Monday to Saturday 12:00 PM TO 6:00 PM / First Sunday Of Every Month Mishra Nursing Home Sidhi MP

Talk to us?

The Difference Between Psychiatrists vs Neurologists


Making an appointment with a psychiatrist or a neurologists for mental health issues is never easy. It is a big deal, and the difference between these two medical professionals and what they do is often confusing.


This article will discuss the main differences between psychiatrists and neurologists, as well as how you can differentiate between the two and choose the best one for your needs.


A psychiatrist and a neurologists both study the brain but focus on different study areas. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who typically receive a medical degree and then do three years of residency in psychiatry. Increasingly, psychiatrists get doctoral degrees, called the Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. People who do not have MD or DO degrees are considered primary care physicians or family doctors.


However, there needs to be more clarity regarding the difference between a psychiatrist and a neurologists. These two professions often overlap. The difference between a psychiatrist and a neurologists is that psychiatrists usually have more training in psychology. In contrast, neurologists take care of patients with neurological ailments, including stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), etc.


The Role of a Neurologist & What Types of Conditions Can They Treat?


A neurologists, i.e., a neurological specialist, is a physician in the medical field who specialises in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders that affect the nervous system. These include brain tumors, stroke, degenerative diseases, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy.

People come to neurologists to be examined for any neurological disorder or disease. A neurologists can perform an electroencephalogram (EEG), a study that measures electrical activity in the brain, on a patient in order to detect epileptic seizures.


What diseases and conditions does a neurologists treat?


You must visit a neurologist if you suffer from any of these neurologic disorders:

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

  • Brain injury, spinal cord injury, or vascular malformations.

  • Cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations.

  • Cerebral palsy and spasticity.

  • Concussion.

  • Encephalitis.

  • Epilepsy.

  • Facial pain syndromes.

  • Headache/migraine.

  • Hydrocephalus.

  • Meningitis.

  • Mental and behavioral health disorders.

  • Multiple sclerosis.

  • Myasthenia gravis and myopathies.

  • Pain in your neck, back, and spine.

  • Parkinson’s disease.

  • Peripheral neuropathy.

  • Sleep disorders.

  • Stroke.

  • Tremors, dystonia.

  • Tumors of the brain, spine, and nerves.

What diagnostic methods do neurologists use?


During your consultation, your neurologists will ask you about your medical history, family history, medication history, and any current symptoms you are experiencing. Additionally, they will conduct a neurological examination, including tests of:

  • Gait, coordination, balance, and reflexes.

  • Strength of the muscles.

  • Mental health.

  • Vision, hearing, and speech.

  • Sensation.

Neurologists may also order blood, urine, or other fluid tests to determine the severity of your condition or the effectiveness of your medication. Genetic testing may be ordered to identify inherited disorders. Imaging studies of your nervous system might also be ordered to aid in diagnosis.

Neurologists treat people with medications, physical therapy, or other approaches.


The Role of a Psychiatrist & What Types of Conditions Can They Treat?

Psychiatry is a medical specialty that deals with mental health issues. The role of a psychiatrist, or as they are sometimes known, a ‘psychiatrist,’ is to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. These conditions may be mild or severe, but all must be appropriately diagnosed and treated.


What does a psychiatrist do?

A psychiatrist assesses, diagnoses, and treats mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can order or perform various medical and psychological tests. These tests are conducted with a combination of conversations about symptoms and medical and family history and allow psychiatrists to diagnose mental health conditions.

Psychiatrists also form individual treatment plans, including psychotherapy (talk therapy), medication, and other medical treatments to achieve the best results.


What conditions do psychiatrists treat?


Psychiatrists can diagnose and treat several conditions, including:

  • Alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Autism spectrum disorder.

  • Bipolar disorder.

  • Body dysmorphic disorder.

  • Depression.

  • Dissociative disorders.

  • Eating disorders

  • Gambling disorder.

  • Gender dysphoria.

  • Hoarding disorder.

  • Mood disorders.

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

  • Panic disorder.

  • Personality disorders.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Postpartum depression.

  • Schizoaffective disorder.

  • Schizophrenia.

  • Sleep disorders.


What treatments do psychiatrists use?


Psychiatrists use and prescribe a variety of treatments, including:

  • Psychotherapy (talk therapy).

  • Medications.

  • Other treatments include electric convulsive treatment (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Psychiatrists come up with treatment for mental health conditions individually and uniquely for each person. Treatment often involves a combination of therapies.


How to Choose the Right Specialist for Your Needs?


How do you know who to visit a psychiatrist or a neurologists? How do you know who to visit a psychiatrist or a neurologists? 

A psychiatrist is an expert in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental disorders. A neurologists is a medical specialist who deals with different diseases affecting the nervous system. There are various types of psychiatrists and neurologists for your choice.


A neurologists is a medical doctor who specialises in diseases and conditions affecting your brain, spinal cord and nerves. Your neurologists will examine you, order tests, make a diagnosis, treat your condition with medication or physical therapy or refer you to and work together with other specialists, such as a neurosurgeon or neuro-oncologist, if appropriate. 


While dealing with mental health, a psychiatrist can provide an accurate diagnosis and suggest treatment plans. They’re experts in their field and have up-to-date knowledge of research, medications and other treatment therapies that can help you. 


So, whoever you decide to visit (obviously depending upon the symptoms), ensure to carry your medical history and previous list of medications along with you for better reference. And keep in mind, do not conceal any details as it might affect your treatment or slow down the process.