Emergency Psychiatric Intervention

Psychiatry is a field that perhaps everyone may have heard of, but few who’ve properly understood it-and it is very important that we understand it.

Basically, Psychiatry is a “Branch of medicine that deals with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.”

When it comes to mental health, consult a psychologist or a psychiatrist, the main difference between the two being a psychiatrist can prescribe medicines, while a psychologist cannot. Psychiatry also comes into play in emergency settings. It is important to know when exactly one should see a psychiatrist.

Cases of Anxiety: Most mental health issues are a result of an imbalance in our brains’ neurochemistry. A psychiatrist, with a medical degree, specializes in this, and thus can prescribe appropriate medication to rectify this imbalance. However, not all cases of anxiety are so dire as to require medication. In such cases, a psychologist may be more effective.
Substance Abuse: Cases involving drug addiction or harmful allergic reactions to drugs should also be brought to a psychiatrist. Generally, patient will be brought into observation; duration would vary depending on the severity.
Suicide attempts: Certain mental illnesses can increase the chances of suicide. In such cases, it’s important to consult a psychiatrist, before another, potentially successful attempt is made.
Aggressive Behavior: Cases of violence can be associated with a disorder as well. Sometimes involving a ‘fight or flight’ response from our autonomic nervous system. It is important to see a psychiatrist in such situations, as most cases of aggression may be the result of a more serious but less apparent mental disorder such as a borderline personality disorder.
Besides medicine, there is a wide range of treatments which a psychiatrist may use. Like a psychologist, psychiatrists are also equipped to use psychotherapy- a form of therapy which involves taking a thorough look at the patients past and to understand his/her’s unconscious mind. Psychotherapy gives the psychiatrist a good understanding of his patient, and if necessary, it can allow the psychiatrist to better prescribe medicine.

While most often one can consult a general practitioner, sometimes seeing a psychiatrist may be the better choice.