What is the Goal of Adult Psychiatry?

November 22, 2022 by andrew

Adult psychiatry is geared towards helping adults deal with a variety of mental issues. Many mental disorders can have drastic effects on a person’s personal and professional life if left untreated. Adult psychiatric care is administered by a physiatrist. These are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating people who are dealing with mental disorders.

Adult psychiatry can help with mental conditions like depression, eating disorders, addictions, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

What does adult psychiatry provide?
It helps to assess a range of mental and physical symptoms
Emergency treatment for sudden mental problems
Creates effective treatment plans to help the patient move forward
Admission into hospitals
Educates patients about positive lifestyle changes
Medication for mental disorders that must be prescribed by a psychiatrist
Treatment for complex mental issues that are tough to diagnose
Help with suicidal thoughts or plans
When is adult psychiatry needed?

While there is still some stigma attached to mental health issues, the reality is that most people can benefit from psychiatric treatment at some point in their lives. A psychiatrist can help patients to cope with:

Major life changing events that lead to high-stress levels
Anxiety problems
Suicidal thoughts
Violent thoughts
Self-harming behavior
Lack of motivation/energy
Obsessive thoughts and behavior
Gambling problems
Drug addictions
Social media addictions
Difficulty concentrating
Violent behavior
Disorders like ADHD and autism

The goal of treatment is always to alleviate the symptoms of these issues, eliminate the problem or teach the patient how to manage it better.

Treatments commonly performed by a psychiatrist

1. Psychotherapy (also called talking therapy or psychological treatment)
During this therapy, the psychiatrist will talk to the patient about things that trigger their condition. It gives the person a non-judgmental setting to explore their thoughts and behaviors in hopes of improving them.

2. Medication
There are many types of drugs that can be used to treat different mental disorders. For example, Ritalin can be used to effectively manage ADHD, while anti-depressants can be used to treat issues like depression. Mental issues can be sometimes treated by other professionals like psychologists. But, only a psychiatrist can prescribe these medications.

3. Brain stimulation treatments
This therapy can be used to treat certain mental issues. It is used to inhibit or activate brain activity by applying an electrical current. The electrical charge can be delivered by electrodes placed on the scalp or placed directly inside the brain.

The psychiatrist will also educate the patient about lifestyle changes they can make that will make it easier for them to manage their condition. The psychiatrist will educate the patient on why the treatment is recommended, why it works, its side effects and how long it takes before the patient notices results.

It is ultimately up to the patient to decide which treatment they want to go with.

Do not neglect your mental health

Stop by our Columbia office for adult psychiatry if you are dealing with any of the issues we discussed. It is possible to enjoy a high quality of life even when you have a mental disorder.

Adult Psychiatry

As part of one of the largest psychiatry programs in the country, our experienced psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and other care providers perform thorough assessments and offer the latest treatments for people who need inpatient and outpatient care.

Compassionate Mental Health Care for Adults

Behavioral health disorders affect about one in five American adults, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Although many of these disorders are common and can be serious, they are treatable – and recovery is possible.

Behavioral health disorders include mental health and substance use disorders:

Mental health disorders cause changes in a person’s mood, thinking, or behavior. They affect how well people function in relating to others and making decisions in work, school, or home life. Mental health disorders can occur once, return intermittently, or continue over time.

Substance use disorders develop when continued alcohol or drug use significantly impairs a person’s ability to function well at work, school, or home. These disorders can be mild, moderate, or severe and can cause health problems or disability.

Our skilled behavioral health professionals, including board-certified psychiatrists, offer safe, effective treatment for adults who have mental health and substance use disorders. People come to UT Southwestern for many reasons:

  • Treatment based on the latest research: Our physician researchers participate in studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), staying at the forefront of behavioral health care.
  • Expert care for all types of behavioral health disorders: Our teams treat thousands of patients each year. This high volume enhances our knowledge and experience in providing excellent care for our patients.
  • Access to the latest treatments: By participating in clinical trials, our physicians can offer patients access to advanced treatments that aren’t widely available.
  • Integrated care: Our behavioral health team approaches mental health treatment from a biopsychosocial perspective, often working with the patient’s medical care team – such as oncologists and neurologists – to enhance well-being.

Conditions We Treat

At Brain Health USA, our psychiatrists, psychologists, and other behavioral health professionals provide expert, compassionate care for a wide range of disorders:

Adjustment disorder

When faced with a stressful life event, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce, people can have difficulty coping. Many symptoms of an adjustment disorder are similar to those of depression or anxiety, such as lack of interest, feelings of hopelessness, extreme sadness, or nervousness.

