Psychiatry (symbol shown to the right) is the study of the causes,
diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the mind, emotions, and
behavior. Psychiatry especially deals with disorders of this type that
are caused by factors within the body, which is what makes it a
medical specialty. Despite the medical focus, psychiatry is also
concerned with the social and psychological causes of mental
disorders. Someone who has the skills and a state license to practice
psychiatry is known as a psychiatrist.

There are many different types of psychiatry. For example, social psychiatry is the study
of social causes of mental disorders. Community psychiatry is focused on the care of the
mentally ill outside of the hospital setting. Forensic psychiatry focuses on how
psychiatric knowledge and assessment techniques can assist the legal system such as
whether an accused murder is insane. Insanity is a legal term that refers to whether the
accused knew the difference between right and wrong when committing the alleged
crime. Neuropsychiatry studies the relationship between brain disorders and mental

Many people confuse psychiatry with psychology. Although there is some overlap
between the two areas, psychiatry is generally focused on using medications that affect
brain functioning to modify behavior and mental functioning whereas psychology
achieves this goal through the use of psychological techniques (e.g., counseling). Some
psychiatrists perform psychotherapy and there are a limited number of psychologists who
have the training and education to prescribe specific medications in states that allow this
(such as New Mexico).
"Where Medical Information is Easy to Understand"™
Psychiatry is also known as psychiatrics. Psychiatry comes from the Greek word "psyche" meaning "mind"
and the Greek word "iatreia" meaning "healing." Put the two words together and you have "healing (the)