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Madeira Medical Center


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Psychiatry is the medical specialty that studies mental illness.  Mental illness can cause various behaviour alterations:  mood, emotions, feelings, thoughts, perception of reality,  sleep, memory, sexual function, etc.

Often the suffering caused by psychiatric problems is not recognized by the patient himself as a disease. There are some misconceptions about psychiatry, such as considering that only people who have "lost their wits" should seek Psychiatric help.

Psychiatry deals with many situations:
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, stress;
  • Fears and phobias that can prevent the patient  from leading a normal life (such as leaving the house, driving, being alone at home, etc.);
  • Depression: periods of sadness in which the patient loses interest in almost everything, sometimes with frequent crying, loss of self-esteem, concentration, appetite and sexual desire. Not all depressions are the same. Some can be caused by personal or environmental problems and others can be caused by physical, biological problems, having nothing to do with external factors;
  • Bipolar disorder:  when there are recurrent mood swings that alternate from euphoria to sadness, for no apparent reason;
  • Sleep disorders;
  • Memory disorders;
  • Abuse and dependence on alcohol and drugs.

Symptoms can sometimes go unnoticed and may appear to be "obsessions" (washing rituals, cleaning, tidying up, checking, etc.) or ideas that do not leave one’s thoughts (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder);

Disturbances in eating behaviour such as episodes of uncontrolled eating or of vomiting to not gain weight (Bulimia / Anorexia).

There are very serious diseases, such as schizophrenia, a type of psychosis in which the patient may behave strangely, "listen" to non-existent voices, or believe in absolutely unreal or false things. In old age, dementia causes severe memory changes and the ability to govern your life with autonomy.

Treatments usually consist of psychotherapy, psychotropic drugs, or both. At the moment there are no risks in taking these drugs and they do not cause dependency when controlled by a specialist, allowing the patient to lead a normal and balanced life.


medical specialty available on the following units