Differences between psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment

Many patients who start psychotherapeutic treatment have doubts about the use of drugs and also about the difference between psychotherapeutic treatment and psychiatric treatment. This is because there is not enough information to explain the effects – on the patient’s life – of each type of treatment.

A drug is not a substitute for psychotherapy, just as in extremely severe cases, psychotherapy alone may not be enough. In general, the two things may be allied and, with psychotherapy flowing well, the patient becomes able to gradually wean off the psychiatric medicine.

For a better understanding, some important points will be exposed regarding these two aspects related to mental health.

Psychiatric treatment

The psychiatric treatment is performed by means of a diagnosis based on DSM (manual of mental disorders) and it is with a prescription medicine combined with psychotherapy. The remedy’s function is to alleviate the patient’s symptoms.

In some cases the symptoms can make the patient’s life unproductive and can act in a disabling manner, so that the patient is unable to perform daily tasks at home, at work or in the care of themselves and others who, depending on them, depend on his.

Symptoms also affect social ties, which can lead to fights , disagreements, intrigues and the withdrawal of family and close friends, leading the patient to a permanent state of unhappiness and isolation , feeling of loneliness and incomprehension about their problems.

Thus, based on the specific symptoms exposed by the patient, a drug treatment can be started, and from this, in most cases the patient experiences a gradual improvement of his physical and psychic symptoms.

Psychological treatment

In most cases, drug treatment alone is not sufficient for there to be an effective improvement in the patient’s condition. The remedy acts in an organic way, but does not change the way of thinking, feeling and perceiving the life of each subject.

It is common for patients to come to the office reporting that the medication did not cure them of depression , Obsessive Compulsive Disorder , among other diagnoses, exactly because the medication itself has no healing effect. It is necessary for the patient to talk about his main issues and try to understand, through his speech and the psychologist’s scores, what leads him to think and feel in a certain way and to have certain behaviors, and this is in the field of psychological treatment.

Psychological treatment is the treatment of the neurosis itself, of what is typical of the subject, of his subjectivity, points that the medicine cannot reach or change, but that a well-oriented psychological treatment can mitigate, thus improving the patient’s quality of life. in a more lasting way.

Remedies and their effects

Psychiatric, psychotropic or psychotropic drugs are groups of chemicals that will act on the central nervous system, affecting mental processes and causing the individual to experience an improvement in their perception, physical disposition and behavior.

The drugs can have some side effects, this will depend on the severity of the case and the type of medication prescribed, although we currently have a number of new drugs available, with milder side effects.

The effect of the remedy is on the body, and the goal is to generate an improvement in the individual’s quality of life, especially those who are at a disabling level, with difficulty in performing the basics of daily life, such as bathing, eating drive, among others.

Psychotherapy and its effects

Although the remedy operates in the body bringing gains as more disposition on a daily basis, the effect of the medication does not act on the subject’s way of being, that is, the neuroses continue to act. The way the patient sees and understands life, his thoughts – which determine his behavior – and the way he feels in the most diverse situations of his life do not change due to the use of psychotropic drugs.

The effects of a good psychotherapy are long term and have a longer duration, as they lead the subject to work actively on their issues and try to understand them, so that they can start to think, act and feel differently, being able to overcome their main issues in a conscious manner, thus enabling a better management of their suffering in the face of the difficulties that life imposes.

As Freud wisely put it: Modern science has not yet produced a tranquilizer medicine as effective as a few good words are.

Do not be shy

Most people, at some point in their lives , need psychological or psychiatric help. This should not be a reason for pejorative judgments about yourself or shame. Seeking professional help, especially in the difficult times in which we are living, is a rationally important decision to maintain the minimum of mental health and productivity at a time when we cannot have the closeness we would like with family and friends.

Shame can often be a form of resistance to treatment and can lead to a considerable worsening of the condition, because over time the symptoms may intensify, generating even more suffering .

Seek help

If you are experiencing emotional and mental discomfort, seek help. Seek qualified service. In many cases, psychiatric treatment is not necessary, some subjects who have mild and moderate conditions do very well only with psychotherapeutic treatment which, depending on the patient’s commitment, can go well and generate several gains, depending only on the patient’s disposition to talk about their troubles and issues facing life.

When engaging in the treatment, within the therapeutic setting, the patient has the opportunity to verbalize all his thoughts and feelings in a confidential and safe way. All questions, of any nature, can be exposed to active and professional listening, unlike what happens in colloquial conversations with friends and acquaintances.

By enjoying this freedom, the individual is more likely to work on his fears, traumas, anxieties, sadness, and has the chance to look deeper into himself, to try to see the source of his symptoms and, thus, elaborate them, giving another meaning to what was previously understood as a problem or impediment.


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