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Psychology : Is It Effective?

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On Psychiatry: Is it Effective?
It is common to not completely understand the difference between psychiatry and psychology. To clear up the confusion, psychology is the study of the functions of the human brain, while psychiatry is the study and diagnosis of mental disorders. Mental disorders are “a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress or disability or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom” (The New Definition of a Mental Disorder). With this knowledge given and the stereotypes that is often prevailed, (Some examples of said stereotypes are that a psychiatrist would
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Not in the slightest.
Psychiatry, at its early stage, was considered a “soft-science”, since the diagnosing of patients was based on inferring, observation, and the doctors’ assumptions. Now, due to the development and improvement of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning to the brain, statistics, and strict and rigorous criteria of diagnosing patients, the study of psychiatry has been dubbed a “hard-science” (Psychiatry).

An example of an MRI (magnetic resonance image) to a patient’s brain.

There are many tests and procedures a psychiatrist has to follow to diagnose someone with a mental illness, such as when a doctor wants to test someone for schizophrenia. To be diagnosed with this mental disorder, the symptoms must match the ones stated in the DSM, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. These symptoms include extremely disorganized speech or conduct, the lack of ability to act or function normally, having hallucinations, demonstrating delusional demeanor, and/or dazed/coma-like or extreme hyperactive behavior, which is also called catatonic behavior (Schizophrenia). To test someone for this illness, the patient will have to go through lab tests, such as complete blood count (CBC), other blood tests, alcohol and drug screenings, and sometimes the psychiatrist calls for an MRI or CT (also known as a CAT) scan. All this taken into account, it is
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