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Terms Definitions
Behavioral Health Care Continuum of services for individuals at risk of, or suffering from, mental, addictive, or other behavioral health disorders.
Behavioral Therapy As the name implies, behavioral therapy focuses on behavior-changing unwanted behaviors through rewards, reinforcements, and desensitization. Desensitization, or Exposure Therapy, is a process of confronting something that arouses anxiety, discomfort, or fear and overcoming the unwanted responses. Behavioral therapy often involves the cooperation of others, especially family and close friends, to reinforce a desired behavior.
Benchmark The industry measure of best performance for a particular indicator or performance goal. The benchmarking process identifies the best performance in the industry (health care or non-health care) for a particular process or outcome, determines how that performance is achieved, and applies the lessons learned to improve performance.
Beneficiary A person certified as eligible for health care services. A beneficiary may be a dependent or a subscriber.
Binge-Eating Disorder Binge-eating is an eating disorder characterized by frequent episodes of compulsive overeating, but unlike bulimia, the eating is not followed by purging. During food binges, individuals with this disorder often eat alone and very quickly, regardless of whether they feel hungry or full.
Biofeedback Biofeedback is learning to control muscle tension and "involuntary" body functioning, such as heart rate and skin temperature; it can be a path to mastering one's fears. It is used in combination with, or as an alternative to, medication to treat disorders such as anxiety, panic, and phobias.
Biomedical Treatment Medication alone, or in combination with psychotherapy, has proven to be an effective treatment for a number of emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders. Any treatment involving medicine is a biomedical treatment. The kind of medication a psychiatrist prescribes varies with the disorder and the individual being treated.
Bipolar Disorder Extreme mood swings punctuated by periods of generally even-keeled behavior characterize this disorder. Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. This disorder typically begins in the mid-twenties and continues throughout life. Without treatment, people who have bipolar disorder often go through devastating life events such as marital breakups, job loss, substance use, and suicide.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Symptoms of borderline personality disorder, a serious mental illness, include pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. The instability can affect family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual's sense of self-identity.
Bulimia Nervosa Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by excessive eating. People who have bulimia will eat an excessive amount of food in a single episode and almost immediately make themselves vomit or use laxatives or diuretics (water pills) to get rid of the food in their bodies. This behavior often is referred to as the "binge/purge" cycle. Like people with anorexia, people with bulimia have an intense fear of gaining weight.

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