Should You See A Psychologist Or A Psychiatrist For Your Anxiety?

If you’ve recently decided to seek professional help for anxiety disorder, congratulations are in order. This potentially-debilitating mood disorder affects a whopping 40 million Americans and, if left untreated, can lead to other problems like alcohol or drug dependency, self-harm and even suicide.

Anxiety disorder is a blanket term for a variety of mood disorders such as social anxiety, PTSD, and panic disorder. No matter which type of anxiety you have, it goes without saying that this disorder can tremendously disrupt your ability to live a happy and productive life.When it comes to determining which treatment option is right for you, it’s important to know the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists. Both of these types of professionals are trained and licensed to treat anxiety. However, their methods and backgrounds are very different.

Psychologists

Psychologists study psychology in school and are licensed to practice a variety of techniques that can treat different mood disorders such as anxiety. While they are not medical doctors, they can help you develop strategies to combat your anxiety through various forms of therapy.

Psychologists will help you conquer your anxiety by helping you learn about how past experiences and circumstances in your life have an impact on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Similarly, psychologists will study your thought patterns and behaviors to help you come up with positive changes that you can make in order to eliminate anxiety from your life.

Most people who choose to see a psychologist instead of a psychiatrist believe that their anxiety is caused by trauma or unfavorable life circumstances and wish to treat their disorder without relying on the medications that psychiatrists prescribe.

 

Psychiatrists

Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists are medical doctors who are heavily trained in a variety of sciences in order to treat mood disorders like anxiety. Like psychologists, psychiatrists are trained in different types of therapy in order to study your thought patterns and help you develop methods for conquering your anxiety.

In addition to providing different types of therapy, psychiatrists will look for chemical imbalances that may be the underlying cause of your anxiety. If they believe that your anxiety is caused by a chemical imbalance, they will likely prescribe drugs that affect the way that the brain responds to various triggers.

Many people choose psychiatrists over psychologists because they want to treat their anxiety with medication rather than traditional therapy. If you believe that your anxiety is caused by a chemical imbalance or that your anxiety is so severe that you require medication in order to live a functional and happy life, a psychiatrist may be right for you.

Ask Your Doctor

If you’re just beginning to seek out treatment for your anxiety, determining which type of professional is right for you may be a daunting task. Fortunately, you can ask your general doctor for help when it comes to deciding which road to take in order to recover from your anxiety at last. If your anxiety is preventing you from living life to the fullest, contact your doctor today.

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