I. What is Psychiatry?
- Psychiatry is defined as the study of mental illness, encompassing the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of ailments of the mind. Psychiatric symptoms can range from audio-visual hallucinations, impulsive behavior to good old-fashioned anxiety and depression.
- Mental disorders are diagnosed using criteria established in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by licensed medical health professionals.
- Treatment plans in Psychiatry have evolved rapidly over time as technology and research disproved certain practices such as lobotomy and illustrated the efficacy of others such as transcranial magnetic stimulation.
II. Mental illnesses and their ramifications
- The most common mental illness globally is Anxiety, affecting 1 in 13 individuals. Specific phobias and social phobias, along with major depressive disorder are the most prevalent of the anxiety disorders.
- Depression, which is also the leading cause of disability around the world plagues millions of people. Even though depression is a treatable mental disorder, statistics have shown less than half of those suffering from it seek out any treatments. Unable to cope, more than 800,000 people commit suicide every year. Suicide affects people of all ages and from all walks of life but it is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
III. Bonding with Patients
- Creating a safe place and building rapport with a patient is the first step towards the treatment of any illness. This may be even more imperative in the case of psychiatric illnesses where trust is often fleeting. Posing open ended questions and displaying a genuine sincerity in your approach goes a long way in helping both the patient and health professionals reach the common goal of treatment.
IV. Discuss with your tutor
a. As a Health Professional have a discussion with your tutor about the history taking, diagnostic, and treatment process of common mental illnesses
b. As a Pharma Expert discuss different treatment plans with your tutor and describe the pros and cons of specific treatments
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