Psychology vs Psychiatry
The main difference between psychology and psychiatry stems from the fact that while psychiatry pays specific attention to mental disorders, psychology adopts a much broader perspective in studying the human thought processes and actions in all walks of life. Psychology is a discipline that studies the mental processes and behavior of human beings in a scientific manner while psychiatry refers to the study of mental disorders that encompasses diagnosis, treatment, prevention and management. In this sense, the conflating psychology and psychiatry together is rather faulty since there exists a difference between the two disciplines. This article attempts to provide a general idea of the two terms while bringing out the differences between psychology and psychiatry.
What is Psychology?
Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of the human mind and behavior. Psychology has a vast canvas which includes all aspects of the human life starting from birth till death. It studies the development of individuals in terms of cognitive, physical and psycho- social behavior, the development of personality, the impact of society on the individual, the learning curve throughout the life span, so on and so forth.
Abnormal psychology is also one such sub-discipline of psychology. In abnormal psychology, we study about different mental disorders, their diagnosis, the treatments that are related, etc. However, this can also be considered as the main difference between psychology and psychiatry, because unlike in psychology where mental disorders are only a branch of study, in psychiatry it is the totality of the study.
What is Psychiatry?
Psychiatry refers to the study of mental disorders in terms of diagnosis, treatment, prevention and management. It is often acknowledged that psychiatry provides a middle ground for neurology and psychology since it not only has its roots in both but also works as a coalition of both. Psychiatrists are specialized individuals (medical doctors) in this field who have a license to practice treating patients. Unlike psychologists, these individuals have a right to prescribe medicine as well as to conduct therapeutic treatment. A commonality between the two disciplines is the understanding that both experts have of the human mind and behavior. However, the specialty of a psychiatrist is that his expertise lies in examining and treating patients with mental disorders and is mostly limited to it. Psychiatry is a field that has expanded its former boundaries drastically with the modern innovative styles of treatment and medication which has allowed it to be a science which treats patients that suffer from a range of mental disorders which are cognitive, behavioural, perceptual and affective in nature. This gives a general idea about both terms.
What is the difference between Psychology and Psychiatry?
• Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior whereas psychiatry refers to the study of mental disorders.
• The main difference between the two fields is that while psychology adopts a broader approach to studying human life, psychiatry takes special notice on mental disorders, their diagnosis and treatment.
• Also, it is a more specialized field which is very much linked to medicinal disciplines, unlike psychology.