The Detection and Management of Anxiety in Medical Clinics
Psychiatric assessment depends upon the intuitive skill of empathy and a wide knowledge of how people react to stress. Much of the rest of medical practice is now dominated by technology and diagnosis depends on the application of a daunting range of investigations, during which the feelings and thoughts of the patient often slip from view. With few exceptions the psychiatrist must reach a decision of what is wrong with the patient and plan his or her management without calling for the aid of the departments of chemical pathology or diagnostic radiology. In psychiatric practice, time, not technology, is essential; time to listen rather than ask questions, time to be sensitive to cues of the real source of the trouble, time perhaps to see relatives in order to have a better knowledge of the changes between the present and previous habits of thought and behaviour. If time is in short supply in the psychiatric clinic (as is often the case) it is in even shorter supply in other medical and surgical clinics and in general practice, where psychiatric disorder often presents in the guise of physical complaints or complicates existing physical disease.
KeywordsMood Disorder Anxiety State Antidepressant Drug Physical Illness Depressive State
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