Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health disorders, including substance use disorders.
Psychiatric diseases can start at any age. They can affect the emotional, cognitive and behavioural function of the individual. They also affect daily functioning such as interpersonal, social, work and school performance. If left untreated it may lead to disability, decrease in quality of life and impairs wellbeing. Psychiatric disorders might affect the individual as well as his family and surrounding.
Examples of the mental health problems psychiatrists deal with include:
- Difficulty adjusting after a major life changes or loss
- Difficulty adjusting to stress
- Worry and fear-Anxiety disorders such as Panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, generalized anxiety disorder
- Depressed or low mood- Mood disorders such as Depression and Bipolar disorder
- Perinatal and postnatal disorders such as postpartum depression
- Personality disorders such as Paranoid personality disorder, Borderline personality disorder, Narcissistic personality
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Psychotic disorders such as drug induced psychosis and Schizophrenia
- Alcohol and substance abuse, addiction and dependence
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Eating disorders such as Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Binge eating disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Psychiatric symptoms due to medical illnesses
What Treatments Do Psychiatrists Use?
Psychiatrists use a variety of treatments – including various forms of psychotherapy, medications, and psychosocial interventions depending on the needs of each patient.
The aim of the treatment is to relief the symptoms, restore and optimize the functioning of the patient in all life areas.
Psychotherapy, sometimes called talk therapy, is a treatment that involves a talking relationship between a therapist and patient. It can be used to treat a broad variety of mental disorders and emotional difficulties.
The goal of psychotherapy is to eliminate or control disabling or troubling symptoms so the patient can function better. Depending on the extent of the problem, treatment may take just a few sessions over a week or two or may take many sessions over a period of years. Psychotherapy can be done individually, as a couple, with a family, or in a group.
Most medications are used by psychiatrists in much the same way that medications are used to treat high blood pressure or diabetes. After completing thorough evaluations, psychiatrists can prescribe medications to help treat mental disorders. Psychiatric medications can help correct imbalances in brain chemistry that are thought to be involved in some mental disorders.