Last updated date: 31-Jan-2023
Originally Written in English
Mental health is essential in every single stage of life, right from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. It’s characterized by social, emotional, and psychological wellbeing. Therefore, any mental health issue can highly impair normal thinking, feeling, and behavior.
Psychiatry is thus concerned with the mental health state of the patients. It helps diagnose, treat, and prevent a range of behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders. It also aims at restoring the normal mental state to enable patients to live normally.
Definition of Psychiatry
Psychiatry is a specialized medical field that focuses on diagnosing, treating, preventing, and managing a wide range of mental disorders. Mental disorders consist of the maladaptations associated with the person's overall behavior, moods, perception, and cognition.
A combination of certain factors can interfere with mental health, causing a range of problems. These factors vary from one person to another. Sometimes, they are linked to daily interaction with other family members, society, or community.
Overall, a mental disorder should not be presumed as a normal weakness/ condition that the affected person can easily overcome. This is because a mental disorder can be a serious problem that could cause disabling issues. Therefore, it’s essential to treat and address mental health conditions sooner. This helps prevent the patient from causing disruption or harm to the family and society.
Sub-Specialties of Psychiatry
Psychiatry is generally a diverse branch. It consists of various subspecialties that address every patient's health concerns and needs in all life stages. It can be from childhood, adolescent stage to adulthood phase, and old age.
These sub-specialties include;
- Child and adolescent psychiatry
The child and adolescent psychiatry field are concerned with infants, young children, adolescents, and the entire family. It also focuses on children’s developmental disorders. It includes autism, ADHD, behavioral, and emotional challenges that can lead to abuse and conflicts.
Mostly, the health concerns and challenges that can result in mental issues in the future are noticeable and diagnose during the adolescent stage. Therefore, a psychiatrist usually works with the children and teenagers experiencing the early episodes of disorders. These disorders include anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia. This helps prevent mental illness and complications in the future.
- Perinatal and infant psychiatry
Perinatal and infant psychiatry focuses on mental health issues such as postnatal depression. This is a serious condition that can result in chronic and long term impacts on children, families, and relationships.
Perinatal mental health is usually linked to the mental health of infants. Therefore, the relationship between the baby and the mother is crucial. This is because it can affect the child and cause varying issues later on in life.
- Adult psychiatry
Adult psychiatry addresses mental health issues that affect adults and their families. The common adult mental condition includes bipolar disorder, personality problems, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety issues.
The adult psychiatrists help formulate and identify effective management plans for the affected patients and their families. They also provide treatment options such as medication, lifestyle advice, education, and therapies, including psychological, social, and occupational.
- Old age psychiatry
Old age psychiatry is associated with the patterns, impacts, and causes of mental health issues in older adults. It’s also concerned with the aging process, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual concerns, and late-life medical factors.
Psychiatrists provide specialized assessment, prevention, treatment, and care for older adults with mental health problems. These mental problems include dementia, schizophrenia, and depression.
- Addiction psychiatry
Addiction psychiatry focuses on stopping, reducing, or preventing addictive behaviors in children, adolescents, adults, and older people. It also aims at addressing the patient’s susceptibilities to addiction and helps them while recovering.
An addiction psychiatrist requires a wide range of psychiatric skills. This is because their work mainly involves studying, treating, and preventing various types of addictions. It also requires knowledge in psychological treatment, physical health, and understanding social context or public health approaches towards these issues.
- Consultation-liaison psychiatry
Consultation-liaison psychiatry focuses on the coexistence of various psychological and physical problems. These issues sometimes reveal themselves as concerns, including challenges in adjusting to the condition or self-harm.
Patients coping and adjusting to severe disease can highly benefit from consultation-liaison psychiatry assistance. This is, especially if they are experiencing difficulties managing and dealing with the conditions.
Neuropsychiatry is connected to psychiatry, medicine, and neurology. It focuses on understanding the relationship between brain-behavior and caring for patients with neuropsychiatric conditions. It also deals with issues of mental health as well as biological brain disorders.
Neuropsychiatrists treat and help patients with different emotional, behavioral, and cognition behaviors related to organic brain conditions. It includes neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.
