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A full or comprehensive understanding of the connections and expression between Neurosciences, Behavioural Sciences and Clinical Psychiatry is very complex. Neuroscience is a fascinating field, but its relevance to Clinical Psychiatry can be sometimes difficult to grasp, remember and appreciate across all the years of medical education. This concise, but space limited diary information based on supposed connections aims to assist in developing an ongoing interest and assist with the learning of Psychiatry. –Johann Claassen

The Diary concept was first developed and implemented in 2009 by Dr Johann Claassen from the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Western Australia. Tragically, in May 2009 aged 47, Dr Claassen passed away. Dr Claassen was a talented and inspirational teacher of psychiatry and, in recognition of his passion for teaching, he was presented with the 2009 WA Medical Student Society Clinical Teacher of the Year Award. Dr Claassen was full of ideas of how to enhance students learning of psychiatry and to help them understand how psychiatry, neuroscience and behavioural science are integrated. He had a clear vision for the development of this Diary. He wanted to produce an educational experience that highlighted the relationships and links between clinical psychiatry, neuroscience and behavioural science in order to increase student’s knowledge and interest of these multidisciplinary areas. The first Diary was produced and distributed to students in 2009 and was the result of his determination and hard work. Thanks to a Teaching and Learning grant from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences we have been able to provide all Year 3 students with the Diary in 2010. We hope that you learn from the Diary as the year progresses, and as Winthrop Professor Osvaldo Almeida said in his introduction to the 2009 Diary, ‘enjoy the journey and remember to thank Johann for the free ride!’ We would like to thank W/Professor Almeida from the Western Australia Centre for Health and Ageing for providing financial support for the Diary in 2009. We would also like to thank W/Professor Aleksandar Janca, Head of the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences for his ongoing support of the Diary. Diary Contributors: Zaza Lyons, Dr Kellie Bennett, Dr Brian Power, Dr Natalia Bilyk, Dr Helen Street and Rebecca Davis (artist).

School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences November 2009


School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences

Some Psychiatric Terms Affect: the observable emotional condition (which is objective and immediate) of an individual at any given time. Antidepressants: psychiatric medication or other substance (nutrient or herb) used for alleviating depression. These drugs can be used for other conditions. Antipsychotics: also known as neuroleptic medication or tranquilizers. Generally used to treat psychosis (i.e. hallucinations and delusions), most often associated with schizophrenia but also other psychiatric disorders. These drugs can be used for other conditions. Anxiety: feeling of apprehension caused by anticipation of danger which may be internal (psychological) or external (environment).

Dementia: general impairment of intellectual functioning without clouding of consciousness, involving memory problems as well as other higher cognitive functions. Hallucination: a false sensory perception (auditory, visual, gustatory, tactile, and olfactory) that occurs without an external stimulus of sensory modality involved. Insight: the conscious recognition of one’s own condition, namely awareness and understanding of mental illness and the need for treatment. Judgement: the mental act of evaluating choices within a framework of values to make a decision about a course of action.

Anxiolytics/Sedative – Hypnotics: also known as minor tranquilizers. Used to relieve anxiety and reduce tension and irritability.

Major depression: a subjective experience of depressed mood or loss of positive emotions or enjoyment that persists for a significant time and causes an obvious decline in a person’s functioning.

Brain imaging: also known as Neuroimaging. Includes the use of various techniques to either directly or indirectly image the structure, function/ pharmacology of the brain.

Mania: an elevated mood state with associated symptoms of agitation, hyperactivity, rapid thinking and speech which causes a decline in a person’s functioning.

Cognition: the conscious process of knowing or being aware of thoughts or perceptions, including understanding and reasoning.

Medical model: the biopsychosocial model which acknowledges that biological, psychological (which entails thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), and social factors all play a significant role in human functioning in the context of illness.

Delirium: an acute, relatively sudden (developing over hours to days), and reversible decline in attention-focus, perception, and cognition. Usually able to identify the cause. Delusion: a false belief that is firmly held despite objective evidence to the contrary and that is not shared by other members of the culture. Based on an incorrect inference of external reality.

Ment al st ate: a finding on physical examination that may refer to any number of abnormal changes in baseline mental functioning involving appearance, behaviour, speech, mood, thoughts and cognition.

School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 



November 2009 Diary Contributors: Zaza Lyons, Dr Kellie Bennett, Dr Brian Power, Dr Natalia Bilyk, Dr Helen Street and Rebecca Davis (artist...

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