Unfortunately, life is not perfect and many times in its evolution we find mental illness or other psychological disorders that alter our well-being or that of our loved ones. Many times the excess of information can create confusion. Who do we turn to in these cases? A psychiatrist, a psychologist, a psychoanalyst, a clinical psychologist, or a psychotherapist? We have even been able to see recently, on a television program, a certain character screaming out loud that he was going to denounce anyone who said he had a mental disorder, because that can only be said by a psychiatrist. We will try to clarify who is who and where to go for help.
The first thing to be clear is that among all the professions listed above, the only one who is a doctor is the psychiatrist. Training in psychiatry involves studying the 6-year medical career, passing the MIR exam, something that everyone knows is not an easy thing, and then completing the 4-year specialty. Upon completion, the psychiatry specialist is able to make psychiatric diagnoses, prescribe and prescribe pharmacological treatments appropriate, as well as other types of therapies, when necessary.
Due to this knowledge, you can rule out that mental disorders have to do with other diseases with psychological symptoms. For example, hypothyroidism can cause symptoms of depression, or a brain tumor can cause hallucinations and be mistaken for a psychotic disorder, etc. You will also have an exhaustive knowledge of drugs, both their possible side effects or interactions with other drugs, etc.
To be a psychologist, you must take a psychology degree, formerly a bachelor's degree. Once this is done, there will be two options; or take a master's degree and become general psychologist or perform an exam called PIR with which you can access training in the specialty of clinical psychology, over a period of 4 years in a public hospital. The master has the ability to professionally enable but does not provide specialized training.
Psychological pseudotherapies can delay and worsen treatment of disorders
In this way, the psychologist will be in charge of more general problems while the clinician will be more specialized in specific problems, such as drug addiction, among others. Both of them they will be able to diagnose psychological disorders, but they will not be able to prescribe pharmacological treatment, something reserved for psychiatrists.
Psychiatrists will deal with diseases like psychopathies, bipolar disorders, drug addictions, anorexia, etc.. And psychologists will do it for disorders such as anxiety attacks, addictions such as play therapy, or the treatment of personality disorders, which are sometimes very long, among many others. They will generally work in joint teams.
Psychotherapists or psychoanalysts, who we all know from the movies of Woody Allen With their famous couch, they do not have to have psychology studies and even less medicine, they can have completed their training in a private institute and be philosophers, for example. So if you go to one of these specialists make sure you have the right knowledge and are a psychologist or psychiatrist trained in psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. Otherwise you run the risk of falling into professional intrusion and being treated by a person with inadequate training, something that can be very dangerous. Of course, much more care must be taken with the psychological pseudotherapies such as Reiki, healers, healers, shamans, etc.. They have no scientific basis and can delay, even worsen, the treatment of disorders that require urgent care.
Separate note have family doctors, who are generally the first to attend to you in these situations. This specialist has the ability to make a presumptive diagnosis, Also known as 'suspected' of a mental illness or disorder, it can also be done by any other doctor who treats you. Once done, they will refer you to a specialist, psychologist or psychiatrist, to make a confirmatory diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
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