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Anaesthetics are used during tests and surgical operations to numb sensation in certain areas of the body or induce sleep.
This prevents pain and discomfort, and enables a wide range of medical procedures to be carried out.
Local anaesthetics and general anaesthetics are two commonly used types of anaesthetics:
local anaesthetic is where a small area of the body is numbed and you remain fully conscious – often used during minor procedures
general anaesthetic is where you’re totally unconscious and unaware of the procedure – often used for more serious operations
How Anaesthetics work:
Anaesthetics work by stopping the nerve signals that keep you awake and aware from reaching your brain.
During this state of induced sleep, procedures can be carried out without you feeling anything.
After the anaesthetic has worn off, the nerve signals will be able to reach your brain, and consciousness and feeling will return.
Types of Anaesthesia
As well as local and general anaesthetic, there are a number of other types of anaesthesia.
Unlike general anaesthetic, these do not make you unconscious – they just stop you feeling pain in a particular area of your body.
The different types of anaesthetic are:
1-regional anaesthetic – a local anaesthetic given to a specific region of your body, leading to numbness or pain relief for deeper operations where more extensive numbness is needed
2-Epidural anaesthesia – a type of regional anaesthetic usually used to numb the lower half of the body; for example, as pain relief during labour and childbirth
3- spinal anaesthetic – a type of regional anaesthetic used to give total numbness, lasting about 3 hours, to the lower parts of the body, such as in the base of your spine or in your lower back, so surgery can be safely carried out in this area
4- sedation – medication that makes you feel sleepy and relaxes you both physically and mentally; it’s sometimes used to keep you calm during minor, painful or unpleasant procedures
Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (an M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems.
People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing “voices.” Or they may be more long-term, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that never seem to lift or problems functioning, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control.
3.1- Diagnosing Patients
Because they are physicians, psychiatrists can order or perform a full range of medical laboratory and psychological tests which, combined with discussions with patients, help provide a picture of a patient’s physical and mental state. Their education and clinical training equip them to understand the complex relationship between emotional and other medical illnesses and the relationships with genetics and family history, to evaluate medical and psychological data, to make a diagnosis, and to work with patients to develop treatment plans.
Specific diagnoses are based on criteria established in APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5), which contains descriptions, symptoms and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders.