What Does a Psychiatrist Treat?

BlueSky_sky photo

People often ask us what do psychiatrists treat, so here is a detailed overview.


Psychiatrists generally treat people with serious mental health conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, severe anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD.)

Many psychiatrists also help people with a wide variety of other types of mental health and life problems.

Psychiatrists engage in a wide range of treatments for many different psychiatric conditions, from mild to severe, including:

      • Adjustment disorders

      • Anxiety disorders

      • Depression and mood disorders

      • Suicidal ideation

      • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

      • Delusional thinking, psychosis

      • ADHD

      • Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Other common problems treated by psychiatrists include emotional dysregulation and violent outbursts, eating disorders, sleep disorders, self-injuring behaviors, and dysfunctional family dynamics.


    Psychiatrists begin working with a patient by evaluating the person’s physical and mental condition and ruling out physical causes of symptoms.

    After that, a psychiatrist determines a diagnosis and treatment plan in consultation with the patient.

    Common Psychiatric Treatments

        • Individual psychotherapy sessions

        • Family and couples therapy sessions

        • Group sessions with several patients having a similar diagnosis

        • Art and music therapies

        • Deep brain stimulation (DBS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)and similar treatments

        • Psychiatric medications

      Common Psychiatric Medications

      Sedatives, antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and stimulants. Psychiatrists frequently prescribe some form of psychotherapy and medication together.

      DBS, TMS, and ECT are medical devices using the brain’s electrical stimulation to reduce problematic symptoms. They are useful in treating some forms of mental illness, such as severe depression.

      Many psychiatrists are available to provide help to those who suffer sudden changes in their mental health and those undergoing a personal crisis in family, career, or other areas of life.

      As trained medical doctors, psychiatrists can also offer suggestions for lifestyle changes, such as diet, sleeping patterns, and exercise programs, which can improve a patient’s symptoms and aid in their recovery.


      Psychotherapy involves talking between the patient and psychiatrist. A common approach is called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT.)

      In CBT, the therapist and patient work together, identifying and challenging unproductive thought patterns and learning coping methods for controlling difficult emotions and successfully approaching problem-solving.

      Psychoanalysis is another type of psychotherapy in which the patient and psychiatrist engage in an intensive conversation over multiple sessions, discussing the client’s important life events, significant relationships, and emotional responses.

      Psychotherapy sessions can focus on changing thought patterns, healing from psychological trauma, understanding past and present relationships, controlling unwanted behaviors, or solving other problems faced by the client.

      Psychotherapy may last for only a few sessions or may go on for months or even years, depending on the patient and their goals, their diagnosis, and their progress.

      The goal of all forms of psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment is helping patients reduce or eliminate disturbing and disruptive thought patterns, behaviors, and emotional states so that they can live as happily and productively as possible.

      If you are looking for a psychiatrist, consider one of the BlueSky telepsychiatric providers. With teletherapy, you can receive care via videoconferencing on your phone.


      View Our List of Providers



        Schedule An Appointment

        Select a Location Below for Available Time

        Already a client? Click Here