Psychiatry is a medical specialty which exists to study, prevent, and treat mental disorders. The clinical application of Psychiatry is considered a bridge between the social world and those who are mentally ill. Its research and clinical application are interdisciplinary. Various subspecialties and theoretical approaches exist in psychiatric research and practice. Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in the doctor-patient relationship utilizing some of medicine’s newest classification schemes, diagnostic tools and treatments. Psychiatry has generally been considered a middle ground between neurology and psychology and doctors who specialize in Psychiatry are extensively trained in neurology as well. Unlike other physicians and neurologists, psychiatrists specialize in the doctor-patient relationship and are trained in the use of psychotherapy. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, order laboratory tests, utilize neuro-imaging in a clinical setting, and conduct physical examinations. Most patients who visit psychiatrists are basically health in a mental sense and seek to improve their lives through the insight which is possible when examining their lives with a highly trained psychiatrist.
Regarding the severe mental disorders, in the ancient world psychotic disorders were believed to have supernatural origin. At that time clergy were the individuals in society with the responsibility of dealing mental disorders. In the Middle Ages, psychiatric hospitals were created to house those with mental disorders and to provide early forms of treatment. By the 18th century, mental health institutions utilized more elaborate treatments and as a result of these early psychiatric interventions, the 19th century saw a massive increase in patient populations. This dramatic increase led to a decline in patient care and this damaged the reputation of psychiatry. In the 20th century psychiatry shifted to a biological paradigm for the understanding of mental disorders. This shift of psychiatry moved psychiatry to an altered doctor-patient relationship. The shift in thinking, as well as the introduction of psychiatric medications, led to the dismantling of state psychiatric hospitals in the 1970s. While community treatment was projected as the single solution for those suffering from mental disorders, psychiatrists soon realized that it was only another treatment option and noted that turning patients out of hospitals only turned many of them into homelessness and imprisonment.