Psychiatry is a medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and understanding of mental disorders. These disorders can affect mood, behavior, cognition, and perceptions, impacting an individual's ability to function and quality of life.
As a branch of medicine, Psychiatry is concerned with patients who may present with a complex array of symptoms that require a nuanced approach to diagnosis and treatment. The field works to alleviate mental and emotional suffering in patients and aims to provide a path towards recovery and improved mental health.
The initial psychiatric assessment typically includes a thorough case history and mental status examination. Additional diagnostic tools may include:
- Physical examinations to rule out other medical conditions
- Psychological tests to assess specific cognitive or emotional domains
- Laboratory tests to provide supporting data
- Neuroimaging or other neurophysiological studies in certain cases
Mental disorders are diagnosed according to established manuals including:
- The International Classification of Diseases (ICD), by the WHO
- The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), by the APA
The DSM's latest edition, DSM-5, incorporates the latest research and clinical experience into its diagnostic criteria.
Treatment in Psychiatry may include a combination of:
- Psychotropic medication: Such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers
- Psychotherapy: Including cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, or group therapy
- Other modalities like assertive community treatment and community reinforcement
- Interventions for substance abuse and supported employment
Treatment settings can vary from inpatient facilities to outpatient clinics, with decisions based on the severity of the disorder and the patient's needs.
Research in Psychiatry is conducted on an interdisciplinary basis, often in collaboration with:
List of Psychiatrists (USA)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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