Many people worldwide suffer from mental disorders or require mental health treatment. This treatment is can be provided by psychiatrists. Psychiatrists help people from all walks of life with the goal of aiding them in achieving mental clarity and overcoming mental and personality disorders.

If you would like to know more about mental health treatment and psychiatrists, call (919) 803-6320  or contact us online.

What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (an M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems.

Psychiatrists often provide therapy, in which patients discuss their issues and work through them. Psychiatrists may also prescribe mental health medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.  Psychiatrists often prescribe medications in combination with psychotherapy.

Class of Mental Health Medications

  • Antidepressants – used to treat depression, panic disorder, PTSD, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder and eating disorders.
  • Antipsychotic medications – used to treat psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder.
  • Sedatives and anxiolytics – used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
  • Hypnotics – used to induce and maintain sleep.
  • Mood stabilizers – used to treat bipolar disorder.
  • Stimulants – used to treat ADHD.

Much like other doctors, psychiatrists frequently select a specialty or sub-specialty for which they receive extensive training and expertise. Psychiatry specialties include:

  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Geriatric psychiatry
  • Forensic (legal) psychiatry
  • Addiction psychiatry
  • Pain medicine
  • Psychosomatic (mind and body) medicine
  • Sleep medicine

Some psychiatrists provide care for just one of these sub-specialties, but many others choose to offer more generalized mental health treatment.

Other treatments are also sometimes used. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a medical treatment that involves applying electrical currents to the brain, is used most often to treat severe depression that has not responded to other treatments. Deep brain stimulation (DBS), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are a few of the newer therapies being used to treat some mental disorders. Light therapy is used to treat seasonal depression.

Some disorders are best treated with a combination of treatments that can only be determined once a consultation or initial analysis has taken place. In general, psychiatric care begins with one of these steps. Most patients are referred to a psychiatrist by their general care physician, although that is not always true. Psychiatry is typically ongoing care because many mental health disorders have no cure.

What Is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and Psychologist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (completed medical school and residency) with special training in psychiatry. A psychiatrist is able to conduct psychotherapy and prescribe medications and other medical treatments.

A psychologist usually has an advanced degree, most commonly in clinical psychology, and often has extensive training in research or clinical practice. Psychologists treat mental disorders with psychotherapy and some specialize in psychological testing and evaluation.

Request Psychiatry Information Today

If you are struggling from depression, anxiety or extensive grief, it may be time to consider psychiatric care. Mental health is as crucial to overall well-being and happiness as physical health.

Request more information about psychiatric treatment today: Call (919) 803-6320  or contact us online.