Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
A psychiatrist is a physician (an M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems. Many Nurse Practitioners train and specialize in this field as well.
People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, or the result of a trauma, or thoughts of suicide. They may be more long-term, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that never seem to lift or problems functioning, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control.
There are many different ways to treat and manage psychiatric concerns. Some of the options include medication management, many different types of therapy, lifestyle changes, meditation, exercise, medical marijuana treatment, and many others.