What Is Psychiatry?
Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (an M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems.
People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing “voices.” Or they may be more long-term, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that never seem to lift or problems functioning, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control.
They specialize in maintaining long-term adult wellness by combining patient-centered adult care of high quality, physician expertise, and the latest advances in medical technology.
What Is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (completed medical school and residency) with special training in psychiatry. A psychiatrist is able to conduct psychotherapy and prescribe medications and other medical treatments.
A psychologist usually has an advanced degree, most commonly in clinical psychology, and often has extensive training in research or clinical practice. Psychologists treat mental disorders with psychotherapy and some specialize in psychological testing and evaluation.