Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities. The term was first coined by the German physician Johann Christian Reil in 1808, and literally means the 'medical treatment of the soul' (psych-: soul; from Ancient Greek psykhe: soul; -iatry: medical treatment; from Gk. iatrikos: medical, iasthai: to heal). A medical doctor specializing in psychiatry is a psychiatrist. Psychiatric assessment typically starts with a mental status examination and the compilation of a case history. Psychological tests and physical examinations may be conducted, including on occasion the use of neuroimaging or other neurophysiological techniques.
Contributions by Jfdwolff, David Kernow, and The Anome.