An Introduction to psychiatry; Part 2

1 May 2007
Volume 08, Issue 2

This article focuses on functional illnesses, eg schizophrenia, and psychotropic medication.


People with enduring mental illness are more likely to develop chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease (McCreadie 2003) and type 2 diabetes (Dinan et al. 2004). They are less likely to receive or attend for routine health screening. A study of psychiatric inpatients revealed that 65% had impaired visual acuity and 61% had not been to an optometrist for 5 years or more (Punukollu & Phelan 2006). In August 2006 the UK government issued guidance to improve the physical health of people with enduring mental illness. Primary care trusts will employ nurses who will perform health checks and help patients to access services. 

In the previous article, An Introduction to Psychiatry Part 1, published in Optometry in Practice (volume 7, issue 3, pp. 115–24), the epidemiology, aetiology and classification of mental illness were discussed and the organic disorders of delirium and dementia were reviewed in detail. In this article the functional illnesses, eg schizophrenia, and psychotropic medication will be highlighted.

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