Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (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.
People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing "voices." Or 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.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatry mental disorders affecting children. ADHD also affects many adults. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought).
Depression, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common and uncomfortable emotions that we can experience at some point in our lives. Through counseling and treatment, we are able to help you recover motivation, perspective, and joy that you once had in your life.
Adult mental health problems range from sudden spurts of uncontrollable anger and debilitating anxiety to the challenges of depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The team at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists has extensive experience in adult psychiatry, offering comprehensive medical and therapeutic care for the full scope of mental health disorders.
The goal of medication management is to positively impact the health outcomes of the patient, which necessitates actively engaging them in the decision-making process. Therefore, it is necessary to first understand the patient’s medication experience. The assessment includes the patient’s medication history.
Many patients decide to participate in psychotherapy or counseling when they need help with depression, anxiety, and anger. But those three problems barely start the long list of mental health challenges you can overcome with therapy.
Millions of Americans are affected by bipolar disorder. As Psychiatrists, we know managing these symptoms without the proper help can be overwhelming, but we are here to help. We may prescribe medication and treatments for both the manic and depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health disorder that is marked by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania.
The two types of schizoaffective disorder — both of which include some symptoms of schizophrenia — are:
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling.
People with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment. Early treatment may help get symptoms under control before serious complications develop and may help improve the long-term outlook.
Psychiatric evaluation - Diagnosing dementia and its type can be challenging. People have dementia when they have cognitive impairment and lose their ability to perform daily functions, such as taking their medication, paying bills and driving safely.
To diagnose the cause of the dementia, the doctor must recognize the pattern of the loss of skills and function and determine what a person is still able to do. More recently, biomarkers have become available to make a more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms and conduct a physical examination. He or she will likely ask someone close to you about your symptoms as well.
No single test can diagnose dementia, so doctors are likely to run a number of tests that can help pinpoint the problem.
Doctors will evaluate your thinking (cognitive) function. A number of tests measure thinking skills, such as memory, orientation, reasoning and judgment, language skills, and attention.
Doctors evaluate your memory, language, visual perception, attention, problem-solving, movement, senses, balance, reflexes and other areas.
Simple blood tests can detect physical problems that can affect brain function, such as vitamin B-12 deficiency or an underactive thyroid gland. Sometimes the spinal fluid is examined for infection, inflammation or markers of some degenerative diseases.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. TMS is typically used when other depression treatments haven't been effective.
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a surgical procedure that can be used to treat those with treatment-resistant depression. A pacemaker-like device, implanted in the body, is attached to a stimulating wire that is threaded along a nerve called the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve travels up the neck to the brain, where it connects to areas believed to be involved in regulating mood. Once implanted, this device delivers regular electrical impulses to the vagus nerve.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, also known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation in which a changing magnetic field is used to cause electric current at a specific area of the brain through electromagnetic induction. An electric pulse generator, or stimulator, is connected to a magnetic coil, which in turn is connected to the scalp. The stimulator generates a changing electric current within the coil which induces a magnetic field; this field then causes a second inductance of inverted electric charge within the brain itself.
Deep brain stimulation has been a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved therapy to help patients with essential tremor since 1997, Parkinson’s disease since 2002, and dystonia since 2003. Tens of thousands of patients with these movement disorders have undergone the procedure, which places electrodes deep in the brain and, in follow-on surgeries, implants batteries to supply an adjustable amount of electrical stimulation to those electrodes.
In 2009, the FDA approved deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that’s severe to extreme, which isn’t a movement disorder. The approval hinged on an FDA Humanitarian Device exemption, which applies to treatments for diseases rare enough that it’s difficult to impossible to enroll enough patients to run effective clinical trials. While OCD diagnoses are common – about one in 40 people will experience it at some point – its severest forms are rare. The exemption – rather than full FDA approval – has led to high hurdles for deep brain stimulation for OCD patients.
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