Definition of Psychiatry, which is, object of study

Definition of Psychiatry, which is, object of study. Medicine encompasses large areas that are capable of changing your life and getting better. Psychiatry is one of the most interesting medical specialties that exist.

The concept and mission of psychiatry has changed over time and has become much more dimensioned apart from just the study of pathologies of the mind. Psychiatrists are doctors who try to support their patients for better mental and physical health and their work is considered noble.

Definition of Psychiatry, which is, object of study
Definition of Psychiatry, which is, object of study

In today’s article we will help you understand psychiatry much better but from a modern and integral point of view so that you can understand its role in today’s society.

Psychiatry in the XXI century

The conception of psychiatry has been changing as new findings are made. Currently, much more is known about mental illnesses and how they affect the human body so medicine has been able to explore many new treatments and therapies in this field.

In ancient times, magic, mythology, and religion were responsible for explaining diseases of the mind. Today these disorders are considered as psychiatric diseases that affect the experience and personal expression of the human in society. The study of psychiatric disorders continues and this has helped define psychiatry.

Psychiatry could be defined as a “medical specialty that concentrates on the study and treatment of mental illnesses, causes, types and prognosis.” Doctors specializing in this area are known as psychiatrists and may practice after graduate school.

Origins of Psychiatry

The father of psychiatry is Emil Kraepelin, a German who is responsible for psychiatry being considered part of medicine. His contributions were quite important for the field and thanks to them psychological, physiological and social factors have been able to coexist within a diagnosis and treatment.

Psychiatry vs. Psychology

People may have a confusion between what psychology and psychiatry are. The main difference goes beyond that the psychiatrist can prescribe medication and the psychologist cannot. To understand it better, first the common aspects are pointed out and then those that differentiate both disciplines:

Similarities between Psychiatry and Psychology

  • Both sciences are dedicated to the study of the mind in human beings and their problems.
  • They complement each other. They usually work together.
  • Performs therapies which seek to improve the patient’s condition
  • They apply to children, adolescents and adults.

How are they different?

  • Psychology allows you to graduate just by studying the career at a university. On the other hand, to practice psychiatry it is necessary to study medicine and then apply to a postgraduate degree in psychiatry.
  • Only psychiatrists can prescribe drugs of the psychotropic type. Psychologists do not have the medical-legal permission to prescribe any type of medication so their therapies do not include drugs. In fact, psychologists always rely on psychiatrists if a patient needs medication.
  • Psychiatry focuses on neurology while psychology leans towards the emotional plane.
  • Psychiatry is a natural science and psychology is of the social type.

What does psychiatry offer?

Psychiatry focuses entirely on preserving the mental health of the population. Psychiatrists offer consultations which consist of listening to people’s stories and analyzing their behaviors to find the origin and pattern of this discomfort. Psychic symptoms are capable of being associated with traumatic experiences and even hereditary diseases that can have consequences in the daily life of the individual and in society.

Psychiatry offers appropriate therapy to patients that may or may not include psychotropic drugs. There are many tools that allow you to make a correct diagnosis that then gives way to the creation of therapies that promote mental well-being. Psychiatrists can choose to promote mental health, psychoeducation, or drug treatment along with therapy.

Psychiatric diagnoses are complemented by other types of tests that allow a better understanding of the patient’s condition. Laboratory tests, clinical tests and imaging can help detect physical illnesses along with other psychological symptoms that can help the psychiatrist decide on a better treatment for the patient and also if he should be seen by another type of specialist.

How do you know if you should go to the psychiatrist?

This discipline of medicine can treat different problems. Going to the psychiatrist should not be seen as a taboo or a reason for embarrassment. Many patients end up going to a psychiatrist because they are referred from a psychologist. For example, those children or adolescents who have symptoms of depression are usually taken to the psychiatrist at the suggestion of a psychologist.

Also, it is necessary to go to a psychiatrist if you have a history of any type of mental illness in your family. There are associated disorders that can even be hereditary or can give you some kind of hint to be prevented.

You can also go to a consultation out of curiosity and talk to the psychiatrist and he will tell you if it is necessary or not that you continue going.

Psychiatry and its Specialties

Like any medical specialty, psychiatry also has its own sub-specialties. Some of them are:

Psychogeriatrics: Within the metabolic and biological characteristics of the elderly, it is common for specialists to refer them to a psychiatrist. This helps them to live better the effects of drugs and to cope optimally with this stage of their lives.

  • Neuropsychiatry: Psychiatric complications associated with medical illnesses are studied in this branch of psychiatry.
  • Forensic Psychiatry: When a psychiatric patient performs a crime, forensic psychiatrists are responsible for conducting expert reports and reports that help with the case.
  • Sexology: Psychiatrists may specialize in sexology and thus treat primary or secondary sexual problems and their impact on the mind.
  • Emergencies: Suicidal ideation, exaggerated loss of control, panic attacks and phobias are treated in this subspecialty.

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