Psychiatry is a medical field specializing in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illnesses. A psychiatrist also deals with addicts (addictologist) and mentally declining elderly people (gerontologist).
The psychiatrist diagnoses mental illnesses based on international disease diagnostic systems (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which determine the symptoms that support the existence of each illness.
Psychologist or psychiatrist?
A psychologist is a professional with a degree in humanities who is involved in the study of the human soul and personality. A psychiatrist, on the other hand, has a medical degree and having obtained a psychotherapeutic qualification, they can only pursue their profession after several years of residency. A psychiatrist will diagnose the patient’s a mental clinical aspect and determine the necessary treatment, for which he may also prescribe medication. Psychologists do not have such authority, and they can only perform healing activities if they have also completed the necessary clinical training.
Thus, psychologists primarily seek to understand mental processes, while psychiatrists examine the interactions between physical and mental processes. The two professions, especially in the field of therapy, are intertwine and cooperating in many cases.
With what complaints should we turn to a psychiatrist?
It is recommended to visit a psychiatric clinic if you experience the following symptoms:
- anxiety disorders (such as phobias, panic disorders, compulsive behaviour)
- mood disorders (persistent bad mood, irritability, impatience, stress, anxiety, tiredness, loss of joy, loss of previous interest, sleeping disorder, increased need for sleep, change in appetite, impaired concentration, suicidal thoughts, death-wish)
- eating and body image disorder
- unrealistic delusions
- unreal feelings (images, sounds, smells, colours)
- incoherent speech
The course of the psychiatric examination
For the first time, the patient participates in a 1-hour informal, personal conversation with the specialist to assess their mental state. During the conversation, the psychiatrist asks questions about the symptoms and then makes a diagnosis based on the individual’s thinking, emotional, and behavioural characteristics. To do this, the psychiatrist uses various psychological and psychiatric tests, which include targeted questions to help identify possible mental illnesses and their severity. If necessary, the psychiatrist can involve additional co-fields (neurology, internal medicine) in the process and order imaging examinations to explore the organic causes.
After the first consultation, the specialist recommends therapy appropriate to the diagnosed disease, the effectiveness of which is checked at regular intervals as part of a follow-up examination.
As part of the practice, our specialists do not perform the psychological test required for a firearms license or the tests for diagnosing ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
What treatment options are available at Medicover's psychiatric clinic?
Once the diagnosis has been made, the psychiatrist will recommend appropriate therapy for the disease, which will help alleviate the symptoms or make the illness asymptomatic. At our specialist clinic, it is possible to receive medication and its follow-up in the framework of outpatient care.
To improve the patient’s mental state, the psychiatrist may also recommend the involvement of a psychologist with the purpose of individual or group psychotherapy.