Understanding the difference between therapy and psychiatry

Confused between therapy and psychiatry? Learn about the differences between the two through this post.

Whether you're going through depression, anxiety, down moments in general, it can be challenging to know how to deal with your situation. You may feel like there is no solution to your troubles and that feeling may only worsen as time goes on. Fortunately, various solutions are available today and one of the most effective is therapy. 

People should take note that while it helps with many different issues, it also has limitations. Those who suffer from conditions such as depression or anxiety should seek professional help from a psychiatrist instead of working with a therapist alone. Let's explore the differences between these two concepts so that you know the right person to turn to if you need more assistance than therapy can offer you.

What is therapy?

Therapy is the process of getting assistance with a mental health issue. Oftentimes, this can be with a therapist specializing in treating that problem. Your therapist may be a psychiatrist or another type of mental health professional. 

The goal of therapy is to improve your quality of life. Suppose you are experiencing depressive episodes, anxiety, stress, etc., therapists can help you identify what is causing this or address any other issues contributing to the negative feelings.

What is psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. It combines the words "Psychiatry" and "Pathology." A psychiatrist is a medical doctor trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. 

Psychiatrists can recommend medication to treat many of these conditions when medication is an effective treatment. Some people prefer to use different terms to discuss these disorders to avoid being labelled as "crazy" or "insane". These conditions are more common than you might think, and getting the appropriate help is essential.

Understanding the Differences Between Therapy and Psychiatry

If you're struggling with a mental health issue, you may encounter many different terms to discuss the condition. Many of these are specific terms used in psychiatry. Understanding the differences between therapy and psychiatry also is needed to find the best help for your needs.


Therapy is a treatment used to treat mental illnesses. A therapist can often treat it, a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist.


Psychiatry is the field of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illness. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor treating mental illnesses with drugs or psychotherapy.


A diagnosis is a name given to an illness or condition based on symptoms and signs.


Many different types of medications are used to treat mental illnesses. Many medications are used to manage the condition's symptoms, while others are used to prevent future episodes of the illness.


Psychotherapy is a therapy used to treat mental illnesses. It is a type of therapy that can be provided by a therapist, also known as a psychiatrist or psychologist.


Treatment helps manage and reduce mental illness symptoms. Treatment can include medications, psychotherapy, or both.


Episodes are periods when someone experiences symptoms of a mental illness. Someone may experience a few incidents of symptoms before they feel better again. That can be regular and unpredictable.


To be healthy is to possess a state of mind and body free of mental illness. It is when someone doesn't experience symptoms of a mental health condition.


An illness is a condition that causes symptoms that affect a person's mind and emotions.


Understanding the meanings of and differences among the terms used in treating mental illnesses may help in instances such as identifying the most suited methods of treating your mental health troubles. This is also to avoid further misconceptions and false beliefs.

Still confused on what doctor to consult to regarding your mental health? Check out this article or explore more information here.

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