Specialty

Psychiatry

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What Is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a branch of medicine concerned with diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental health conditions. The term psychiatry means "medical treatment of the soul."

A psychiatrist is a medical professional who practices psychiatry. As opposed to other mental health practitioners like psychologists and counselors, psychiatrists are board-certified medical doctors who have specialized in psychiatry. This implies that they can both prescribe medication and suggest other types of care.

People seek psychiatric assistance for many reasons. Sudden issues can include panic attacks, terrifying hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, or hearing "voices." However, symptoms could be more persistent, such as depressive, hopeless, or anxious sensations that never seem to go away or functional issues that make life feel chaotic or out of control daily.

What Do Psychiatrists Treat?

Depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorders, and schizophrenia are a few examples of mental health issues that psychiatrists treat. They also deal with substance and drug abuse, dependency, and addiction.

Subspecialties Of Psychiatry

Psychiatry has several subspecialties, some of which are:

  • Addiction treatment and rehabilitation management.
  • Emergency psychiatry.
  • The treatment of elderly individuals in geriatric psychiatry.
  • Psychiatry of children and adolescents.
  • Neuropsychiatry.
  • Sleep specialists.
  • Military psychiatry.

Treatments Offered By Psychiatrists

Depending on each patient's needs, psychiatrists employ various treatments, such as different types of psychotherapy, drugs, psychosocial interventions, and other treatments (such as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT).

The process of psychotherapy, often known as talk therapy, entails a talk between the patient and the therapist. It can be used to treat a wide range of emotional problems and mental disorders.

Psychotherapy aims to help patients better function by reducing or eliminating distressing or disabling symptoms. Depending on the severity of the issue, treatment may require a few sessions over a week or two or many sessions over several years. Individual, family, couple, and group psychotherapy can be done.

Psychotherapy is offered in various forms. For example, it can assist patients in exploring the influence of previous relationships and experiences on current behavior, changing their behaviors or cognitive processes, or therapies that are specifically designed to address other issues.

Individual psychoanalysis, which involves frequent sessions over a long period, is a highly intensive form of psychotherapy. On the other hand, a goal-oriented therapy with a problem-solving emphasis is cognitive behavior therapy.

Psychiatrists use the majority of drugs in a similar manner to how drugs are used to treat other health conditions like high blood pressure. In addition, psychiatric medications may help modulate chemical signaling and communication inside the brain, which may lessen some symptoms of psychiatric diseases, even though the exact mechanism of action is not entirely known.

Psychiatrists have the authority to recommend drugs to help treat mental problems following comprehensive evaluations. Therefore, patients receiving long-term drug treatment must visit their psychiatrist regularly to check for the medication's efficacy and potential side effects.

What Distinguishes A Psychiatrist From A Psychologist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has undergone residency and further psychiatric training. Psychotherapy, medication, and other medical procedures can all be prescribed by a psychiatrist.

A psychologist often holds a doctoral degree, most frequently in clinical psychology, and has typically received considerable clinical practice and research training. In addition, psychologists use psychotherapy to treat mental illnesses, and some have advanced training in psychological evaluation and testing.

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