Anne-Aurélie Casteret
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Psychiatry is a medical specialty.

The psychiatrist:

  • discards possible differential diagnoses after the clinical interview, or sometimes through additional examinations (blood test - imaging)
  • makes a diagnosis, or formulates diagnostic assumptions to be explored
  • assesses the functional (occupational, family, social) and medical impacts of the disorder
  • proposes and prescribes treatment, if necessary

This treatment can be pharmacological, psychotherapeutic or a combination of both.

  • provides information on the disorders, describes the treatment and expected benefits.
  • can refer you to other doctors (neurologist, rheumatologist, endocrinologist, generalist ...), or to other professionals according to the indication (neuropsychologists, psychologist, osteopath, dietitian ...).
  • may work in collaboration with the General Practitioner and other Correspondents (only with the patient's agreement).
  • provides specialized therapeutic monitoring

The psychiatrist is an M.D. who acquired a specialization in psychiatry during his internship. He is trained to listen with empathy. He knows mental disorders and psychosocial stressors, and how to treat them. The psychiatrist can write prescriptions.

Some psychiatrists also develop special skills in psychotherapy.

One of the techniques of the psychiatrist is differential diagnosis. It is used to formulate possible diagnoses that should be dismissed before concluding with a psychiatric diagnosis

Some examples:

  • certain psychiatric symptoms are secondary to metabolic pathologies that must be diagnosed and treated in order to cure psychiatric symptoms.
  • certain psychiatric symptoms may be suggestive of neurological pathologies.
  • Some physical symptoms are caused by a psychiatric disorder, but in some cases, an organic pathology must be excluded in the first place.

The psychiatrist uses to types of treatments:

  • Pharmacological treatments using drugs
  • Psychotherapeutic treatments: those are non-drug treatments.

Psychiatrists use different types of therapies:

  • systemic therapy (family),
  • cognitive and behavioral therapy
  • psychodynamic therapy

 

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