A Short Introduction to Psychiatry is designed to give readers a clear picture of the profession of psychiatry as it is today as well as an understanding of the subject from which to develop further study. The author describes the development of the profession, the route to qualification and the scope of contemporary practice, including the work done by psychiatrists in a range of specialisms - from child psychiatry to addiction services and forensic psychiatry. Drawing on the experience of people who have been through psychiatric treatment, the book also explores what psychiatry is like from the patient's/user's perspective. Many criticisms have been levelled against the profession and the author, Linda Gask, summarizes key debates which have been and continue to be played out between psychiatry's critics and its defenders. A Short Introduction to Psychiatry is for anyone looking into psychiatry for the first time, whether with a view to training or out of more general interest.