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Mental Health

Psychiatry

Coping with modern life can be difficult. At any time, the stress of life can interact with one’s personality, coping style, lifestyle habits, and inherent biological traits to cause distressing emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessions, insomnia, or disruptive behavioral patterns. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in assessing and treating emotional or behavioral distress.Assessment by a psychiatrist includes a comprehensive interview examination to explore thoroughly the patient’s current symptoms, stressors, and level of functioning. In order to more fully understand a patient’s symptoms, the psychiatrist also must understand the patient’s background, life history, and community structure and supports. An evaluation of relevant medical, nutritional, and substance-related factors rounds out the psychiatric assessment.


Based on the assessment of all the factors contributing to a patient’s emotional symptoms, the psychiatrist recommends a treatment plan tailored to the individual needs of the patient. In creating the treatment plan, the psychiatrist is trained to address the biological, psychological, and social factors most relevant in propagating the symptoms. Some examples of interventions include:

Biological: prescription of psychiatric medications; dietary counseling or referral; substance abuse counseling; correction of nutritional or hormonal deficiencies

Psychological: psychotherapy to fully explore a patient’s strengths and coping strategies, relationship and behavioral patterns, fears and desires; formulation of behavioral strategies to help patients reach their goals

Social: counseling focused on improving a patient’s social interactions and support; referral to support groups or community organizations

The aim of psychiatric treatment is to help the patient successfully cope with the complexities of modern life and live a fulfilling life unhindered by troubling emotional symptoms.