Psychiatric medical care includes the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. It also includes the study of human behavior, mental, and emotional issues in general.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD or DO) specializing in treating a wide range of illnesses affecting the mind and brain. Thanks to rigorous and extensive training, psychiatrists are authorized to assess both mental and physical aspects of psychological problems, and may prescribe medications accordingly.

Some of the reasons people see psychiatrists include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Hearing voices
  • Having hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Feelings of helplessness and/or hopelessness
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Fears
  • Phobia

Despite these being problems of the mind, these afflictions can affect all reaches of our lives, including our relationships, jobs, and academic pursuits. When these conditions persist over time, not only can they become increasingly complex, but serious consequences can spill into all corners of our lives.

While we commonly think of these issues affecting our mind, they can also speak to problems of the brain. The distinction between these is that we can see the brain, but the mind is the invisible, transcendent realm of thought, feelings, beliefs, and imagination. Psychiatrists specialize in both. For this reason, they often go beyond question/answer sessions and discussions. They’ll perform examinations, do laboratory tests, and order brain scans. In so doing, they seek any physical links between problems of the mind and physical symptoms of the brain.

After compiling data from all testing, they’re able to reach correct clinical diagnoses. (“Diagnoses” is defined as symptoms clusters identified and agreed upon by the American Psychiatric Association in what they call DSM-5, which is 5th edition (published 2013) of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

Psychiatrists can employ multiple treatment strategies. These can include Psychotherapy, medications, psycho-social interventions, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and beyond.

In regards to medications, several classes are often used to great results:

  • Antidepressants are used to treat depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), borderline personality disorder (BPD) and eating disorders
  • Stimulants can treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Antipsychotic medications can treat psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations) of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and mood disorders
  • Sedatives and hypnotics can treat anxiety and sleeping problems
  • Mood stabilizers/anti-epileptics can treat bipolar disorder

Psychiatrists aim to put you on a path to better controlling conditions that may be interfering in your ability to lead a stable, manageable life. Contact us at American Wellness Center if you’d like to explore the science of the mind to see if there’s a solution applicable to your life.

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Available Clinicians