Psychiatry is a medical discipline which focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of mental disorders.
People who specialise in this discipline differ from other mental health professionals and physicians as they are more familiar with both the social and biological sciences.
The mental disorders which are studied by the discipline can be divided into three generic categories: mental illness, severe learning disabilities and personality disorders. Since the 20th century, psychiatry has become more biological and less isolated from the other medical sectors.
Psychiatry includes also different methods, the biomedical and the narrative approach. The biomedical approach examines the symptoms and compares these signs with diagnostic criteria. Contrarily, the narrative approach tries to incorporate the symptoms within a life history and frame them as responses to external inputs.
People who study this discipline are known as psychiatrists. These doctors are physicians who specialise in psychiatry and are certified to treat mental disorders.
The field of psychiatry has different subspecialties which include addiction psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, clinical neurophysiology geriatric psychiatry, pain medicine, sleep medicine and forensic psychiatry.
The origins of this discipline date back to ancient India; however, the modern era of psychiatry began in the early years of the 19th century.
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