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What is a psychiatrist and mental health expert do ?

A psychiatrist is a specialist doctor who is responsible for diagnosing, preventing and treating mental health problems, including psychological and emotional disorders.


Therefore, situations such as not knowing how to deal with the loss of a loved one , a family problem, even being immersed in deep depression, are sufficient reasons to seek the help of a psychiatrist.


Usually, these types of problems tend to generate anguish and difficulties in social relationships or in work performance. So, having the guidance of a professional could help a person overcome these discomforts and prevent the situation from getting worse. it is worth discovering what a Psychiatrist do.


When to go to the psychiatrist?

In addition to the situations we mentioned in the previous section, you can also go to these mental health specialists when difficulties arise suddenly, as in the following cases :



Crisis of panic.

Hear voices.

Suicidal thoughts.

Of course, there are other long-term problems that require the attention of a psychiatrist, including :


Maladaptive anxiety.


Other psychological symptoms that affect the person's performance and functionality in their daily life.

Likewise, these professionals are usually used to:


Receive a medical prescription for a psychotropic drug as treatment.

Evaluate and monitor treatment if complex side effects occur.

Adjust a previously prescribed medication.

These situations surely give you an idea of ​​what a psychiatrist does. And basically, these professionals seek to improve your emotional and behavioral well-being so that you can function better in society.


Signs that indicate the intervention of a psychiatrist

Other scenarios that allow you to discover what a psychiatrist does and help identify the signs that you should seek help are:


When changes occur in daily life

Many times changes occur in our daily lives that require preventive treatment because they could become serious health problems.


It is true that a psychologist can also be useful to reduce/eliminate the effects of these alterations, but it is possible to recommend the help of a psychiatrist, if the severity of the symptoms demands it , such as:


Sudden weight loss.

Absence or excess of sleep.

Extreme difficulty concentrating.

Excessive food intake.

Memory problems.

There are circumstances in which problems related to sexual habits are experienced that are very difficult to overcome through therapies and, therefore, have to be combined with a medical prescription. The same happens with addictions, especially when the level of dependency is very high.


When mood disturbances occur

Behavioral and mood changes that are very intense are symptoms that indicate to a psychologist that the intervention of a psychiatrist may be necessary. This usually happens in following scenario


Extreme changes in mood.

Excessive and uncontrollable anger with your partner, family, friends or strangers.

Abnormal and unbridled worry.

Slowed or accelerated thinking.

When unusual thoughts occur

Although it is most common for a psychologist to help you deal with unusual thoughts, depending on the severity of the issue, the knowledge of a psychiatrist may be necessary. Especially when there are signs of:


Frequent hallucinations.

Excessive fear.

Obsessions so intense that they cannot be controlled with psychotherapies.

Permanent paranoid thoughts.

What does a Psychiatrist do?

First, the role of a psychiatrist is to establish a diagnosis based on a comprehensive evaluation that includes:


Mental exam.

Physical exam.

Laboratory analysis.

Depending on the diagnosis, the specialist treats the mental illness or coordinates the treatment that should be given to his patient. He can offer:




Different neurostimulation techniques.

These are the main tasks that respond to the frequent question about what a Psychiatrist does. Of course, it should be noted that these professionals can work with a multidisciplinary team, which ranges from nurses and psychologists to social workers, whether in hospitals or specialized centers.


Differences between psychiatrist and psychologist

Psychiatry and psychology are different professions, but they often complement each other. The psychiatrist is a doctor, who has specialized in mental illnesses, while the psychologist studies human behavior and then specializes in mental health.


The psychiatrist can prescribe psychotropic drugs, which is important in the monitoring of serious disorders. The opposite happens with the psychologist, who uses psychotherapy to help his patients, which does not happen with all psychiatrists.


The Psychiatrist is recommended when:

You suffer from a serious disorder (psychosis, bipolar disorder, etc.)

You need medication control

There is a risk of suicide.

You don't want to do psychotherapy

The Psychologist is recommended when:

Do you want to do psychotherapy

You don't want to wait too long

You want to choose (orientation, professional, etc.)

In many follow-ups it is advisable to consult a psychiatrist and a psychologist. In this case, the roles are differentiated: the psychiatrist coordinates care, follows the pharmacological treatment, while the psychologist carries out the therapy. The psychiatrist does not, therefore, have a role as a therapist; in fact, his sessions are usually shorter and more “general” than those of the psychologist or psychotherapist.