PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)


Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.

This guide will be discussing the definition of a psychiatrist, the work of a psychiatrist, the work settings of a psychiatrist, the benefits of having a psychiatrist, what it means to be a doctor in psychiatry, the role of a psychiatrist in the mental illness of depression, and the description of an expert in psychiatry, the meaning of a psychiatric doctor, this professional in the realms of mental health, the expert in this professional, the role of this professional, and this professional in the medical field.


A psychiatrist is a kind of professional that takes care of patients with mental illnesses by giving them various treatments such as medication and psychotherapy. This kind of professional is different from counsellors or psychologists since this kind of professional specializes in the medical field of psychiatry. Most of the time, these kinds of professionals prescribe medication to patients based on their diagnosed psychological disorders. These kinds of professionals work in outpatient centres or hospitals that have psychiatric wards.

These kinds of professionals treat different kinds of patients with different psychological disorders. These psychological disorders are anxiety disorders, somatic disorders, dissociative disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurocognitive disorders, substance abuse disorders, addictive disorders, personality disorders, and impulse-control disorders. In diagnosing patients, these kinds of professionals need to make sure that the patient is dysfunctional at important areas in life, distressed, dangerous to oneself and others, and shows deviance in the community because of the diagnosed psychological disorder. This can allow patients to get the medical attention they need and most of these patients are hospitalized for their psychological disorders.

What does a psychiatrist do

A psychiatrist assesses the patient’s mental health problem if it is enough to be considered as a psychological disorder and treat him or her with the necessary treatments for the diagnosed psychological disorder. This kind of mental health professional also uses the biopsychosocial model in understanding patients since one cause is not enough to constitute a psychological disorder. The biopsychosocial model is the explanation of causes of psychological disorders where biological causes, psychological causes, and social causes may be factors in the making of psychological disorders. Some of these mental health professionals may work on the street as volunteers in public mental health services.

Some of these mental health professionals work in a private clinic to see that the patients can be promised with confidentiality in the sessions that may happen inside the room. Some hospitals are not very keen on confidentiality, especially with public hospitals. For instance, a public official may be consulting this professional for a suspected psychological disorder and a journalist was following this official which led to the publicity of this official’s psychological disorder. You can learn more about the policies of confidentiality by buying this book on this website.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

Psychiatrists definition

Psychiatrists are mental health professionals that focus on a study of medicine that involves human behaviour and treating dysfunctional behaviours and cognitions of patients with psychological disorders. These kinds of mental health professionals are certified to deal with the mental and physical symptoms of a psychological disorder in a patient. These kinds of mental health professionals are relied on by patients who may have severe symptoms of psychological disorders that counselling may not be enough for them. These kinds of mental health professionals tend to understand the patient’s psychological disorders by using many psychological assessment tools.

These tools for psychological assessment of the patient are medical examinations, laboratory tests, and standardized psychological tests. These kinds of mental health professionals are licensed to use various kinds of treatments for patients with psychological disorders. These kinds of treatments are medications, psychotherapies, social interventions, and electroconvulsive therapy. These mental health professionals are more equipped with the psychotropic medications that are used to relieve severe symptoms of psychological disorders, unlike psychologists or counsellors.

What do psychiatrists do

Psychiatrists diagnose patients with psychological disorders and make the treatment plan required by the patient. These kinds of mental health professionals are more inclined to give dangerous procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy to clients who can’t relieve his or her severe symptoms through other forms of treatment. Counsellors or psychologists are not trained to give clients with this kind of procedure. These kinds of mental health professionals can assist patients with their psychological disorders for long-term treatment, unlike counsellors or psychologists. 

Counsellors or psychologists tend to engage in the treatment of the client in the short-term but psychologists may also involve themselves in long-term treatment depending on the client’s mental health problem. Psychiatrists can also guide the patient in self-help techniques in dealing with a psychological disorder like counsellors and psychologists. These kinds of mental health professionals can give advice on what the patient should change in his or her lifestyle to relieve some symptoms of the psychological disorder. You can help someone with panic disorder to engage in self-care to manage the symptoms of this psychological disorder by buying this book on this website.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

Psychiatric doctor

Psychiatrists are medical doctors that are specialized in the realm of mental health. These kinds of mental health professionals are similar to most doctors since they prescribe medications to patients with psychological disorders to help them treat some symptoms of their psychological disorders. These kinds of mental health professionals are more likely to diagnose and provide various forms of treatments, unlike psychologists who are more focused on giving psychotherapies to clients with mental health problems. Psychiatrists get their medical degrees after 11 years of training.

