Wayne D. Blackmon, M.D., J.D.  
     
     
Psychiatry is the branch of medicine where medicine meets psychology. Psychiatrists should be capable of making a diagnosis and then prescribing treatments that range from psychotherapy to medication depending on the diagnosis.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have a complete medical school education and then have an additional 4 to 5 years of special education in psychotherapy and medical treatments for emotional disorders.

Most problems that psychiatrists treat involve situations where people block themselves in their lives at large. Frequently either gaining insight into how one approaches life or how one behaves is enough to solve the problem. This is where psychotherapy is useful, not to tell a person what to do, but to use the psychiatrist’s expertise and intervention to help a person find ways to change and grow.

Other times, a person may be in so much distress that it is not possible to make use of any psychotherapy. At those times a psychiatrist will prescribe special medications to relieve this stress so that psychotherapy may be successful. These medications usually are either antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anxiolytics (minor tranquilizers) or neuroleptics (major tranquilizers). Of al mental health practitioners, only a psychiatrist may prescribe mediation.