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The Psychiatrist Vs Psychologist Debate Is A Long One

The history of mental health disease and treatment is especially fraught when compared with other medical disciplines and this can be attributed a number of factors, including the various facets that make up mental disorders. Today, pharmaceuticals and labeling has contributed to a culture that is much more aware and even accepting of mental issues. The two sects tasked with dealing with any brain issues are psychology and psychiatry. The debate between choosing a psychiatrist vs psychologist is unnecessarily complicated since the two are vastly dissimilar in their make up.

The two labels are used interchangeably by many, but could not be more different from one another. When it comes to the field of psychiatry, it is strictly staffed by doctors who have gone through the rigors of medical school, rotations, and residency in their chosen field of study. Devoting themselves to the brain, means devoting themselves to an additional 8 years of schooling.

For those interested in psychology, however, the schooling is not as rigorous, though it is no less advanced. Rather than going through the minutia of medicine and biochemistry, these students take a behavioral approach to mental illness that is backed by experiments performed as far back as the heyday of Sigmund Freud. A masters and licensing can take anywhere from 2-4 years, with some going further to attain their PhD.

This is not the case with psychologists, although they are well trained. Rather than majoring as an undergraduate in something that can get them into medical school, they start working towards their bachelors in psychology and then enter into a graduate program which can last anywhere from 2-4 years. Just like in the medical community, they can specialize in any number of patient populations like children or drug addicts.

Depending on the issues that a particular patient has, it may be necessary to go to a psychiatrist first and foremost for the simple reason that they are the ones that can prescribe pills. With their training in pharmacology, they understand how different levels and compounds can have an effect on the brain and, subsequently, the behavior of those that are suffering. While the therapists cannot prescribe medication, their methods have proven to be successful in a number of cases.

These do not include things like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder which are tied to serious chemical imbalances and must be regulated by medication since, without pills, many patients can become a danger to themselves or others. There has never been a case in which a schizophrenic has simply talked away the voices and hallucinations in their mind. Some cases demand pharmacological intervention.

The brain is a complex organ and there is no one right way of dealing with problems. What patients have no yet realized because it has not been championed enough in the media is that there is a lasting change to be found when they double up on both approaches. Studies have shown that pills alone are not as good as pills in conjunction with some sort of therapeutic intervention.

Deciding who can give you more time, psychiatrist vs psychologist, is fairly simply when seeing that most of the former deal with high patient loads and insurance limits that are not as conducive to building up particular repertoires with particular patients. If you need pills be sure to get them, but don't discount the benefits of talking to a doctor to get the best out of your medications.

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