There are many branches of medicine; each dealing with a specific human ailment or health issue. Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that deals with diagnosing mental illness and behavioral disorders as well as substance abuse issues.
When a person has a mental health-related issue, they need to see a psychiatrist — a licensed medical doctor with an M.D. or a D.O. — who can prescribe the appropriate medications for mental health problems. A psychiatrist also provides clients with medication management and in some cases, they provide therapy as well.

What is psychiatry

Psychiatry is a field in medicine dedicated to diagnosing and preventing mental illnesses. Here, providers use evidence-based research in solving problems with human behavior. A psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in treating people with mental health issues or disorders. (S)He examines a patient and conducts a series of evaluations to determine what a person’s mental condition is.
Medical professionals who specialize in psychiatry need to be experienced with social and biological sciences. While psychiatry can treat mental illnesses, it is not just about mental illness. It treats a variety of ailments that affect the mind — including learning disabilities, and also personality disorders.

Approaches to psychiatric issues


The focus of the biomedical model is on helping people get relief from their condition or illness. The focus is fixed on a specific problem so as to use biological solutions in solving the issue. Aside the biological solutions, medicine is also used in this model to help people find relief.


This treatment model takes into account how illnesses develop over time. Beyond focusing on the here and now and what a person may be suffering at a moment, the model considers other factors such as genetics and biochemistry.
Psychological factors such as a person’s mood, personality, as well as their behavior, all come into play. Social issues including cultural, socio-economics, and family relations are also considered here.
The biopsychosocial model of psychiatry — which is less restrictive compared to the biomedical model, which only recognizes a person’s biology — looks at a person holistically; considering their cultural background, genetics, and emotional health.
There’s a third model — the Biocognitive model. To learn more about biocognitive psychotherapy, and other types of psychiatry, click here.

Online counseling

Aside therapy, seeing a psychiatrist can be of great help if you’re living with mental illness. These medical professionals are available to help you, just so that you won’t have to suffer needlessly. Consider reaching out to an online therapist if you’re thinking of trying out medication for your mental health problems.
Whether you’re dealing with a life transition; such as the death of a close relation, or a divorce — online counselors are available and will make time for you, so you can discuss whatever life challenges you’re experiencing and why you’re interested in pursuing medicine as a relief.

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This article on psychiatry is part of a series is developing to educate the public about mental health.
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