This provides reassurance to patients that they will be handled well by these mental health professionals who know how to handle any kind of psychological disorder. These mental health professionals must also have experience in being general doctors to know the communication styles that can provide relief to the client in the midst of giving the treatment plan. These kinds of mental health professionals also need these experiences since they will be testing the patient on physical symptoms that may have affected the psychological disorder of the patient. To appoint yourself to these mental health professionals, you need to consult your general practitioner first to refer you to a reliable psychiatrist.

Mental health psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MDs) who graduate from medical school, have a year of medical internship, and have 3 years of residency in the assessment and treatment of mental health disorders in a hospital or centre. Because of these professionals’ medical training, these kinds of professionals can prescribe medication which is probably the most commonly known distinction between the two fields. But a few states allow psychologists to prescribe a limited number of psychiatric medications if some of these professionals have taken a course in psychopharmacology. After seeing a primary physician for a referral, a patient might work regularly with a psychologist addressing behavioural patterns. 

The psychologist and psychiatrist work in tandem to treat a patient’s mental health symptoms from both a behavioural and clinical standpoint. The fields of psychology and psychiatry are both vital in researching and developing a treatment for improving mental and emotional health. Psychiatrists are more focused on studying the connections of psychological disorders and finding treatments for these people with certain psychological disorders. You can give one of these mental health professionals for a job well done by buying this mug on this website.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

What does psychiatrist mean

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a mental disorder. This kind of mental health professional must receive additional training and serve a supervised residency in his or her speciality. This kind of mental health professional may also have additional training in a psychiatric speciality such as child psychiatry or neuropsychiatry. The noun which is psychiatrist has Greek roots in the psyche which means mind and iatreia which means healing so this kind of word is literally one who heals the mind. 

As opposed to a psychologist who also offers psychotherapy, this kind of mental health professional is a medical doctor and can prescribe medication for psychological disorders like depression and anxiety. Sigmund Freud is the founder of this kind of field who also pioneered psychoanalytic treatment. These kinds of mental health professionals receive training in different psychotherapy treatment modalities such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) which is a popular treatment approach that has been shown to have a high level of effectiveness in the treatment of a wide variety of psychiatric conditions including anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, stress, and anger issues. These kinds of mental health professionals also receive additional training in a specific area of interest such as geriatric psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, addictions, and other areas in this kind of field.

What is psychiatric

Psychiatric means pertaining to or within the field of psychiatry and the medical speciality concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness. This word may refer to mental illness. For instance, the 42-year-old man had a long history of a psychiatric disease that has caused him great distress. This kind of mental health professional is a physician who deals with the diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of mental health and emotional problems. 

This kind of mental health professional completes four years of mandatory medical school training before specializing in this kind of field. During these years, this kind of mental health professional acquires a deep understanding of bodily functions and the associations between mental health and physical health. If the employee’s need for accommodation is not obvious to the employer, the employer can ask for documentation of the disability and functional limitations by this kind of mental health professional. You can learn more about a psychiatric hospital by buying this book on this website.

What psychiatrist do

Psychiatry is a medical speciality that involves the treatment of different kinds of psychological disorders. Psychiatrists are physicians who evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who are affected by a temporary or chronic mental health problem or condition. These kinds of mental health professionals are doctors who are dedicated to providing the best treatment and care for mental disorders with compassion and patience. As doctors, these kinds of mental health professionals are uniquely positioned to understand the ins and outs of the body as well as the mind. 

