about feelings and thoughts and how these affect a person's life and well-being.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

A type of antidepressant. Examples include citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine and sertraline.

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