Portal:Psychiatry

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Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of deleterious mental conditions. These include various matters related to mood, behaviour, cognition, and perceptions.

Initial psychiatric assessment of a person begins with a case history and mental status examination. Physical examinations, psychological tests, and laboratory tests may be conducted. On occasion, neuroimaging or other neurophysiological studies are performed. Mental disorders are diagnosed in accordance with diagnostic manuals such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), edited by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5), published in May 2013, reorganized the categories of disorders and added newer information and insights consistent with current research.

Treatment may include psychotropics (psychiatric medicines) and psychotherapy, and also other modalities such as assertive community treatment, community reinforcement, substance-abuse treatment, and supported employment. Treatment may be delivered on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on the severity of functional impairment or risk to the individual or community. Research within psychiatry is conducted on an interdisciplinary basis with other professionals, such as epidemiologists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, and clinical psychologists. (Full article...)

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The Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act of 1956 (Public Law 84-830) was an Act of Congress passed to improve mental health care in the United States territory of Alaska. It became the focus of a major political controversy after opponents nicknamed it the "Siberia Bill" and denounced it as being part of a communist plot to hospitalize and brainwash Americans. Campaigners asserted that it was part of an international Jewish, Roman Catholic or psychiatric conspiracy intended to establish United Nations-run concentration camps in the United States.

The legislation in its original form was sponsored by the Democratic Party, but after it ran into opposition, it was rescued by the conservative Republican Senator Barry Goldwater. Under Goldwater's sponsorship, a version of the legislation without the commitment provisions that were the target of intense opposition from a variety of far-right, anti-Communist and fringe religious groups was passed by the United States Senate. The controversy still plays a prominent role in the Church of Scientology's account of its campaign against psychiatry. (Full article...)

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A human skull mapped according to phrenology (1883), early precursor to modern psychiatry and neuroscience, now considered a pseudoscience
image credit: public domain

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Alfred W. Adler (February 7, 1870 – May 28, 1937) was an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology. His emphasis on the importance of feelings of inferiority—the inferiority complex—is recognized as isolating an element which plays a key role in personality development. Alfred Adler considered human beings as an individual whole, therefore he called his psychology "Individual Psychology" (Orgler 1976). Adler was the first to emphasize the importance of the social element in the re-adjustment process of the individual and who carried psychiatry into the community.

In collaboration with Sigmund Freud and a small group of Freud's colleagues, Adler was among the co-founders of the psychoanalytic movement and a core member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society: indeed, to Freud he was "the only personality there". He was the first major figure to break away from psychoanalysis to form an independent school of psychotherapy and personality theory, which he called individual psychology because he believed a human to be an indivisible whole, an individuum. He also imagined a person to be connected or associated with the surrounding world. (Full article...)

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