The training of these professionals which encompasses four years of medical school followed by four years of psychiatric residency, enables them to diagnose basic medical and complex psychiatric conditions, to prescribe medications, to administer somatic therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT, and to deliver psychotherapy, among other methods. These professionals vary in their beliefs about how much of a role they should play in broader societal issues beyond mental illness. These mental health professionals also play an instrumental role in making a formal diagnosis and formulating the treatment plan. Their role is similar to a primary care doctor or general practitioner who may need to refer a patient to a specialist.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

Physiatrist mental health

A psychiatrist is trained to tell mental health problems from other medical conditions that could cause chronic psychological symptoms. These professionals also work with patients on how mental illness can affect other physical conditions such as problems with the heart or high blood pressure and the effects of medicines such as weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, sleep, and kidney or liver function. If a person thinks he or she is having mental health problems, this professional will ask about one’s symptoms, how long one has been having them, and whether these symptoms are constant or come and go. This professional also will check for physical problems that could be causing one’s symptoms and help one decide what kind of therapy might be best for the patient.

Define psychiatrist

A psychiatrist is a doctor with special training in treating mental illness. This professional is a doctor who is also trained in psychiatry. This professional is responsible for the assessment of subjects’ depressive symptoms. These professionals are trained in the medical, psychological, and social components of mental, emotional, and behavioural disorders. 

These professionals order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, practice psychotherapy, and help patients and their families cope with stress and crises. These professionals often consult with primary care physicians and psychotherapists such as psychologists and social workers. Psychotropic medications remain the most commonly sought and prescribed treatments given by these professionals but increasingly the psychiatric landscape includes more than drugs and pharmacotherapy. You can learn more about the work of these professionals by buying this book here.


Psychiatry-UK LLP is a regulated designated body of the General Medical Council.

This group supplies a fast, discreet, and economical means to get medical diagnoses and treatment recommendations for all mental health conditions from the comfort of a patient’s own home. All of the psychiatrists in this group are GMC registered specialist doctors who work in both the NHS and the private sector. The Royal College of Psychiatrist has these professionals who have different mental health specialities for different clients. 

This group has fund-raising activities to make psychological centres for clients who are need of this assistance. The website of this group can help interested people who want to attend these events. The London Psychiatry Centre has announced a groundbreaking discovery in the treatment of a bipolar disorder. This centre is the first in the world to successfully apply the precision medical approach in this field. 

What does a psychiatrist do for depression

If the first or second antidepressant a patient tries does not help, the doctor may recommend that the patient sees a psychiatrist who can better prescribe the medicines he or she needs. These professionals are doctors who can prescribe antidepressants and other medications and sometimes also offer therapy. These professionals are often more expensive than non-MDs. When a patient first talks to this professional, the patient needs to ask about his or her approach to see whether it seems appropriate for the patient and his or her condition. 

Experts in mind

The Expert in Mind is a group that has experience in the sector and knowledge of the panel ensures that this group is able to provide one with the most suitable professional. This group is able to promptly provide relevant timescales and fee estimates. Each professional is assigned a personal case manager with whom one can discuss any aspect of one’s case from start to finish. This group offers a wide range of adult and child & adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists who operate across this country. 

The professionals have considerable experience in providing medico-legal reports in a range of areas such as personal injury, clinical negligence, family law, criminal proceedings, risk assessment, and immigration. This group also has professionals in providing occupational health and employment tribunal reports and capacity assessments. This association is a well-established company with a panel of reputable professionals selected for their experience in the field of mental health. This association has a strong working relationship with all panel members offering a one-stop interface between the instructing party and a professional. 

Where do psychiatrists work

Psychiatrists may work as part of a mental health team and consulting with primary care physicians, social workers, occupational therapists, and psychiatric nurses. These professionals will also work with psychologists. Psychologists are not considered as medical doctors and cannot prescribe medications except in some countries. Additionally, these professionals are directed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) issued by the American Psychiatric Association. 

What can a psychiatrist do

The severity of the patient’s condition could determine if it is advisable for him or her to seek the services of a psychiatrist rather than those of a psychologist. A psychiatrist must earn a medical degree to practice and is allowed to prescribe medication to their patients to help them cope with the ailment. These professionals are trained to provide professional counselling services. This professional is also trained to differentiate mental health problems from other underlying medical conditions that could present with psychiatric symptoms. 

