A short introduction to psychiatry by Linda Gask

By Linda Gask

A brief creation to Psychiatry is designed to offer readers a transparent photograph of the career of psychiatry because it is at the present time in addition to an realizing of the topic from which to boost additional learn.

The writer describes the improvement of the career, the path to qualification and the scope of up to date perform, together with the paintings performed through psychiatrists in a variety of specialisms - from baby psychiatry to dependancy prone and forensic psychiatry. Drawing at the event of people that were via psychiatric remedy, the booklet additionally explores what psychiatry is like from the patient's/user's viewpoint.

Many criticisms were levelled opposed to the career and the writer, Linda Gask, summarizes key debates which were and remain performed out among psychiatry's critics and its defenders.

A brief advent to Psychiatry is for a person having a look into psychiatry for the 1st time, no matter if so as to education or out of extra basic curiosity

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It should be clear by now that psychiatry is a profession which has been through considerable changes during its lifetime. Its members have sometimes pursued, often apparently single-mindedly, a biological orientation, attempting to discover the part that the brain specifically plays in the aetiology of mental distress. Leon Eisenberg has called this phenomenon ‘mindlessness’ and has warned, ‘the peril is that psychiatry may come to focus exclusively on the brain as an organ and will overlook the experience of the patient as a person’ (1986: 500).

1971) compared the diagnostic habits of psychiatrists in their two countries by showing videotapes of patients to audiences of American and British psychiatrists in turn. qxd 5/21/04 2:34 PM Page 29 HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF A PROFESSION 29 and that there was no systematic approach to diagnosis across the world of psychiatry. This was followed by controversy in the US over the disease status of homosexuality (which was classified as a disease in the American official manual of diagnosis in mental health, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) II), and finally by the famous Rosenhan study.

Most mental health care is provided by non-medical therapists, nurses, psychologists and social workers, with the psychiatrist’s role often being that of medication manager only. 3 Yet in other countries the situation is very similar, in that most mental health care is not in fact provided by psychiatrists. In the UK, when seeking specialist care the general practitioner today most commonly refers the patient to some kind of community mental health resource, generally a multi-disciplinary team made up of community psychiatric nurses, a social worker, psychologist, occupational therapist, with input from a psychiatrist.

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