Psychology and Psychiatry: two peas in a Pod?
Medical sciences and other areas have established their roots since the beginning, people used to refer to the practitioners as healers and then went ahead with doctors in modern times. But years since that development, various fields have emerged in medical sciences, one such field is psychiatry.
What is Psyche?
To explain what the field entails, we should first try to understand what the ‘psyche’ itself is. Defined by many theorists, the psyche is something invisible but has the biggest impact on our lives. It is what allows you to buy your favourite brand of cereal, from the various other choices available in the grocery store, it is what makes you decide how you want to dress, which movie to watch, and what to name your pet. Our preferences, choices, attitudes, attributes, conflicts, and dreams together make up our psyche.
What is Mind?
But to avoid confusion, you can simply refer to the psyche as ‘the mind’, the difference between the terms lies in its specificity and usage. Words like soul, spirit, identity, mentality, or ego all have been used interchangeably, over time. But at scientific levels, the words hold different meanings.
Let us get back to focusing on the word ‘mind’, it is both subjective and objective. Rather than looking at the mind as an organ or piece of your soul, look at it as a spider web of interconnecting areas, which subjectively hold your thoughts, memory, attitudes, abilities, and emotions, but objectively talk about your inner thoughts, similar to what others also have.
Roots in Philosophy
Now when we talk of this mind phenomenon, about how it is different yet present in everyone, we then tend to immediately also focus on how to understand, describe and predict this phenomenon, thanks to the curious nature of human beings.
And this curiosity developed the subject of philosophy, a subject that studies human behaviour, together with the workings of this universe.
But for most theorists, philosophy wasn’t enough, to study mind and mental disorders at a depth, and therefore to provide a more scientific basis, and with a drive to conduct experiments, came the field of psychology.
Now, this field talks about the human mind and behaviour, aspects of cognition, attention, memory, personality, and aptitude emotions have a very strong role in this subject.
Now with the development of psychology, the field of psychiatry also gained recognition. Now both of these fields have their history dating back to early Greece and ancient times, yet here we are only focusing on their recent growth in the community.
Psychiatrists are doctors with a MD degree and they deal with the pharmacological nature of healing, whereas psychologists are postgraduates and their work is based on talk therapy and behavioural interventions etc. Now there are plenty of minute aspects similar to both fields, yet on the social front, people view them with confusion. These fields can overlap in terms of care and services provided, but the major difference is that a psychologist cannot provide medicine. Psychologists are trained to take up sessions, in a subjectively curated format with the use of scientific therapies and with the consent of the client.
Whereas psychiatry deals with the bodily symptoms of clients and their treatments with medications. Neither of the fields deters from their ethical duties.
So largely, in current times, we see psychology and psychiatry going hand in hand towards better development in mental health-related services.
Instead of looking at it from two different perspectives, they can be portrayed as two sound, scientific and ethical forces to fight back against stigma and misconduct surrounding mental health.