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    A grouping of signs and symptoms, based on their frequent co-occurrence, that may suggest a common underlying pathogenesis, course, familial pattern, or treatment selection.


The sequence of events that leads to a disease or morbid process. It may be, for example, hormonal, chemical, infectious, genetic or traumatic in nature.

A condition that is tends to occur more often in family members than expected by chance alone. A familial disease may be genetic (such as cystic fibrosis) or environmental (such as tuberculosis).


Fine bony projection (usually vertically orientated, unlike osteophytes) from the margin of a vertebra. Characteristic of spondylarthropathy such as ankylosing spondylitis.

Syndrome X
A combination of health conditions that place a person at high risk for heart disease. These conditions are type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood), and obesity. According to theory, all of these conditions are associated with high blood insulin levels, and it is claimed that the underlying problem in patients with Syndrome X is faulty insulin release from the beta cells of the pancreas. Also called Metabolic Syndrome (MS).


The process of influencing a patient to accept an idea, belief, or attitude suggested by the therapist.

In psychoanalytic theory, that part of the personality structure associated with ethics, standards, and self-criticism. It is formed by identification with important and esteemed persons in early life, particularly parents. The supposed or actual wishes of these significant persons are taken over as part of the child's own standards to help form the conscience.

A mutually reinforcing relationship between two persons who are dependent on each other; a normal characteristic of the relationship between the mother and infant child. See separation-individuation.

A general mechanism in all human thinking by which some mental representation comes to stand for some other thing, class of things, or attribute of something. This mechanism underlies dream formation and some symptoms, such as conversion reactions, obsessions, and compulsions. The link between the latent meaning of the symptom and the symbol is usually.

A subjective manifestation of a pathological condition. Symptoms are reported by the affected individual rather than observed by the examiner.


A condition in which a sensory experience associated with one modality occurs when another modality is stimulated, for example, a sound produces the sensation of a particular color.

Syntaxic mode
The mode of perception that forms whole, logical, coherent pictures of reality that can be validated by others.

Systematic desensitization
A behavior therapy procedure widely used to modify behaviors associated with phobias. The procedure involves the construction of a hierarchy of anxiety-producing stimuli by the subject, and gradual presentation of the stimuli until they no longer produce anxiety.

Sacrificial paraphilia
One of a group of paraphilias characterized by triumph wrested developmentally from sexuoerotic tragedy by means of a strategy that incorporates sinful lust into the lovemap on the condition that it requires reparation or atonement by way of penance and sacrifice, since it irrevocably defiles saintly love.

A paraphilia of the sacrificial/expiatory type in which sexuoerotic arousal and facilitation or attainment of orgasm are responsive to and contingent on [and dependent upon] being the authority who variously imposes abuse, torture, punishment, discipline, humiliation, obedience, and servitude. The reciprocal paraphilic condition is masochism.

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