- Forensic psychiatry
Forensic psychiatry deals with assessing and treating criminals with mental health issues in prisons, hospitals, or community. This field requires extensive skills and an understanding of the connections between the law and mental health.
Forensic psychiatrists' role is to help the court determine criminal responsibility, assess, and treat the criminals. They also handle issues such as juvenile offending, involuntary treatment, competence, disability, and injury.
Psychiatric disorders refer to mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s moods, thoughts, and behavior. These disorders can also result in pain, disability, loss of freedom, and sometimes death.
There are several types of psychiatric disorders that mental health specialists diagnose. They include;
Depression: Associated with an extreme feeling of worthlessness, frequent sadness, and minimal interest even in the previous favorite activities. It includes premenstrual syndrome disorder and major depressive disorder.
Anxiety issues: This disorder is characterized by focusing and concentrating on bad or harmful things that might happen and excessively worrying about them. Examples of anxiety issues include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or phobias, fear of certain things, including heights or plains.
Trauma and stress associated disorders: Occurs during or after experiencing traumatic and stressful life events. It includes acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Obsessive-compulsive disorders: This condition causes unwanted and repeating thoughts, urges, and images. It makes the patients feel driven to doing repeated actions as a way of responding to them. Obsessive-compulsive disorders include hair pulling disorder or trichotillomania and hoarding disorder.
Personality problems: Involves a persistent pattern of unhealthy traits and emotional instability, severely affecting relationships and day-to-day living. Examples of personality disorders are antisocial, narcissistic personality issues, and borderline.
Eating disorders: This involves disturbances associated with eating. For example, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa.
Bipolar disorders: These are disorders where the mania episodes alternate based on the periods of depression. An episode of mania refers to the period of too much excitement, energy, and activity.
Schizophrenia spectrum: This is a psychotic disorder that causes total detachment from reality. Patients with this condition can experience hallucinations, confused speech or thoughts, and delusions.
Neurodevelopment conditions: These are disorders that begin during infancy or early childhood stage. They include autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and learning issues.
Other types of psychiatric disorders include;
- Somatic symptom disorders
- Dissociative conditions
- Sleep and waking disorders
- Elimination problem
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Gender dysphoria
- Substance abuse or addictive problems
- Disruptive, conduct, and impact control disorder
- Neurocognitive disorder
- Paraphilic issues
Signs and Symptoms of Psychiatric Disorders
The common signs and symptoms that might indicate a psychiatric disorder include;
- Inability to fully concentrate
- Confused thinking
- Difficulty in managing everyday stress and challenges
- Frequent sadness and always feeling down
- Difficulty in understanding certain situations and other people
- Intense fatigue, reduced energy, and sleeping issues
- Withdrawal challenges, especially from people or activities you were initially used to
- Suicidal thinking
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Too much anger and violence
- Unusual feelings of worry, fear, or guilt
- Changes of the moods that often shift drastically
- Delusions, paranoia, or hallucinations
- Changes in eating habits
- Sex drive changes
Treating Psychiatry Disorders
There is no specific cure for mental health disorders. However, the treatment aims to minimize the symptoms, address the root cause, and manage the condition. Therefore, it’s essential to work with your doctor to develop a suitable treatment plan depending on the condition.
The common treatment options can offered at the psychiatric hospitals can include;
Medication: Includes anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, mood-stabilizing drugs, and antipsychotic medication.
Psychotherapy: Talking therapy gives you a chance to communicate with your doctor and share your thoughts, experience, ideas, and feelings.
Residential and hospital treatment: Involves a short intensive treatment at the medical clinic or the residential facility. This allows an overnight stay for comprehensive care and treatment.
Home remedies and lifestyle adjustment: This is an alternative treatment that helps reduce and prevent mental health disorders from advancing. It includes living a healthy lifestyle, avoiding alcohol, and adhering to the treatment plan.
Psychiatry involves the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of different types of mental disorders. Besides, the psychiatrists are trained to identify mental health issues and differentiate them from other conditions. They also help monitor the impacts of the mental condition on the physical conditions.
CloudHospital specializes in psychiatry. It helps you receive better treatment by recommending the best psychiatric doctor who is trained and skilled to handle various types of mental issues. Furthermore, they provide therapy services to help control the condition and enable you to live a normal life.