How Do You Know Which Is Best For You, Psychologist Or Psychiatrist?

Did you know that 1 in 5 people adults suffer from mental health illness, but only 40% seek treatment. Those stats are nuts!


When I first started down my road to recovery I wasn't quite sure where to begin and where to look and who to consult. One of the biggest questions I wish I had had someone to guide me on, was whether seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist would be more appropriate for my situation.


The biggest difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is:


1. A psychologist: CANNOT PRESCRIBE YOU MEDS. HE OR SHE SPECIALIZES IN TALK THERAPY.


2. A psychiatrist: CAN PRESCRIBE YOU MEDS. HE OR SHE DOES NOT SPECIALIZE IN TALK THERAPY.


A psychologist?


A psychologist is an expert in providing psychosocial therapy aka talking therapy. They focus more on the patient's mind and emotions. They may use the DSM ( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) to diagnose, however take note that they are not trained in general medicinal principles.


Psychologists have the professional training to help people cope with life issues and mental health problems. They are licensed to provide evaluations that may evaluate intellectual skills, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, personality traits, vocational aptitude and neuropsychological functioning.


Some people see psychologists because they feel depressed, angry, anxious, or because of a jarring situation like a toxic job, or the death of a family member. Others may see them to overcome addictions, manage chronic illnesses or make break troughs to help them reach their goals and be the best version of themself.


A psychiatrist?


A psychiatrist is an expert at diagnosing mental disorders and managing medications, their expertise focuses on the chemical imbalances with the brain. They can write prescriptions. People normally see a psychiatrist after they are recommended to them through their psychologist or their primary care physician. However, that is not always the case. If you prefer to proceed directly to a psychiatrist for medication that option is available as well!