Trusting Your Psychiatrist

Trusting Your Psychiatrist (click here for more info)


In the general public, there are a lot of myths about psychiatrists and psychiatry in general. A TV show popular in the 1990s called “Fraser” showed an actor who was supposed to portray a psychiatrist doing much more the job of a psychologist. In truth, a psychiatrist is someone who has earned a full medical degree, and has been trained to do everything a regular MD can do, but has specialised in the workings of the human brain (not mind) for anywhere from 5 to 10 years. I met a Psychiatrist once who had further specialized in addictions and was just getting his career started at the age of 32. This is not uncommon. A psychologist however, focuses much more on behavior.


Many people at one time or another in their lives have seen a parody of Sigmund Freud sitting in his chair, smoking a cigar or pipe while a person unveils their life in great detail for a 50-minute hour and never gets any further in his treatment. In reality, a psychologist would lean more towards talk therapy while a psychiatrist would be more concerned with blood tests, cat scans, urine samples and any of the tools he has in his kit to diagnose and treat mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar, or hopefully any of the possible mental illnesses out there.


There are interesting facts about the relationship of a psychologist to a psychiatrist, one study I came across found that medication alone (psychiatrist) left the patient in a poorer state than talk therapy alone, specifically referring to cognitive behavioral therapy, a movement started in England and spreading across the globe. It is important to note that this doesn’t mean a person should get a psychologist and go off their medications, it means that it is important to use both medications and talk therapy to get even better results. When I took sciences at university, and chemistry in high school, I was often introduced to the fact that when science doesn’t provide all the answers, for some odd reason several seemingly conflicting theories will work together to solve the problem of the unknown. I was always very fascinated how one could take two liquids (for example), use the periodic table and some mathematics to predict what will happen, and get verifiable results when no one could see the chemical reactions themselves, they were simply on too small of a scale. This is why I still revere Sigmund Freud as a pioneer in research of the human mind, because he had no clue how nerve ending neuro-transmitters caused different illnesses, or any of the many types of traumas or complexes worked, but he dove in and used his mind and his own observation (and a good deal of cocaine I understand) to formulate theories completely blind to how they really came about. If anyone is interested in learning more about psychiatry, or about options to get the help of a psychiatrist, a weblink that could be helpful can be found by clicking this link.