Facing issues at work? Have upcoming finals? Perhaps your wedding is coming up soon? Such situations are undeniably stressful and can lead us to feel scared and nervous. These reactions are collectively called anxiety. While it’s normal to be anxious in certain situations and events, excessive anxiety can quickly turn into a disorder. Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting nearly most adults. Fortunately, psychology has significantly progressed over the years, making such disorders manageable, and providing us with numerous efficient treatments.
Mental health problems do not differ from physical illnesses; both necessitate professional care. So, when dealing with an anxiety disorder, it pays to know which is the better option for you: going to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. If you want to know more about the difference between both specializations, keep on reading.
What Psychologists Do
Psychologists do not attend medical school, but they get a master’s degree in psychology at university. Then, they get a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. They study courses, such as psychological research methods, personality development treatment approaches, cognitive and behavioral therapies, and other areas. Psychologists specialize in certain kinds of treatment. A psychologist cannot prescribe medication; they often opt for a treatment that consists of talking. Talking therapy entails speaking about what worries you, what you want to do, and so on.
Psychologists typically strive to comprehend and explain feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. Based on the field of study, they utilize methods like observation and evaluation, together with experimentation to later propose and present theories regarding how feelings and beliefs affect a patient’s actions.
What Psychiatrists Do
Like medical doctors, psychiatrists essentially go to med school. They study every function and system in the human body, as well as physical examinations, medical history, and the precise treatment plans for different medical conditions. They specialize in psychiatry later on; hence, they are the doctors you go to when dealing with psychological issues. Psychiatrists prescribe medications, monitor your physical health and the effects of medication, and sometimes adopt brain stimulation therapies like ECTs.
With the advancement of technology and the internet, if you need to go to a psychiatrist but feel shy or uncomfortable about the idea, you can now look for online psychiatrists, and you will be one click away from finding a good one at your convenience. By providing online sessions, psychiatrists make it easier for patients to get the mental help they need.
Treating Anxiety: Psychology vs. Psychiatry
Treating anxiety usually takes more than one professional; sometimes it takes both a psychiatrist and a psychologist to address it. But since we are here to dig deeper into different fields, here’s how both psychology and psychiatry deal with anxiety.
Psychologists are skilled at diagnosing anxiety disorders and educating patients on healthier, more efficient ways of coping. They mostly use cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT— a type of psychotherapy that is highly effective in treating anxiety disorders. It has fundamental treatment elements and may consist of other optional elements. Through psychotherapy and CBT, patients learn to recognize how their thoughts take part in generating anxiety symptoms, and by learning that, they can minimize such symptoms.
In addition to psychotherapy, psychiatrists will provide medication to treat your anxiety disorder. They will have to know the beginning, severity, and frequency of the symptoms. They will also ask you about your lifestyle, your physical and mental health, and if someone in your family has a mental condition, among other things. During treatment, psychiatrists also take part in diagnosing and treating any other mental health problems, such as depression or substance or alcohol use.
Dealing with anxiety can be crippling; however, by seeking the expert help, you can overcome this hurdle. Since the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists can be a bit confusing, you can use our previous guide to help you make up your mind. As you can deduce, the main difference lies in their treatment methods, not the result.
Regardless of which professional you choose, they will be able to help you deal with your emotions and thoughts. With the right course of treatment, whether it involves medications or therapy sessions, you will be able to lead a rich and full life and feel more stable and in control. Remember, real change starts with you. As long as you are willing to improve your mental state, you are already on the right track. So take a leap of faith, and book your appointment today!