These professionals also monitor the effects of mental illness on other physical conditions such as problems with the heart or high blood pressure and the effects of medicines on the body such as weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, sleep, and kidney or liver functioning. As a doctor, this professional is licensed to write prescriptions. One of the oldest medical specialities, this field is also constantly evolving as researchers make new discoveries about the brain. Recent advances in the neurosciences have led to significant new technologies in the diagnosis and treatment of many mental health conditions in patients. 

What’s a psychiatrist

Psychiatrists examine, diagnose, and treat the mental and physical aspects of psychological disorders. Some disorders that these professionals may commonly see in patients include insomnia, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder. After evaluating patients and making a diagnosis, these professionals may prescribe medications or other forms of treatment such as psychotherapy or electroconvulsive therapy. In this field, there are many medical specializations to for a professional to choose from

Expert psychiatrist

A psychiatrist may be requested to testify as either a fact witness or an expert witness. A fact witness simply testifies about direct observations of a convicted patient. A common example would be this professional who is asked to testify about his or her patient’s symptoms and course of treatment. Expert witnesses who are available to consult and testify regarding this field are available anywhere. Experts on this field found on a website of these professionals may consult on issues involving adult psychiatric care, antisocial personality disorder, and anxiety disorders. 

The forensic psychiatry experts may provide reports regarding avoidant personality disorder, bio-psychiatry, and bipolar disorder. These professionals may also provide expert witness testimony concerning child & adolescent psychiatry, cognitive-behavioural therapy, depression, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illnesses, geriatric psychiatry, mental health concerns, mental illness, neuropsychiatric issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychiatric evaluations, psychiatric medicine, psychiatric personal injury, psychoanalysis, psychopharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, psychotic disorders, rehabilitation of the mind, and schizophrenia, among other topics. With an ever-expanding network of qualified, experienced and renowned experts, the Foresight website is proud to offer one of the most comprehensive and distinguished expert panels in the industry who will be delivering quality services across a broad range of disciplines. Each and every one of our experts is subject to stringent recruitment and quality checks, ensuring validation of qualifications, registrations and indemnity insurance which confirms that all of our experts are trial-ready and compliant with regulatory bodies.

Psychiatrist role

Psychiatrists will determine whether the illness is caused by mental health or another physical condition often looking to rule out another medical cause of the symptoms before the diagnosis of a psychological disorder. For instance, this professional might examine through medical testing whether the patient’s negative feelings are because of a thyroid problem rather than an anxiety disorder. These professionals also consider whether a chemical imbalance is causing the problem and observe the physical reaction of the body to the symptoms. This professional is also a trained medical doctor who has received further training in the field of diagnosing and managing those illnesses and disturbances. 


A psychiatrist has a huge role in treating people with severe symptoms of various psychological disorders. These professionals have several treatments for patients that aren’t limited to the treatments given by psychologists. These professionals prescribe medications and medical procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy. You can comment below on your thoughts about this professional and share your experiences with this professional. 

FAQ Questions

What are the different types of psychiatrists?

The different types of psychiatrists are forensic psychiatrists, addiction psychiatrists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, geriatric psychiatrists, pain management psychiatrists, and psychosomatic psychiatrists.

Can I see a psychiatrist without a referral?

You can see a psychiatrist without a referral.

What does a psychiatrist do for anxiety?

A psychiatrist does the treatment for anxiety such as psychotherapies and medications.

How long should I stay for therapy?

You should stay in therapy for several months or years depending on your presenting mental health condition.

What are the signs of being emotionally unstable?

The signs of being emotionally unstable are you tend to act in an unpredictable way, you have rapid mood swings, you have trouble calming down, showing impulsive behaviours, inconsistent behaviour, and unstable relationships.


Crown. (2018, July). Psychiatrist. NHS. Retrieved from here.

Psychiatry-UK. (n. d.). The UK’s Leading Online Psychiatry Service. Retrieved from here.

Royal College of Psychiatrists. (2020). Improving the lives of people with mental illness. Retrieved from here

Royal College of Psychiatrists. (2015, April). What to expect of your psychiatrist in the UK. Retrieved from here.The London Psychiatry Centre. (2020). Home. Retrieved from here.

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