BEHAVIOURISM
are usually avoided if the training is
delayed until the child is physically and
emotionally ready
In children between the ages of four
and
eight
years,
minor
behavioural
problems, such as
thumb-sucking
and
nail-biting, clinginess, bedwetting (see
enuresis, nocturnal),
and disruption dur-
ing the night due to
nightmares,
are so
common as to be almost normal. Such
problems are best dealt with by using a
positive approach that concentrates on
rewarding
good behaviour.
In most
cases, the child grows out of the prob-
lem, but medical help from a child
guidance counsellor or a child psych-
iatrist may occasionally be needed.
behaviourism
An
American
school
of
psychology
founded by John Broadus Watson early
in the 20th century He argued that,
because behaviour, rather than experi-
ence, was all that could be observed in
others, it should constitute the sole
basis of psychology.
behaviour therapy
A collection of techniques, based on
psychological theory, that are used to
change abnormal behaviour or to treat
anxiety. Behaviour therapy is based on
two main ideas: that repeated exposure
to a feared experience under safe condi-
tions will render it less threatening, and
that desirable behaviour can be encour-
aged by using a system of rewards,
often self-administered.
TYPES
Specific behaviour therapy techniques
include exposure therapy (also known
as desensitization), flooding, response
prevention, and modelling.
Exposure therapy
A technique that is
commonly used to treat phobic disor-
ders, such as
agoraphobia
(a fear of open
spaces and/or public places), animal
phobias, and fear of flying. It consists of
exposing the patient to the cause of the
anxiety in stages: for example, the ther-
apist may accompany an agoraphobic
patient on a short journey At the same
time, the patient is taught to cope with
anxiety symptoms by using relaxation
techniques. The intensity of the exposure
is increased, until eventually, he or she is
able to deal with the full situation.
Flooding
In flooding, the patient is con-
fronted directly and for a lengthy period
with the anxiety-provoking stimulus.
He or she is supported by the therapist
until the fear is reduced. This technique
can be emotionally traumatic and is
now used less commonly.
Response prevention
The patient is pre-
vented from carrying out an obsessional
task.
For
example,
someone with a
handwashing compulsion is prevented
from carrying out the washing rituals.
This technique is used in combination
with other methods.
Modelling
In this approach, the therapist
acts as a model for the patient, perform-
ing the anxiety-provoking activity first,
and encouraging the patient to copy.
behaviour, types A and B
Behaviours characteristic of two person-
ality types described in the early 1970s,
when studies were performed to exam-
ine the behaviour patterns of people
with coronary artery disease.
It was proposed that a particular
behaviour pattern (called Type A) was
associated with increased vulnerability
to stress-related illnesses, such as
hyper-
tension
(high blood pressure). Type A
personalities are said to feel constantly
under pressure to perform many tasks at
the same time, and to be competitive
and self-critical. They are also impatient
and easily irritated by others. In contrast
to this, people with Type B personalities
are said to be calmer and more relaxed.
Behcet’s syndrome
A rare, multisystem disorder with recur-
rent
mouth ulcers
and
genital ulcers
and
inflammation of the eyes, skin, joints,
blood vessels, brain, and intestines.
The cause of Behqet’s syndrome is
unknown, but the disorder is strongly
associated with HLA-B51, a genetically
determined
histocompatability antigen.
It
affects twice as many men as women.
Treatment of Behqet’s syndrome is often
difficult and may involve
corticosteroid
drugs
and
immunosuppressant drugs.
The
condition often becomes long term.
belching
The noisy return of air from the stom-
ach through the mouth. Swallowing air
is usually an unconscious habit, which
may result from eating or drinking too
much and/or too quickly. Occasionally,
belching may help to alleviate discom-
fort caused by indigestion.
belladonna
An extract of the deadly nightshade plant
that has, since ancient times, been used
medicinally. Belladonna contains
alkaloids
(substances containing nitrogen), such
as
atropine,
that are used as
antispasmodic
drugs
to treat gastrointestinal disturban-
ces. (See also
anticholinergic drugs.)
Bell’s palsy
The most common form of
facial palsy
(facial muscle weakness).
Bence-Jones protein
An abnormal protein found in the urine
of people with
multiple myeloma,
which
is a cancer affecting one type of cell in
the bone marrow.
bendrofluazide
The former name for the diuretic drug
bendroflumethiazide
.
bendroflumethiazide
A thiazide
diuretic drug
that is used to
treat
hypertension
(high blood pressure)
and
heart failure
.
bends
The nonmedical term for
decompression
sickness.
The term is used especially to
refer to the severe bone and joint pains
that are a common symptom in divers
who rise to the surface too rapidly
benign
A term used to describe a disease that is
relatively harmless. When used to refer
to tumours, benign means noncancer-
ous tumours that do not invade or
destroy local tissues and do not spread
to other sites within the body
benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
A medical term for noncancerous en-
largement of the prostate gland (see
prostate, enlarged
).
Bennett’s fracture
A fracture of the base of the thumb,
which is often accompanied by partial
dislocation of the joint.
benorilate
A
nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory
drug
(NSAID) that contains
aspirin
and
para-
cetamol.
Benorilate is mainly used to
relieve joint pain and stiffness in
osteo-
arthritis
and
rheumatoid arthritis.
Side
effects of benorilate are not usually seri-
ous, but the aspirin in the drug may
cause nausea, indigestion, or bleeding
from the stomach lining.
benorylate
The former spelling of the nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drug
benorilate.
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