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What is psychiatry? What is the difference between psychology and psychiatry? Is malpractice possible is this branch of medicine? Psychiatry can be defined as the study of mental disorders and how to treat patients who are dealing with these conditions. The word literally means the treatment of the soul as it comes from the two Greek words meaning “soul” and “to heal.”
Within the field of psychiatry are several other subsets of psychiatry, but they all focus on the treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists treat disorders such as personality disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders, substance abuse, and more.
Is there a difference between psychiatry and psychology? The main difference can be discovered by analyzing the terms themselves. As previously mentioned, psychiatry is defined as the medical treatment of the soul. Psychology is defined as the theory of the soul. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who first attend medical school before going on to be trained in mental health. For this reason, psychiatrists are able to prescribe drugs should they consider it necessary for treatment. Psychologists, as they are not medical doctors, are not authorized to prescribe medication.
Types of Mental Disorders
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are some types of mental disorders which are more common than others. Schizophrenia remains a mystery in that the cause of this condition is not fully understood. One of the defining characteristics of schizophrenia is that they believe false things to be true and have a difficult time in accepting reality. They can see things that are not really there and believe delusions regarding their perception of reality. Those suffering from this disorder have a difficult time relating to others and they are more at risk of harming themselves or committing suicide.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is another common type of mental condition. Categorized as an anxiety disorder, this is characterized by repeated thoughts or actions which do not make sense regarding the situation. In most cases, the behavior is done in order to help alleviate stress or worry. Many of those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder are irrationally-preoccupied with germs, getting sick, safety, symmetry, cleaning, hoarding, and more. Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, consists of emotional highs and lows. Sometimes these changes occur within hours of each other while in other cases it could take months to switch from one to the other. The individual will have extreme energy and elation which will then be followed by hopelessness and depression. Most people continue to go through this cycle once they have had one manic episode.
Regardless of the psychiatric disorder, patients and their loved ones place their trust in the expert care of doctors. As such, doctors have a duty to provide top-quality care. When this trust is breached, harm can befall the patient, death can occur if a doctor is negligent. In such cases, work together with a medical malpractice lawyer from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein to fight for your right to fair compensation.
Did you suffer from malpractice?
As in other medical fields, medical malpractice can occur in psychiatry. In order to prove that malpractice occurred, there are four elements that must be present in the case. The first is that there must be a doctor-patient relationship. This means that if you asked someone who was a psychiatrist for advice outside of a professional visit, they cannot be held liable for anything that followed. However, if there was a professional relationship, then the doctor owes the patient a duty of care. If this duty of care is breached, then the second aspect of malpractice is reached. The third aspect is that is that harm must have actually been caused to the individual, such as physical harm or emotional harm. Lastly, the link between the patient’s injury and the doctor’s malpractice must be established.
If you have any questions regarding if you were the victim of psychiatric malpractice, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of professionals. The Law Offices of Joseph M. Lichtenstein, PC has over 60 years of experience in this area of law and will fight to defend you. Contact a Long Island psychiatric malpractice attorney for help in your case!
The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein provides legal services to most areas around New York City, including the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, as well as Long Island, Westchester, Suffolk County and Nassau County. Call us today at (888) 392 3104 or send us a message through our Contact Us page to find out if you have a legitimate medical negligence case. We offer New York communities our expertise as birth injury lawyers, among other legal services. All initial consultations with us are absolutely FREE.