Anxiety, phobias, and panic disorders

Everyone worries from time to time, but when anxiety worsens over time and doesn’t go away, it can affect a person’s ability to carry out everyday activities. This group of disorders includes panic disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder.

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD describes a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity that interferes with a person’s functioning or development. Symptoms include easy distraction, inability to focus or listen, and difficulty following directions or completing tasks. Although ADHD can be diagnosed during a person’s teen or adult years, the condition typically begins in childhood.

Bipolar disorder

Formerly known as manic depression, bipolar disorder causes mood changes that are abnormally extreme. A period of elevated mood is called mania, in which a person feels uncharacteristically energetic or active. Signs of a manic episode include rapid speaking, easy distraction, and impulsive, high-risk behavior. A period of low mood is depression.


This common condition can cause feelings of hopelessness and extreme sadness for more than just a few days. Clinical depression can last for weeks or months, affecting a person’s ability to function at work, school, or home. Other symptoms include loss of interest in favorite activities, appetite changes, problems with sleep, fatigue, and thoughts of suicide.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder in which uncontrollable, recurring thoughts (obsessions) create feelings of discomfort and apprehension that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) in an effort to control the thoughts. Symptoms include excessive hand-washing, repetitive checking, counting, and arranging things in a particular way. Not all such habits reach the level of compulsion. But when the thoughts and behaviors interfere with a person’s daily activities, it could be OCD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Some people develop PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event, such as physical or sexual abuse, war, death of a loved one, or a serious accident. Symptoms of this disorder include intrusive memories such as flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of items related to the event, and an exaggerated startle response. Not everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD, but the condition can be diagnosed if symptoms continue for at least one month.

Treatment for Adults with Behavioral Health Disorders

Our physicians and researchers work together to translate our leading-edge research into evidence-based practices for patient care. Through these advancements, we offer effective treatment to help our patients improve their overall functioning and quality of life.

At Brain Health USA, the Division of Psychiatry offers outpatient services for people who experience problems with work and relationships or who have symptoms such as depression or anxiety. Our therapeutic approaches include, but are not limited to:


  • Psychotherapy (individual, group, or family)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness training or other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Esketamine therapy

For people who need more intensive behavioral health care, we offer inpatient care to stabilize symptoms, improve well-being, and restore functional abilities to help patients get back to their daily activities. Learn more about inpatient psychiatry at UT Southwestern.

Our neuropsychologists work with patients’ primary care physicians and other physicians at UT Southwestern to evaluate brain function in patients with neurological conditions or several mental illnesses. This testing can help diagnose or rule out cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions affecting the brain. Learn more about our neuropsychology program.

Our Neurocognitive and Geriatric Psychiatry Program provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of cognitive and age-related conditions. Our team includes experts in psychiatry, psychology, and neuropsychology, as well as the involvement of other subspecialty services when indicated.

We provide care for a broad range of conditions, such as disorders of mood, behavior, and thought process resulting from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain injury, or other neurocognitive disorders. We also specialize in the care of older adults who are experiencing mental health symptoms related to aging or memory.

Our specialists trained in child and adolescent psychiatry provide outpatient, day treatment, and inpatient care through our partnership with Children’s Medical Center Dallas. Learn more about the Children’s Health Psychiatry Program.

Support Services for Behavioral Health

Our behavioral health professionals are dedicated to caring for the whole patient – body, mind, and spirit. With a focus on quality of life, we help connect patients and their families with support groups and other resources that can be tailored to meet their specific needs. Find out more about supportive services available for psychiatry and psychology patients.

Clinical Trials in Psychiatry

The Division of Psychiatry sponsors research programs in several areas of behavioral health, such as:

Bipolar disorder
Family studies

Strick reminder from Brain Health USA to seek a doctor’s advice in addition to using this app and before making any medical decisions.

Read our previous blog post here: https://brainhealthusa.com/whos-who-in-the-mental-health-service-general-practitioner-psychiatrists-psychologists-community-psychiatric-nurse-and-allied-therapists/.


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  4. Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/understanding-psychotherapy. Accessed April 1, 2019.
  5. Complementary health approaches. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Complementary-Health-Approaches. Accessed April 4, 2019.
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  8. What is mental illness? American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-mental-illness. Accessed April 4, 2019.
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Copyright by Brain Health USA 2019. All rights reserved.