noun \sə-ˈkī-ə-trē, sī-\

: a branch of medicine that deals with mental or emotional disorders

Full Definition of PSYCHIATRY

:  a branch of medicine that deals with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders
psy·chi·at·ric \ˌsī-kē-ˈa-trik\ adjective
psy·chi·at·ri·cal·ly \-tri-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
psy·chi·a·trist \sə-ˈkī-ə-trist, sī-\ noun


probably from French psychiatrie, from psychiatre psychiatrist, from psych- psych- + Greek iatros physician — more at -iatry
First Known Use: 1828

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal


noun \-trē\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural psy·chi·a·tries

Medical Definition of PSYCHIATRY

: a branch of medicine that deals with the science and practice of treating mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders especially as originating in endogenous causes or resulting from faulty interpersonal relationships


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Branch of medicine concerned with mental disorders. Until the 18th century, mental health problems were considered forms of demonic possession; gradually they came to be seen as illnesses requiring treatment. In the 19th century, research into and classification and treatment of mental illnesses advanced. Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory dominated the field for many years before it was challenged by behavioral and cognitive therapy and humanistic psychology in the mid-20th century. Psychiatrists hold medical degrees and can prescribe drugs and other medical treatments in addition to conducting psychotherapy. The psychiatrist often works as a member of a mental health team that includes clinical psychologists and social workers.


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