Comprehensive General-Adult Psychiatric Evaluations and Treatments
What Is Psychiatry?
Psychiatry is a medical specialty for which there is a national regulating board to insure quality and maintain standards. In fact, The American Psychiatric Association is the oldest medical board and started in 1844. A Psychiatrist is a physician who treats patients who have mental illnesses with various forms of medications as well as other therapies. In order to become a Board Certified Psychiatrist like Dr. Kevin Passer; one must complete an educational and training program which takes twelve years following high school. In addition, the Board Certification in Psychiatry is only awarded after the physician-in-training, passes an extensive written and oral examination process.
What Is Mental Illness?
We humans are complicated beings, and we all have both our own physical and emotional makeup. Physical problems or conditions are those which can be detected either from direct examination of the patient or through laboratory or x-rays or some form of testing. Once an abnormality is detected, a doctor can prescribe a specific treatment to improve or cure the condition or disease. Mental illness involves a person’s problem with thoughts or behaviors. Those kinds of problems generally cannot be measured directly like a physical problem can be. Instead, Mental Illnesses are diagnosed based on certain signs and symptoms which correspond to a particular mental disorder. Psychiatrists are specifically trained to be able to evaluate individuals to determine if they have a problem with their mood or thinking or behavior and prescribe an appropriate course of treatment for such a disorder.
How is Mental Illness Diagnosed?
Most mental disorders do not have laboratory tests or x-rays to assist in their diagnosis. Instead, criteria for mental disorders are categorized in a book published by The American Psychiatric Association called The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In that way, there is consistency with making the diagnosis of a mental illness for a patient. For example, if a patient is diagnosed in New York with Major Depressive Disorder and then moves to Denver, Colorado; Psychiatrists there will be able to understand the diagnosis because everyone has the same DSM-5 with the criteria for that specific condition. Psychiatrists perform diagnostic interviews with the individual in order to decide if a mental illness is present and if so, which mental illness it is, based on the criteria contained in the DSM-5 manual..
What is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
A Psychologist is someone with an advanced academic degree called a Ph.D. and sometimes with a Masters Degree. Usually a Psychologist works with patients by providing various forms of talk therapy, also called Psychotherapy. Psychologists often use various paper and pencil tests to help them determine if a person, for example, has a low IQ or learning problems like Dyslexia. Psychologists may provide evaluations for schools or the court system, and then recommend certain strategies to help with problems within such systems. Psychologists are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe medications. A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor with extensive training in dealing with patients with one or more mental illnesses, often times utilizing psychotropic medication management.
What are Psychotropic Medications?
Psychotropic Medications, or Psychotropics are drugs which treat mental illnesses improves problems patients have with their mood or thinking. The following list shows some of the classes of psychotropics prescribed by Psychiatrists, and how they are used:
• Antidepressants – used to treat disorders involving depressed mood and/or anxiety disorders. Examples are: Major Depression and Panic Attacks.
• Antipsychotic medications – these drugs are used to treat problems with thinking, as in psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations) for conditions like Schizophrenia.
• Sedatives and Hypnotics – drugs in this category can help with agitation and insomnia.
• Mood stabilizers – these psychotropics treat Bipolar Disorder.
• Stimulants – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Narcolepsy.