When it comes to seeking help for a mental illness or any kind of mental problems, two names come in our mind; Psychologist and Psychiatrists. But who do we approach, psychologist, psychiatrist or both. Most of the individuals who approach us have the same confusion. Read on to understand their approach, and who you need to meet.
Let us begin with their background. A psychologist has a bachelors and masters degree in psychology. Post that they earn a doctoral degree with two or more years of internship under supervision. A psychiatrist graduates as a medical doctor, followed by four years as residents working in a hospital and then earns a licence to practise.
A psychologist is trained in conducting tests to make a diagnosis; they are equipped with counselling skills and psychotherapy techniques. Psychiatrists are trained in medicine and conducting medical interventions. They are the one who can prescribe medications.
Now let us look at how they go about a mental illness case. A psychologist would look into the behavioural and emotional aspect of the individual. For example, in the case of depression they would look for sleep patterns, eating habits, interest levels, negative thoughts, etc. They mainly look for an emotional and behavioural cause of the disorder. A psychiatrist would focus on the physical and biological aspect of the individual. Using the same example, in the case of depression they would first look for any vitamin deficiency or thyroid problems. They are more concerned about the chemical imbalance behind the disorder. For treatment a psychologist would use counselling sessions and psychotherapy whereas a psychiatrist would mostly use a medical intervention.
Psychiatrists have one advantage over psychologists, as a part of their training they are exposed to paediatrics, working with out-patients, emergency rooms, they understand and can work effectively with other medical professional in the hospital. They also tend to handle severe disorders wherein there are physical symptoms involved. Many patients fear taking medications, thinking of its side effects, here they usually opt for a psychologist. Psychologist also work with severe cases but when certain physical symptoms are observed a psychiatrist’s intervention is required.
Both psychologists and psychiatrist are equally capable in their field to work with mental illness. No one is better than the other, they are experts in their own areas of specialization and effective results are seen when both of them work together to improve an individual’s mental wellbeing. At Cadabam’s, we believe in a multi-approach for the best outcome. Meet the best of the psychiatrist and the psychologist who work hand in hand to give you the best treatment.