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Madeira Medical Center00h09m
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.
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.