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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



Personality disorders


Other Psychiatric Disorders

Psychiatry affects people in all ages and walks of life. Commonly problems can occur in old age, pregnancy, childhood and amongst those abusing alcohol and other substances.

Many disorders can affect people's lives to a large extent. Those with personality disorders may suffer from poor mental health throughout their lives.

Psychiatric Management

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.

Psychiatric Case Studies and Common Questions

  1. Aggression Case Study
  2. Mood Problem Case Study
  3. Addictive Behaviour Case Study
  4. Anxiety Case Study
  5. Hallucinations/Disordered Thinking Case Study