Mental health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (WHO, 1948) To get better in a mental health condition, usually you will need expert’s help. Psychiatry is a medical field which involves the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, behavioral and emotional disorders.
Who is a Psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has graduated from the college of medicine and later specializes in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are qualified to deal with both the physical and mental factors of psychological problems. In opposition to common belief, psychiatrists don’t treat only people who are ‘insane’ or ‘crazy’. This is a big misconception because people who suffer from delusions or hallucinations form only a small fraction of psychiatric patients. As a matter of fact, a lot of people have temporary psychiatric conditions that may be effectively treated by a psychiatrist, thus resulting in full recovery of the patient.
People might visit a psychiatrist when they are having difficulties at work, in relationships, or even as a result of medical concerns. These patients could be experiencing many different symptoms including anxiety, sadness, lack of energy, or mood swings. Other symptoms might include trouble with sleep, difficulty concentrating, or trouble with their eating habits. In some cases, the symptoms could be more serious and might include hallucinations or suicidal or homicidal attempts.
What can we expect from a psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist can offer a wide spectrum as well as management and treatment related to mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. Through several interviews and therapy sessions, they can identify the root of concerns and also present treatment options if they are suitable for you. Furthermore, psychiatrists have the background to explain the risks and benefits of the medications and any potential interactions with other medications you are taking. Psychiatrists can do a complete physical examination and other relevant investigations to a check on whether there may be any underlying physical reasons or chemical imbalances leading to emotional distress. Hence, they can hand out the most appropriate treatment.
Mental health concerns which may be diagnosed and treated by a psychiatrist might include:
- Depression and bipolar disorder,
- Personality disorders,
- Eating disorders (e.g, anorexia and bulimia),
- Sleep disorders (e.g, insomnia),
- Sexual disorders
- Alcoholism or drug addiction,
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ,
- Schizophrenia and paranoia.
Psychiatrists may also provide psychological encouragement for people with poor physical health conditions. In some circumstances, they are able to detect situations wherein a patient has to be admitted to the hospital.
To sum up, psychiatrists treat a great variety of mental disorders ranging from mild and temporary to severe and chronic. Management modalities may vary depending on the patient. Continuity of treatment is very important and definitely discontinuation of treatment can be dangerous and counter effective. Part of the services rendered by a psychiatrist or the department of psychiatry will be to offer local community mental health services following up patients and checking on their status, giving talks in the community and schools for awareness of mental health and to try and alleviate stigma on mental health and the patients with mental illness.
These services work in small units or clinics with the aim to help people manage their illness in order that they can be functional optimally despite illness and be productive as well as being less ostracized by society.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: April 11, 2017 | Last Modified: April 11, 2017
What is Psychiatry. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-psychiatry. Accessed December 21st, 2016.
Psychiatry, Psychology, Counseling, and Therapy: What to Expect. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/guide-to-psychiatry-and-counseling. Accessed December 21st, 2016.