Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders. These include various affective, behavioral, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities. The term “Psychiatry” was first coined by the German Physician Johann Christian Reil in 1808 and literally means the ‘medical treatment of the soul’ (psych-“soul” from Ancient Greek psyche “soul”; -iatry “medical treatment” from Gk. iatrikos “medical” from iasthai “to heal”). A medical doctor specializing in psychiatry is a psychiatrist.
Psychiatric assessment typically starts with a mental status examination and the compilation of a case history. Psychological tests and physical examinations may be conducted, including on occasion the use of neuro imaging or other neuro physiological techniques. Mental disorders are diagnosed in accordance with criteria listed in diagnostic manuals such as the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), edited and used by the World Health Organization. The fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5) was published in 2013, and its development was expected to be of significant interest to many medical fields.