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What is Psychiatry?

Mental Health > What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a part of medical sciences, which deals with studies and treatment of mental and emotional disorders. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists are doctors who prescribe drugs to patients. This is because psychiatry is related to mental health only whereas psychology is a broader study of behavior and thought processes and works on therapy and not drugs.

Initially, neurology and psychiatry were under a single discipline. However, with the advancement of medical sciences they branched out. Emil Kraepelin was the first psychiatrist to start scientific psychiatry. Later psychiatry world changed with the advent of Sigmund Freud and his Freudian theories.

Compound like lithium carbonate (a treatment for bipolar disorder) and tool like brain imaging have tremendously helped psychiatry to grow. However psychiatry has an anti-lobby too, which a very few sciences have. Anti-psychiatry lobby people say that multinational drug companies, psychiatrists, research institutes and universities have a nexus for inhuman R&D practices of psychiatry medicines. Psychiatrists all over the world strongly deny this allegation.

The usual mental diseases, which a psychiatrist cures, are anxiety, bipolar disorder, dementia, depression, schizophrenia and substance abuse. Out of these diseases, the biggest challenge of psychiatry is schizophrenia. Psychiatrists all over the world have been trying for years to make a medicine, which can completely cure schizophrenia. Although they have got some success, but still the available medicines only pacify the disease to some extent and not completely cure it.

Schizophrenia is the worst mental illness covered under psychiatry. People with schizophrenia suffer from difficulties in their thinking processes, which lead to hallucinations, delusions, uncoordinated thinking, and unusual & disorganized speech and behavior. The schizophrenia patient is unable to behave as per social norms and suffers whole life. Fifty years back when anti-psychotic drugs first came in the market; it had lot of side effects. However, the present scenario is not like that. Schizophrenia patients are responding well to these drugs. Although some initial side effects are there such as drowsiness, restlessness, muscle spasms, tremor, dry mouth, or blurring of vision etc. Nevertheless, all these are controlled after some time of taking the medicines.

Mental Health > What is Psychiatry?