Psychiatrists have a primarily medical background, having trained and worked as a medical doctor in the various hospital specialties. The training in psychiatry moves far beyond the biological aspects of mental health, with training in psychological theory and then training in psychotherapy modalities. The aim of psychiatry is to identify and deal with mental health problems, which may vary from substance related disorders, to disorders of the brain (such as dementias), disorders of mood and anxiety, and other less common disorders. Psychiatrists are trained to:
• Assess a person’s state of mind
• Understand the situation, delving in the biological, social, psychological and existential facets. The impacts of developmental experiences, family and close persons, the culture and work all contribute to the current situation and the impact of a person’s function and being.
• Diagnose a mental health problem
• Recommend the use of a range of psychological treatments, specific to the particular person.
• Recommend, when appropriate, the use of specific medication
• Facilitate the recovery process
What might a psychiatrist ask about me?
A psychiatrist will try to glean an understanding of your current situation and how events and circumstances would have led up to your current situation. They might ask about your thoughts, insights, feelings and reactions to particular situations. They might also, if relevant, ask about your physical health and symptoms. It might be helpful to have a trusted person who knows you well accompany you, as they might be able to provide valuable reflections.