Psychiatry as a term was first coined by a German physician, Johann Christian Reil, and means ‘medical treatment of the soul.’ Psychiatrists complete medical school and then a four-year psychiatric residency. Psychiatrists prescribe medications, provide psychotherapy, order labs, neuroimaging and other tests.
When a person’s psyche is overwhelmed by stress or illness, and emotional regulation is difficult to maintain, or function is impaired, medications can be extremely helpful- and even essential. Psychoactive medications work by acting on neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters can be viewed as chemicals through which neurons communicate. Psychoactive drugs affect the mind by altering this communication.
Today, there are cultural pressures for psychiatrists to use medications, sometimes at the expense of other modalities of treatment. The person can get lost in between their medical data. A person’s full story needs to be developed with the integration of biomedical needs if indicated.