Should I Talk With a Psychologist or Psychiatrist for Anxiety?

Speaking with Calgary psychologists or psychiatrists for anxiety

When you have anxiety and depression hanging over your head, it can be highly challenging to deal with daily. But if you are seeking assistance to help improve your mental health for the first time, it can seem like that also has its own set of challenges. The effective treatment you can receive is typically from a mental health professional who is well versed in providing you with coping mechanisms and is someone you can feel comfortable talking to as you discuss your condition openly and honestly. Although finding someone to help alleviate your anxiety is easier said than done, specifically when the intricate differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist can elude anyone seeking mental health guidance. 

Find out the difference between Calgary psychologists and psychiatrists that can be used for worthwhile mental health treatment. 


According to Healthline, a psychiatrist is able to provide you with both psychotherapies and can prescribe you the necessary medications that can help alleviate your anxiety. A psychiatrist studies various mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia, among other conditions. Further, a psychiatrist is deemed qualified to assess various issues pertaining to psychological disorders and the mental and physical symptoms often associated with these conditions. More so, psychiatrists are also able to treat their patients using talk therapy, but such treatments will differ based on the individual case. Some of the medications a psychiatrist is liable to prescribe can include but are not limited to antidepressants, mood stabilizers, stimulants and non-stimulants. 


A psychologist will provide professional counselling and talk therapy to alleviate the debilitating anxiety you may experience. A psychologist will work with you to help you understand the root of your anxiety and give you the tools for behavioural changes. Although very few psychologists can prescribe you medication, it is usually dependent upon the location in which where you reside. Much like psychiatrists, psychologists can assess and diagnose you with certain psychological disorders, mental disabilities, and behavioural issues. 


The most explicit and defining difference between psychologists and psychiatrists, in addition to their academic background, is that psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication while also providing psychotherapy to their patients, while a psychologist can provide counselling services without having the authority to prescribe medications. Though when seeing a psychologist, it is highly recommended to work with your primary physician while undergoing talk therapy to ascertain the best prescriptions that will help treat your anxiety. 


When it comes to the question of whether you should seek help from a Calgary psychologists or psychiatrist, there is no broad consensus. Simply put, this question can only be answered with the assistance of your primary physician, who knows your medical history. You should be honest with your primary physician and tell them of the specific symptoms you experience when anxious, and they will be able to refer you to someone who can assist you in starting proper treatment, whether that be a psychologist or a psychiatrist. 

Balance: Psychology & Brain Health can help you find balance in your life by maximizing functioning and minimizing disability through holistic, evidence-based, and client-centred care. Calgary cognitive psychologists and neuropsychologists Calgary offer cognitive assessments, behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy in Calgary, and insomnia therapy in Calgary. Call (403) 764-0771 today to book at our neuropsychology clinic, chronic pain clinic Calgary or MCI clinic Calgary.

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