There has always seemed to be an odd stigma around speaking to a psychologist. No one talks about it, but visiting a therapist sends off strange alarms in our brain that something must be wrong. Unfortunately, many people actually stop themselves from talking to a professional simply because they’re afraid that doing so means they are flawed. On the contrary, visiting a psychologist or psychiatrist when you are dealing with some emotional or mental struggles is a sign of self-awareness that can save you a lot of suffering down the line.
What’s the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
These two terms are commonly confused. Although a psychologist and psychiatrist perform many of the same job duties, a psychiatrist has a doctoral degree and is able to prescribe certain psychiatric medications to their patients if they have studied psychopharmacology. Ultimately, both should be easy to find on a WebServicesID organization license verification service.
While a psychologist looks to a person’s thoughts and behavior, a psychiatrist bases their judgments more off biology and neurochemistry. While both understand that mental health conditions can actually be symptoms of underlying medical problems, a psychiatrist is more likely to investigate any potential physiological explanations to an emotional problem than a psychologist.
Should I See a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist?
Both types of professionals are able to see patients under many major health insurance plans. Your primary care physician may also be able to refer you to one directly, but if you’re looking on your own, consider the reason why you want to seek professional help.
If you are suffering from drug addiction or side-effects or other medical problems, then a psychiatrist may be better. as they have the same understanding as a regular doctor and can also work closely with your primary care physician. People who suffer from, or are believed to be suffering from, severe psychological conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder may wish to seek the help of a psychiatrist because they’re capable of prescribing medication that can subdue the symptoms of such conditions.
A psychologist, on the other hand, is more likely to be of greater help to someone suffering from an isolated emotional problem, anxiety disorder or phobia. They are also a good choice for someone who just feels overwhelmed in their life and needs someone to speak to. A psychologist can teach you various techniques to cope with different emotional states and mental challenges.
The Most Important Thing
At the end of the day, if you feel like you need to talk to a professional, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Don’t feel like you are “broken” or flawed. It takes incredible strength to identify and admit our struggles and even more to take the necessary steps to overcome them.
If you’re still not sure whether a psychiatrist or psychologist is right for you, the best bet is to start off with a psychologist. If your sessions revealed any diagnosis that required medication as part of a treatment plan, then your psychologist could refer you to a psychiatrist.