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Psychiatry Specialist Doctor
Psychiatry Specialist Doctor
Mental health has recently become one of the most-talked-about subjects. The existence of a psychiatric specialist or better known as a psychiatrist, plays an important role in helping patients deal with various mental and behavioral health problems.
A psychiatrist is someone who masters psychiatry, a branch of medicine that focuses on studying mental health and behavior. In the branch of psychiatry, a person’s mental or mental state can be disturbed and requires medical measures such as diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Since they are in the realm of medical science, a psychiatrist has the authority to prescribe medications for patients. This is one of the ways that distinguishes a psychiatrist from a psychologist.
Many people still find it difficult to identify the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Although both of them are dealing with a person’s mental disorders, the field of psychology that is studied by psychologists is not part of medical science. Psychology is a non-medical science that focuses on studying a person’s behavior and emotions. Hence, a psychologist cannot provide the same treatment as a psychiatrist does. However, a psychiatrist can work with a psychologist to provide holistic treatment for patients.
People who have mental disorders will experience cognitive, affective, and behavioral changes to their social lives that tend to be destructive and will interfere with their lives. Someone who has an unhealthy psychiatric condition is generally characterized by feelings of discomfort (inadequacy), feelings of insecurity, decreased levels of self-confidence, not enjoying relationships and social interactions, difficulty understanding themselves, personality disorders, emotional immaturity, and nervous system disorders.
Sub-specialties in Psychiatry
To provide more qualified treatment related to psychiatric disorders, there are sub-specialties that a psychiatrist can study such as:
- Forensic psychiatry (law), a sub-specialty in psychiatry that focuses on studying psychiatric disorders related to the interests of law and justice (e.g: finding out which mental disorder motivated the suspect’s actions).
- Addiction psychiatry, a subspecialty in psychiatry that focuses on studying the management of psychiatric problems related to addiction. For example, addiction to drugs and alcohol.
- Paediatric psychiatry, a subspecialty in psychiatry that focuses on studying the handling of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents. Conditions that are commonly handled by paediatric psychiatrists include children’s growth and developmental problems, autism, emotional disorders, schizophrenia and ADHD.
- Geriatric psychiatry, a subspecialty in psychiatry that focuses on studying mental disorders that occur in the elderly. Certain diseases and lower body function can lead to psychiatric disorders in the elderly. Similar to children, the elderly also require specific psychiatric treatment.
- Psychosomatic psychiatry, a subspecialty that focuses on studying psychiatric disorders that can lead to physical illness. Psychosomatic patients’ thoughts have a great influence on the presence of pain or certain physical problems.
Diseases Treated by Psychiatrists
Below are some psychiatric disorders that can be treated by a psychiatrist:
- Bulimia and anorexia.
- Personality disorders.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
- Behavioral disorders, hyperactivity, autism in children.
- Disorders that affect one’s mood, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
- Anxiety disorders and phobias, which causes someone to panic easily
- Psychiatric and behavioral disorders that occur due to consumption of alcohol, drugs etc.
- Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, nightmares, sleep walking, hypersomnia, and rhythm sleep disorders.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a stress disorder that occurs after experiencing a traumatic event.
- Psychiatric disorders triggered by brain disease, chronic disease, cancer, or HIV / AIDS.
- Organic mental disorder, a mental disorder that usually occurs among the elderly and is characterized by cognitive impairment such as fleeting memory problems and impaired physical mobility.
- Disorders related to sexual activity, such as arousal disorders, orgasm disorders, sexual dysfunction, paraphilia, and so on.
Medical Procedures That Psychiatrists Can Perform
As previously discussed, psychiatrists are able to provide treatment to patients with psychiatric disorders. Psychiatrists are similar to general practitioners who are able to carry out evaluations, examinations, make a diagnosis, and provide the right treatment–but it is only specific to the patient’s mental state.
In examining and understanding the symptoms experienced by the patient, a psychiatrist also recommends a series of psychological tests for the patient to undergo. In addition, there are some other supporting examinations such as blood tests or imaging tests (MRI, CT scan).
The following are some medical procedures that can be performed by a psychiatrist:
- Psychotherapy and counselling, medical actions performed by doctors in the form of talk therapy. With this kind of therapy, the objective is so that the mental and emotional disorders experienced by patients will be more controlled and easier to overcome. Psychotherapy can be done individually, in pairs, or in groups.
- Medication prescription, one of the advantages of psychiatrists is that they are allowed to prescribe medications, which is something that psychologists are not. The medications prescribed to patients are generally antipsychotic drugs, sedative and anxiolytic drugs, antidepressants, stimulants, and medications that can help maintain a more stable mood.
- Hypnotherapy, medical treatment in the form of therapy that uses hypnosis, which stimulates the subconscious mind that allows patients to easily receive directions and lose the strength to react to something. This therapy can be used to help treat anxiety disorders, change behavior, relieve pain, as well as overcome trauma and phobias.
- Brain stimulation therapy, therapy performed when other methods of therapy do not give a significant impact. This therapy involves delivering an electric current to the brain (ECT) and uses magnetic waves to the patient. It is generally used to treat mental disorders and severe depression.
When to See a Psychiatrist?
Mental disorders does not only affect a person’s thinking, emotions, and behavior, but also have an impact on the physical. This can go unnoticed, and make it difficult for a person to identify the triggers causing the physical illness. External and internal pressure may also be cause for a person to deal with mental disorders — usually characterized by stress or depression. If you are under these circumstances, seeing a psychiatrist is recommended.
In addition, when a person easily gets anxious, panicky, has difficulty sleeping, and has reduced quality of sleep – it should be alerting as it may be symptoms of mental disorders. Particularly, if one has mood swings for no reason, experiences constant sadness, changes in appetite, has no motivation, experiences hallucinations, has unusual thought patterns, and suicidal thoughts – it is advisable to immediately consult a psychiatrist. Let a psychiatrist explain and examine your mental state and avoid wrong self-diagnosis that only adds to the burden on your mind.
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