What’s Better - A Psychologist or a Psychiatrist for Depression?

Struggling with depression is a challenge many face every day. It takes courage to make the necessary actions in getting help. But, those who live with depression don’t know what steps to take in order to get the help they need. If you or a loved one is trying to get help for depression, you may have many questions. For example, what’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist for depression? And, which of the two is the best option to consider when it comes to getting help?

What is a Psychologist and What Do They Do?

Psychologists are mental health counselors who specialize in helping individuals work out thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns having to do with their depression diagnosis. They can also aid individuals in developing effective coping skills in order to deal with the symptoms of their depression. While psychologists don’t hold a doctorate degree, they do spend two years completing an internship after their initial college education completes. They help individuals dealing with all types of mental health issues to utilize talk therapy and other behavioral therapies proven successful in the management of symptoms of mental health conditions.

What is a Psychiatrist and What Do They Do?

Psychiatrists hold positions at a number of types of health facilities including hospitals, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, prisons, universities, and private practices. They’re vital in the diagnosis and medicinal treatment for those living with mental health disorders, including depression. Psychiatrists’ education is more expensive than a psychologist as they hold doctorate degrees, which means they complete medical school. Then, spend four years in residency to select and perfect their specific area of care. A psychiatrist, as a medical professional, has the authority to both make mental health diagnoses and prescribe efficient medicinal treatment. This means that psychiatrists are the ones that provide medications in order to keep symptoms of mental health issues like depression under control.

Treatment Differences Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist for Depression

Psychiatrists and psychologists have similar methods of conducting research to determine a mental health diagnosis of depression in patients. They both talk to patients to determine their experiences, symptoms, and feelings. However, the difference is how they both offer treatments. Psychiatrists may offer medications and address biological issues mental health patients experience. For example, hormone levels released in the brain can be a factor in the development of depressive disorders. On the other hand, psychologists utilize therapeutic methods for treatment to address behavioral aspects of depressive disorders. For example, behavioral therapies like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

So, Who’s Better for the Treatment of Depression – a Psychiatrist or Psychologist?

Unfortunately, there is not a cure-all for depressive disorders. Different treatments work for different people because every person’s experience with depression and symptoms may differ. That’s why it’s best to combine the help of both psychiatrists and psychologists for the treatment of depression. This way, patients and their mental health team can conclude what works best for them.

Finding Treatment That Utilizes Both Mental Health Professionals in the Same Space

If you or a loved one is struggling with depressive thoughts and symptoms, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis. And, utilize treatment methods that are best suited for your individual needs. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to find a depression treatment resource that offers care from both psychiatrists and psychologists.

Delray Center for Healing is an outpatient mental health facility that specializes in depression treatment, mental health diagnosis, and much more. Find out how we can help and guide you on your first steps to getting help for depression today.