Psychiatrist Vs Psychologist

Psychiatrist image

Psychiatrist

I am a medical doctor authorized to prescribe medication to you. Sometimes, I do provide psychotherapy as well.

My main focus, however, is to present your symptoms.

In order to reach where i am today, I have completed a bachelor's degree in general medicine followed by a Doctor of Medicine program.

I have also undergone an internship followed by specialized training as a psychiatric resident.

I have studied subjects like cell biology, biochemistry, immunology and physiology in order to understand your body chemistry and its effect on your brain and behavior.

I gained my practicing license from the state or national board of doctors.

Psychiatrist image

Psychologist

I have a doctoral degree in Psychology and I am authorized to conduct various psychological assessments on you. Through counseling I help you understand the cause of your mental disorder and adopt tools and techniques that emotionally strengthen you and help you recover.

In order to reach this position to be able to help you, I have completed my bachelor's and master's degree in Arts in Psychology and an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology. I have also completed an internship in a state or national licensed mental health practitioner’s office.

I have studied and undergone training in behavioral therapy, psychological testing, psychotherapy, quantitative methods in research and statistics.

I received a practicing licence from the Rehabilitation Council of India.

So, now that we have already introduced you to a psychiatrist and a psychologist, you know how to differentiate between the two. You also know, how these different mental health professionals work on your treatment.

Pertaining to the severity of the condition you are facing, you can choose which professional to consult. However, for best results, a combination of both modes of treatment is recommended.

If your condition is extremely severe and basic self-care seems impossible for you, going to a psychiatrist first is more advisable. Just the way your viral fever can never come down with talk therapy, your mental health conditions leading to negative physical symptoms cannot be treated, without medication prescribed by the psychiatrist.

If your mental health condition is a little less severe and you don’t like to use medications or you are simply worried about getting addicted to medication, you shall visit a psychologist first.

We do understand how intimidating, getting the right psychiatrist or psychologist may seem at first. So, let’s address certain common questions asked by people, in order to find the ‘perfect fit’ therapist or doctor.

Q How do I find a therapist or a psychiatrist?

AAsk your regular doctor for a recommendation. This way, you have done a tiny background check of the person you may end up consulting. Database websites are doing a great job in helping you instantly connect with psychologists and psychiatrists.

Q What should I look for?

AWhen you first talk to a potential therapist or psychiatrist, try to gauge about his or her approach to see whether it seems appropriate for you and your condition. If the approach doesn’t sound convincing for the treatment of your condition, consult someone else. If you don't connect with a person, and if you do not relate to or understand his/her treatment procedure, the entire treatment procedure may not work out. You may also want to look for someone who specializes in your particular problem. For instance, if you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, find a doctor or non-medical therapist who specializes in treating people struggling with addiction.

Q What if treatment doesn't help?

AA famous quote by Ernest Hemingway - “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them” Turns out, this holds true in getting treatment for yourself too. Once you have chosen the psychologist and psychiatrist that you would like to stick to for the treatment, you need to give therapy and medication a chance to work. Getting better takes time, often several months. Treatment for mental conditions can be extremely difficult at first. Opening up to someone about very personal things in your life isn't easy. But be patient and be rest assured, you will get there soon.

QWhat can I do from my end to ensure success?

AWell, first and foremost ensure you prepare a list of questions to ask to your Psychiatrist or Psychologist.

Questions to ask to your Doctor/Psychiatrist?

  • Do I need medicine for my depression (Or the mental condition you are experiencing)?
  • What kind of medicine will you prescribe?
  • What are the side effects and risks?
  • How often and for how long do I need to take it?
  • How quickly will it work?
  • Will any of my other medications, herbs, or supplements interact with this medicine?

Questions to ask to your Psychologist/Psyhotherapist?

  • What kind of approach do you use? What will our goals be?
  • What will you expect of me? Will you give me specific assignments to do between sessions?
  • How often will we meet?
  • How do we decide whether therapy will be short-term or long-term?
  • How much does each session cost, and what is your policy for cancellations or missed appointments?

Secondly, maintain a log journal:

Keeping track of your mood changes in a diary can be helpful to you and the professionals you are consulting. Just jot down a few lines each day. In each entry, you can include information about your feelings, physical or somatic symptoms, events that affected your mood, number of hours you slept, whether your sleep was disturbed or undisturbed, the exact doses of any medicines you took and so on.

Lastly, ensure taking constant feedback from your family and friends. You may miss out on certain behavioural and physical symptoms which your family and friends may be able to observe and keep track of more objectively.