Psychiatry refers to a field of medicine focused specifically on the mind, aiming to study, prevent, and treatmental disorders in humans.
It has been described as an intermediary between the world from a
social context and the world from the perspective of those who are
People who specialize in psychiatry often differ from most other mental health professionals and physicians in that they must be familiar with both the social and biological sciences.The discipline studies the operations of different organs and body
systems as classified by the patient's subjective experiences and the
objective physiology of the patient.
Psychiatry treats mental disorders, which are conventionally divided into three very general categories: mental illnesses, severe learning disabilities, and personality disorders.While the focus of psychiatry has changed little over time, the
diagnostic and treatment processes have evolved dramatically and
continue to do so.
Psychiatric diagnoses take place in a wide variety of settings and are performed by many different health professionals.
Therefore, the diagnostic procedure may vary greatly based upon these
factors. Typically, though, a psychiatric diagnosis utilizes a
differential diagnosis procedure where a mental status examination and physical examination is conducted, with pathological, psycho pathological or psycho social histories obtained, and sometimes neuro images or other neurophysiology's measurements are taken, or personality tests or cognitive tests administered.
In some cases, a brain scan might be used to rule out other medical
illnesses, but at this time relying on brain scans alone cannot
accurately diagnose a mental illness or tell the risk of getting a
mental illness in the future.
Some clinicians are beginning to utilize genetics and speechduring the diagnostic process but on the whole these remain research topics.
Psychiatric treatments have changed over the past several decades. In the past, psychiatric patients were often hospitalized for six months or more, with some cases involving hospitalization for many years.
Average inpatient psychiatric treatment stay has decreased significantly since the 1960s, a trend known as de-institutionalization.
Today in most countries, people receiving psychiatric treatment are more likely to be seen as outpatients.
If hospitalization is required, the average hospital stay is around one
to two weeks, with only a small number receiving long-term
hospitalization. Psychiatric inpatients are people admitted to a hospital or clinic to
receive psychiatric care. Some are admitted involuntarily, perhaps
committed to a secure hospital, or in some jurisdictions to a facility
within the prison system.
Outpatient treatment involves periodic visits to a psychiatrist for
consultation in his or her office, or at a community-based outpatient
clinic. Initial appointments, at which the psychiatrist conducts a
psychiatric assessment or evaluation of the patient, are typically 45 to
75 minutes in length. Follow-up appointments are generally shorter in
duration, i.e., 15 to 30 minutes, with a focus on making medication
adjustments, reviewing potential medication interactions, considering
the impact of other medical disorders on the patient's mental and
emotional functioning, and counseling patients regarding changes they
might make to facilitate healing and remission of symptoms. The frequency with which a psychiatrist sees people in treatment varies
widely, from once a week to twice a year, depending on the type,
severity and stability of each person's condition, and depending on what
the clinician and patient decide would be best.