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Psychiatry is a field of Medicine which deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. It is concerned with the disorders of a person’s mental life and behaviour. It integrates biological, social and psychological aspects of mental health to provide holistic medical care for a wide range of symptoms. It is increasingly clear in today’s world that disorders of mental health are becoming more significant and represent significant personal and social costs to the community.

There is a disturbing increase in the number of persons with mental health problems in the community. Psychiatry has rapidly grown to a major medical speciality.

A men with pen and paper

It has made rapid strides to become one of the most researched scientific branches of Medicine and have become available to a large number of people. The department has liaison with various clinical departments in the hospital including General Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgery and Child Health. In the future the field of mental health will be one of the most exciting areas of great interest and rapid growth. The department treats people with mental health problems. Some of the problems treated here are:

  • Anxiety- feeling restless, Tense, worried, disturbed sleep etc.
  • Depression (being very sad so people cannot work, are tearful, do not eat properly etc).
  • Somatic symptom disorder- multiple bodily symptoms but normal medical reports
  • Schizophrenia (often seeing or hearing things that are not real and behaving very strangely)
  • Manic-depression (go from very very happy to very very sad)
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviour (doing things again and again even though they do not need doing eg cleaning hands 20 times even when they are clean)
  • Phobias – being very afraid of things when they are not dangerous
  • Addiction problems are treated eg Tobacco, Alcohol and other drug addiction
  • Emotional problems
  • Neurological problems- epilepsy, memory loss
  • Marital problems
  • Psycho-Sexual problems- Erectile dysfunction, early ejaculation, Dhat syndrome etc.

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