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What’s the Difference? — Talkspace


Conditions and Symptoms

The symptoms and conditions a patient is experiencing will determine which specialist they should see, although it’s not too uncommon for someone to need to see both types of doctors. Some types of neurological conditions will cause symptoms that a psychiatrist might address, and the opposite can be true, too. 

What conditions do psychiatrists treat?

Psychiatry is the practice of treating people who have a mental health condition that affects how they behave, think, and feel. 

Some of the conditions psychiatrists treat can include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Addiction
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Dissociation
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Feeding and eating disorders
  • Mood swings
  • Schizophrenia
  • Emotional trauma
  • Developmental disorders

“Psychiatrists treat various emotional and behavioral disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, etc.”

Talkspace therapist Dr. Muhammad Munir

What conditions do neurologists treat?

While neurologists can address problems relating to any part of the nervous system, they primarily focus on the spine and brain. However, their specialty trains them to also treat pain, weakness, discomfort, or instability throughout the body. 

Some of the conditions neurologists treat can include:

  • Migraine
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sleep disorders
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Dementia
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Vision issues
  • Shaking
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Muscle weakness
  • Brain damage
  • Strokes 
  • Seizures

“Neurologists treat epilepsy and seizures, spinal cord injuries, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Talkspace therapist Dr. Muhammad Munir

Symptoms that can be treated by both psychiatrists and neurologists 

There are times when someone would benefit from seeing both a psychiatrist and a neurologist. For example, a patient who suffers from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) — which can have a severe impact on how the brain works — may experience symptoms of depression or anxiety as a result of their injury. Thus, seeing a neurologist to address the trauma to the brain would make sense, and seeing a psychiatrist to treat the depression symptoms would also be wise. 

There are several other conditions and symptoms that might be treated by both doctors, including:

  • Hallucinating
  • Issues sleeping
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Memory issues
  • Confusion 

“These include insomnia, sleep disorders, dementia, memory problems, and pain management. There is collaboration to manage certain disorders with comorbidity.”

Talkspace therapist Dr. Muhammad Munir

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