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Psychiatry is the management of conditions affecting mental health. Read our Introduction to Psychiatry for a brief introduction to the specialty.
Assessment of mental health should be through three techniques: Psychiatric History, Mental State Examination and Cognitive State Examination. Symptoms in psychiatry are not as obvious as those such as chest pain or breathlessness. As such it is important to be familiar with common terms in psychiatry.
Key Psychiatric disorders
There are four key areas of psychiatry: mood, schizophrenia, personality disorders and dementia:
Mood and neurosis
Other Psychiatric Disorders
Many disorders can affect people's lives to a large extent. Those with personality disorders may suffer from poor mental health throughout their lives.
Broadly speaking, management in psychiatry can be split into two sections:
There are other forms of psychiatric intervention which don't fit into these categories. Most are rarely used but ECT is important to know about.
Sectioning & The Mental Health Act
When a patient need assessment or treatment for a psychiatric condition, sometimes it is necessary to section them under the Mental Health Act. It is important to assess, with any psychiatric patient, their risk to themselves, and to others.