Saturday, 30 June 2018

What is Psychiatry?

What is Psychiatry?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, psychiatry is a field of medicine which diagnoses, treats and prevents a wide wide range of psychological disorders. 

What is a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists must be medically qualified doctors who have specialised in psychiatry, which is different from most other mental health professionals. Psychiatrists can therefore prescribe medications as well as using psychological treatments. (NHS)
What conditions does psychiatry diagnose and treat? 
A non-exhaustive list via NHS
  • anxiety 
  • phobias 
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • personality disorders 
  • schizophrenia and paranoia
  • depression and bipolar disorder
  • eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
  • sleep disorders, such as insomnia
  • addictions, such as drug or alcohol misuse
Diagnosis
Due to their medical expertise, psychiatrists are able to perform both psychological and medical assessments to provide detailed analysis of a condition. Psychiatrists understand the intricate link between physical and psychological illness and take time to evaluate family history of illness to get a very complete understanding of patient issues in order to develop treatment plans. 

Treatment
Psychiatry takes form in a wide ranging variety of treatments. Different therapies can be combined with medications depending upon the individual needs of the patient as per the diagnosis.  
Depending on the severity of the condition psychiatry can take a couple of sessions, or be an ongoing process of treatment that can take several years. One of the biggest criticisms aimed at psychiatry in the past has been that treatment can potentially go on indefinitely, which can obviously be very expensive and time consuming for both the patient and medical services. 
Examples of treatments include psychotherapy , psycho-social interventions or Electroconvulsive Therapy ECT. 
Examples of medications include; antidepressants (depression, panic disorder, PTSD, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder and eating disorders), sntipsychotic medications (delusions/hallucinations, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder), sedatives and anxiolytics (anxiety, insomnia). The general idea of medications is to attempt to correct chemical imbalances in the brain that are considered to be the cause of psychological dysfunction. 

No comments: