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Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of deleterious mental conditions. These include various matters related to mood, behaviour, cognition, and perceptions.
Initial psychiatric assessment of a person begins with a case history and mental status examination. Physical examinations, psychological tests, and laboratory tests may be conducted. On occasion, neuroimaging or other neurophysiological studies are performed. Mental disorders are diagnosed in accordance with diagnostic manuals such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), edited by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5), published in May 2013, reorganized the categories of disorders and added newer information and insights consistent with current research.
Treatment may include psychotropics (psychiatric medicines) and psychotherapy, and also other modalities such as assertive community treatment, community reinforcement, substance-abuse treatment, and supported employment. Treatment may be delivered on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on the severity of functional impairment or risk to the individual or community. Research within psychiatry is conducted on an interdisciplinary basis with other professionals, such as epidemiologists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, and clinical psychologists.