What does a psychiatric appointment look like

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Psychiatry - What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

First, the psychiatrist will talk to you in detail about the existing complaints, about how and in what context these complaints developed and about your personal situation and mental development.

A psychiatrist is:

A specialist doctor who deals with all health disorders that affect the soul and spirit of people, be they of mental or physical origin

He examines and treats pathological changes and disorders of feelings, thinking, moods, memory, experience and behavior, caused by current experiences, past stressful life-history events, mental conflicts and interpersonal tensions, but also changes in brain metabolism and the brain matter.

He also examines and treats the effects of emotional conflicts and tensions on other organ systems, the so-called psychosomatic diseases.

Symptoms can include, for example:

  • fears
  • depression
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Cognitive disorders
  • all sorts of physical complaints
  • Sexual disorders
  • Disturbances in memory, concentration and attention

The main psychiatric illnesses

  • Mood disorders (depression, mania, bipolar disorder)
  • Anxiety disorders (panic disorder, phobias, etc.)
  • Psychotic disorders (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders)
  • Dementia (disorders of mental and emotional functions, caused by the breakdown of brain matter)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Addictions
  • Stress reactions
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychosomatic disorders

Psychiatric examination

The psychiatric examination takes place in conversation with the doctor. He's getting an idea of

  • the mood
  • affectivity (type and form of emotional and emotional life)
  • Drive and psychomotor skills (mental energy balance)
  • thinking (type and sequence of thought processes)
  • sleep and other vegetative functions (appetite etc.)
  • disease processing
  • mental performance (concentration, retentiveness, memory, attention, perception, etc.)

It is often necessary to carry out such an examination not only in the case of psychiatric illnesses. All organic diseases (not just of the brain) can also lead to mental disorders and impairments. The stresses and complaints associated with physical illnesses, especially pain, can wear down the patient and thus have a negative effect on the psyche. In many cases, the doctor can only come to a holistic assessment of the patient's complaints and the effects of physical complaints on the psyche and vice versa only through a supplementary psychiatric examination. This aspect is often of great importance when developing medium and long-term treatment plans. The doctor's question about the patient's mental state does not automatically mean that the doctor suspects a serious psychological defect in the patient.

Course of treatment

After the diagnosis, the psychiatrist will work out a treatment plan with you. This can include the following therapy methods:

  • the psychiatric discussion in the consultation hour
  • drug treatment
  • psychotherapeutic treatment e.g. behavior therapy, depth psychological and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. If the psychiatrist cannot carry out the psychotherapy himself, he will refer you to a suitable medical or psychological psychotherapist for treatment.
  • If necessary, he will arrange inpatient treatment or initiate contact for you with other institutions that offer accompanying services, such as social psychiatric services, addiction counseling centers, occupational therapists, self-help groups and others.