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Psychology refers to the scientific study of brain functions, behavior, and mental processes. Different feelings, mental disorders, and emotions are commonly explored, and some researchers even focus on a specialty area like depression or anxiety. Several different careers are available to choose from in the field of psychology. Each has its own educational requirements, limitations, and benefits. Some careers are better suited for certain people, but it all depends on what someone is looking for and the work they’re willing to put in to hold a position. Psychiatry is one such career in the field of psychology. Becoming a psychiatrist involves a lot of schooling, training, and dedication. It’s important to understand what will be expected of you should you choose to pursue this career. It’s also good to have an understanding of psychiatry in case you need to utilize these services at some point in your life. For additional information, try the following link:, and be sure to keep reading.

The History of Psychiatry

The term ‘psychiatry’ originated in the year 1808 by German physician Johann Christian Reil. It quite literally means the “medical treatment of the soul.” Centuries ago, doctors and the general public alike incorrectly believed that mental health disorders were the result of demon possession or evil spirits. All around the United States and the rest of the world, institutions called asylums took in a variety of patients with different mental health disorders. Many of these institutions mistreated their patients and used treatment methods that we know to be unethical today.

By 1812, Dr. Benjamin Rush had published the first psychiatric textbook in the United States. In it, he emphasized the reality that mental disorders derive from diseases of the mind and not from demons or evil spirits. Over the years, asylums began to shut their doors permanently. Instead, people began to turn to treatments like talk therapy and medication to address their mental health concerns. A lot of progress has been made in the field of psychiatry, but there is still room for growth

What Do Psychiatrists Do?

Those who practice psychiatry are called psychiatrists. These are medical doctors who work in the field of mental health. Therefore, they understand the physical human body first and foremost, but also see how the mind is connected to it all. They are qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat patients as well as prescribe medication. Whether someone is experiencing an emotional, mental, or behavioral disorder, a psychiatrist can normally address it. They are also concerned with preventing mental health disorders, especially if someone is predisposed to one or showing early signs and symptoms.

Types of Disorders and Therapies

Some of the different disorders they treat are schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, anorexia, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder, among others. To treat these conditions, psychiatrists might use electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), to name a few.

Psychiatrists can specialize in different areas. Some of these categories include child, geriatric, perinatal, forensic, addiction, or young adult psychiatry. Different educational requirements exist depending on the area someone chooses to specialize in.

How To Become Psychiatrist

The path for becoming a psychiatrist is long and difficult but has a great payout in that it can be a very rewarding career. In order to become a psychiatrist, a person needs to start out at a medical school and train there for four years. After that, they’ll receive their medical license and then go on to a psychiatry residency program for an additional four years. The first year is usually spent in a hospital setting in which a variety of mental illnesses are treated. They’ll experience situations in both inpatient and outpatient as well as emergency room settings. During the remaining three years, the person will learn how to accurately diagnose and treat different disorders. They’ll gain experience using many different types of treatment methods which can include talk therapy and medication. After those eight years, they can decide whether or not they’d like to specialize in something specific.

Every psychiatrist must take and pass both oral and written exams from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to become board certified. After that, they must retake the exams every 10 years to make sure their skills stay up to date. It’s not a requirement to become board certified, but some clients will feel more comfortable seeing someone who is.


Becoming a psychiatrist is a serious commitment, especially because of the time you’ll need to spend training, studying, and practicing. People who are suitable to become psychiatrists include those who enjoy people, like working with abstract ideas, are patient, and take pleasure in solving complex problems. You should also be compassionate, empathetic, have good listening skills, and have an unquenchable desire for knowledge. Psychiatry won’t be the right fit for everyone but know that there are plenty of other career options if you want to work in the field of psychology. Additionally, if you are experiencing any sort of mental health condition, it’s important to be aware of the benefits a psychiatrist can provide you with. Simply talking with someone who cares can often be a big help.