de- + compensation
decompensation (countable and uncountable, plural decompensations)
- (medicine) The inability of a diseased or weakened organic system or organ to compensate for its deficiency, resulting in functional deterioration.
- 1982, Pamela Martyn, "If You Guessed Cardiovascular Disease, Guess again," American Journal of Nursing, vol. 82, no. 8, p. 1239:
- Once it was determined that hyperthyroidism was the probable etiology of her cardiac decompensation, the next step was treatment of the underlying disease.
- (psychology) The deterioration of cognitive or emotional functionality in a person who is distressed or who suffers from a psychological disorder.
- 1945, William C. Menninger, "The Mentally or Emotionally Handicapped Veteran," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 239 (May), p. 21:
- A varying percentage of our combat soldiers reach the limit of their endurance and must leave their foxholes, not for physical wounds but because of emotional decompensation.
- Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
- Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.