Psychiatry FAQ

While the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology share a lot of commonalities, there are key differences in education and practices associated with each. Psychologists are required to have a doctoral degree in psychology; however, they did not attend medical school. Psychiatrists must complete medical school and residency, a process which takes about 12 years, before seeking licensure.

Generally, someone seeks therapy, or psychotherapy, for counseling and learning coping skills. There is no medication management or medical procedures associated with therapy.

There are various routes of non-medicinal therapy a psychiatrist can suggest. These range from simply recommending physical exercise to possibly TMS or other in-person, noninvasive procedures.

Providing support to a loved one suffering from mental illness is important. Take time to check in regularly, offer to listen to them talk, and make sure they see you as a source of reliability. Let those struggling know that taking care of themselves and admitting when they need help is a sign of strength.

Changes in mental health can present suddenly or can be insidious. If you notice a change in a loved one’s mood or behavior that seems out of character and persists after a few days, there may be concern for depression. Symptoms to watch for include feeling sad or low most of the day, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies, appetite changes, and sleep difficulties or excessive sleepiness.

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