Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems. People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing “voices.” Or they may be more long-term, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that never seem to lift or problems functioning, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control.
Psychiatrists use a variety of treatments – including various forms of psychotherapy, medications, psychosocial interventions and other treatments (such as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT), depending on the needs of each patient. They help patients overcome debilitating mental illness
Patients on long-term medication treatment will need to meet with their psychiatrist periodically to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and any potential side effects.