Psychiatry and Autism

Psychiatry is the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental health problems.

Mental health problems that may be diagnosed and treated by a psychiatrist include: anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, eating disorders and sleep disorders.

The psychiatrist may use a wide range of different interventions, techniques and tools. For example, they might prescribe antipsychotic medications or provide cognitive behaviour therapy to help someone overcome their anxiety.

Various claims have been made for the role of psychiatry and also for some of the specific techniques and approaches used by some psychiatrists when treating people on the autism spectrum. For example, the Royal College of Psychiatrists claims that, while there are no known cures for autism, multidisciplinary teams (which often include psychiatrists) can help children and families in many ways. These include making a diagnosis, giving people information, managing behavioural difficulties, helping to develop social communication and emotional skills, treating co-occurring conditions, and using medication in some cases.

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14 Jun 2018