Difference between Psychology and Psychiatry

The psychology it is the branch of science that deals with the mind as an entity and its relationship to the body, the environment, and society. The psychiatry is the branch of medicine responsible for the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of metal diseases.

In both psychology and psychiatry, the term mental health is key. A simple definition of mental health is:

“the well-being in which each individual reaches their potential, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and is able to contribute to their community” (WHO, 2014)

Feature Psychiatry psychology
Professional Psychiatrist Psychologist
Definition Branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of mental illness Scientific discipline in charge of the study of the behavior and the mental processes
Study objective Treatment of mental illness Systematic research of the human mind, including behavior and knowledge
Etymology From the Greek psukhê = “spirit, soul” i iatreia= “cure” From the Greek psukhê = “spirit, soul” i logos = “knowledge”
Study phenomena Abnormal states of mind Perception, knowledge, emotion, personality, behavior, interpersonal relationships
Science Biology Social Sciences

What is psychology?

Psychology is the branch of science that studies behavior and mental processes. As a discipline he is interested in why and how people do what they do. The word psychology means study or treatise of the soul.

Psychology interacts with other disciplines of knowledge such as biology, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, and sociology. Sometimes psychology can seem very abstract, with aspects more like philosophy than biology.

Branches of psychology

  • Developmental psychology: deals with the different stages of development throughout life.
  • Clinical Psychology: Addresses mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
  • Cognitive and perceptual psychology: studies human perception, thought and memory. Style questions how do people learn? How does the mind represent reality? and how do people understand and produce language? are of interest in this field of psychology.
  • Forensic Psychology: Applies psychological principles to legal matters. For example, a forensic psychologist may assess the mental competence of a defendant in a trial.
  • Evolutionary psychology: studies how evolutionary principles such as mutations, adaptations, or selection influence human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • Neuropsychology: Explores the relationships between the nervous system and behavior, how the brain creates and stores memories, or how diseases or damage to the brain affect emotions and perceptions.
  • Sport Psychology: Helps athletes and athletes in motivating techniques and focusing on competitive goals, as well as dealing with anxiety problems and fear of failure.

You may be interested in knowing other Branches of Psychology.

What is psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a medical specialty that seeks to assess and treat people (and family members) living with complex brain problems. These include:

  • depression,
  • bipolar disorder,
  • anxiety disorders,
  • schizophrenia,
  • substance abuse,
  • developmental disorders (such as autism) and
  • neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease).

Psychiatry deals with abnormal emotional states, in particular:

  • mood and emotional disturbances, especially problems such as anxiety and depression;
  • perceptual disorders such as hallucinations;
  • thought disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder,
  • memory disorders such as amnesia,
  • disturbances of consciousness, such as coma;
  • attention and concentration disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Branches of psychiatry

  • Neuropsychiatry: Understands psychiatric disorders that arise from verifiable abnormalities in brain structure and function. These include epilepsy, amnesia, cerebrovascular problems and dementia.
  • Child and Adolescent (or Child and Adolescent) Psychiatry: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Eating Disorders, Substance Abuse.
  • Geriatric psychiatry: deals with the problems associated with old age, such as cognitive and behavioral disorders that occur in dementia.
  • Forensic psychiatry: is responsible for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of individuals with mental disorders and legal problems.
  • Sexology: deals with sexual dysfunctions and deviations, such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, decreased sexual desire, or sex addiction.
  • Addiction psychiatry: deals with addictions to both substances (alcoholism, psychotropic drugs) and behaviors (gambling, gambling, shopping, technology).

Psychiatric tools

psychiatry and psychology
Computed tomography is one of the tools for diagnosing mental problems.

For the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, psychiatry has at its disposal different tools, both technological and chemical, namely:

  • Psychopharmacology.
  • Neuroimaging techniques.
  • Genetics.

Stigma in psychiatry

In general, people are afraid of mental illness and often stigmatize those affected by it. This fear and stigma often leads to misconceptions such as:

  1. The notion that a person with a mental illness cannot control their behavior, that they can act strangely, unpredictably, and possibly violently.
  2. That the person with mental illness is a threat to himself and others.
  3. That people with mental illness feel different than others.
  4. That people with mental illness find it difficult to establish relationships and communicate.
  5. That people with mental illness are not cured and do not recover.

See also:

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