Understanding the Difference Between Psychiatry and Psychotherapy 

Understanding the Difference Between Psychiatry and Psychotherapy 

Understanding the Difference Between Psychiatry and Psychotherapy  150 150 Aware Behavioral Health

Mental health conditions are complex health issues. They often present in changes of emotions, moods, and thoughts. But they can also cause real, physical changes within the brain as well. Treatment for mental health needs to address both of these issues to be effective.

The leading ways to treat mental health disorders are through medication assisted therapy, or psychiatry, and talk therapy, or psychotherapy. While each can offer benefits for different mental health conditions, there are differences in these two approaches. If you are just starting the process of finding the partner who will help you reach your mental wellness goals, it can be helpful to know the difference between these two methods.

Determining Whether Mental Health Medication or Talk Therapy is Right for You

There is never one right answer for whether or not you should use medication to treat your mental health conditions. This is a highly personal choice, potentially made with your doctor or therapist, that will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of mental health condition you are experiencing, your past medication history, the symptoms you are currently experiencing, and more. 

Advances in medication for mental health have made this a leading solution for relief from the symptoms you may be experiencing. For the majority of patients, medications are safe and effective when you work with your psychiatrist to create the right medication routine for your personal needs.

Whether you choose to rely on medication, talk therapy, or combine both methods, the two approaches offer some of the following benefits:

  • Medication Manages Symptoms – Many mental health conditions cause altered chemical levels in the brain that lead to the moods you experience. Medications can regulate these levels, providing relief from many of the more debilitating symptoms of many mental illnesses, such as boosting mood, making it easier to overcome an addiction compulsion, or managing mood swings.
  • Some Conditions Require Medication – Mental conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder almost always require medication to manage symptoms. Talk therapy can help build coping mechanisms and teach mood regulation skills, but it is often insufficient in removing the extreme symptoms.
  • Talk Therapy Helps You Understand – Talk therapy often focuses on understanding the underlying reasons and helping you make connections. This can be useful in knowing where a mental health condition might stem from and behaviors that you do that could exacerbate issues. It can also provide ideas for changes that can help you overcome some mental health conditions.
  • Methods Work Well Together – If a mental health condition is preventing you from getting through the day, there is going to be no room left for talk therapy and mental processing. Here, medication can be helpful in reducing symptoms in order to give you more mental space to determine how to move forward with your treatment. 

Speaking with a psychiatrist is one of the best ways to figure out if medication assisted therapy is right for you. For patients in Dallas considering medication to assist with a mental health condition, Dr. Sehdev of Aware Behavioral Health can talk through the advantages and potential drawbacks with you.

As a psychiatrist, Dr. Sehdev fully understands the benefits of medication for treating a range of different disorders, but is also experienced in psychotherapy methods, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and can help you combine the two approaches when necessary to give you the best possible results in managing symptoms and potentially recovering from a mental health condition. Learn more about our approach to mental health care when you contact us.