Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that is concerned with the understanding, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affects the mind. These disorders can involve emotions, behaviour, perceptions and the thinking of a person. Psychiatry is one of the most interesting and rewarding specialties in medicine. Every day can be different, and every patient seen is quite unique. Psychiatrists work in many different places including hospitals, people’s own homes, residential centres, old people’s homes and even in prisons.
What do psychiatrists do?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who looks after patients with mental health problems. They assess patients, make diagnoses, they may investigate medical problems, offer advice, and recommend different treatments including medication, counselling or other life style interventions. Treatment of patients with mental health problems depends on a wide range of professionals including psychiatric nurses, social workers, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and occupational therapists. The psychiatrist works together with these professionals as part of a team.
Some of the sub-specialities of psychiatry department include:
- Management of addiction and rehabilitation
- Child and adolescent psychiatry
- Geriatric psychiatry concerning elderly patients
- Emergency psychiatry
- Military psychiatry
- Sleep specialists
For majority of the psychiatric disorders, there are no laboratory tests to confirm the condition. Instead, a patient has toundergoes a series of psychological tests, although biochemical tests are also performed to check the patient's physical health status.