Social Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Why do psychiatric doctors look down on psychology doctors?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (17720points) September 11th, 2016

My psychiatrist thinks psychology is b.s. and I think that it is possible to have a non chemistry solution to trama. I want to talk about my astral traveling but my doctor won’t talk about it. Also people in real life tell me to talk to my doctor about time travel. I’ve tried several times to change doctors and it’s not possible at this time . I will have to wait until he dies of old age.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

48 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I haven’t personally experienced this prejudice, but I’m not surprised it exists.

You are correct to believe that it’s possible to recover from a mental illness without using medicine prescribed by a psychiatrist. I know many people for whom medicine causes many problems, and they choose not to take any. They use other means to stay stable. They use psychological techniques, meditation, mindfulness, and other things to stay well.

Personally, I use medicine. It works for me, and I use meditation, etc.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 – I’ve heard this, from my cousin, who is a psychiatrist.

My surmise, from talking to him, is that psychiatrists can prescribe a broader range of drugs to treat patients, while psychologists tend to be more word-discussion-counseling related.

janbb's avatar

I’ve seen then work well in tandem, but there is a tendency for specialists to see only their part of the elephant.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Actually, I thought it was the other way around.

CWOTUS's avatar

In general, I think, psychiatry is an actual, board-certifiable medical discipline for which a medical degree is required (at least in North America and Europe, I would imagine, and other countries with similar regulation of doctors). On the other hand, psychology is not a medical specialty, and non-physicians may practice. That’s probably one reason for the general dismissal of psychiatrists who think that they have special knowledge of the brain (and mind – not the same thing) that psychologists have not acquired. In addition, because of their medical licenses and training, psychiatrists can prescribe drugs, which psychologists cannot. So many psychiatrists obviously, by virtue of the investment in their education and training, feel that they operate on a superior plane. That’s just human nature, same as the baseball superstar may “look down upon” the batboy, because he has not paid the same dues as the superstar has – and doesn’t command the same salary and respect from others.

I don’t doubt for a second that some mental conditions can be adequately treated by counseling, hypnosis, meditative practices and other non-invasive, non drug-related treatment. After all, “mental trauma” covers a very wide range of the human condition!

However, for problems that involve structural damage to the brain (at least less actual trauma than would require a neurologist to treat or a neurosurgeon to repair), and cases for which drugs are indicated as part of a comprehensive therapy to supply a lack of some element in the brain chemistry – or even to relax a person so that treatment can even begin! – a psychologist would be completely out of his depth, and attempting to fix “real problems” by talking about them (at least to the extent that they can even be understood, because there is so much about the mind and the brain that we don’t understand) would be bad practice.

janbb's avatar

@CWOTUS In actuality, most psychiatrists these days see patients on very brief visits for meds prescription and monitoring while most of the real therapy of various kinds is done by psychologists who have PhDs and extensive educations but not medical degrees. As I said, they often work in tandem although sometimes one or the other will their profession as superior.

Mariah's avatar

You can see a psychologist who is separate from your psychiatrist, if your psychiatrist doesn’t believe in talk therapy.

janbb's avatar

@Mariah I suspect an issue is what social services is willing to fund for him.

Mariah's avatar

Ah. Yeah, I don’t know how it all works in Canada. Good luck @RedDeerGuy1. I hope you can get into talk therapy. I’m a big believer in it.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Mariah I get free student counseling on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s between 1pm and 6pm. They rarely have training in the paranormal.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well for that matter, the exact same can be said of psychologists (they don’t have training in the paranormal). Why would you expect otherwise?

If you want to discuss the paranormal, there are groups of people organized specifically for that.

The details of your question are conflating two issues here and muddying the waters. The issue of whether there are mental health problems which can be helped in non-chemical ways has zero to do with the paranormal in any way. And yet, because your Psychiatrist refuses to discuss the paranormal with you, you’re casting him as being deficient and unwilling to consider anything but medication.

The far more likely truth of the matter is that your Psychiatrist refuses to discuss THIS SUBJECT with you because, as a man of science, he deems it unworthy to waste time upon. And he likely prefers to keep you as grounded to objective reality as possible.

That’s a different story than that which you’re presenting. Plus, it makes little sense to me that you’re expecting medical people (psychologists and psychiatrists) to be well versed or educated about the paranormal at all.

When I’m seeing a medical person, I want them spending as much time and energy devoted to their specialty as possible because that’s the reason I’m there. I could care less about how they view paranormal subjects. It’s totally beside the point of why I’m seeing them.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Mariah

Just because his Psychiatrist refuses to talk to him about paranormal subjects does not mean anything at all about him not believing in talk therapy. He may or he may not but his refusal on paranormal issues makes complete sense in this context.

If RDG wants to talk about esoteric things like time travel, there are PLENTY of other resources for him to do so other than a medical office

Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth,,,sheesh!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Buttonstc Where are the other resources?

Mariah's avatar

Sorry, from the OP I thought the psychiatrist didn’t believe in talk therapy at all. I agree you’ll be hard pressed to find a legitimate medical professional with “training” in the paranormal. I still recommend talking to a psychologist about what you experience, @RedDeerGuy1.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Mariah I spent $200 on a local psychologist. After the hour was up he said that he can’t help me. My free hour with the student doctor said that I could go for walks. The psychiatrist doesn’t say anything other than to tease me or to waste our time or to fill a perscription .

anniereborn's avatar

Is the time travel part of your life troubling to you? If not, there is no reason to spend time with any psych professional talking about it. Psychiatrists are there to help find and treat biological causes for mental illness. Psychologists/therapist/counselors are there to help you talk about things bothering you or holding you back from having a more satisfying life.

Buttonstc's avatar

Here are just a few for starters.

www.paranormalsocieties.com

www,paranexus.org

www.eidolonproject.org
(This one is local to your specific area. There are others also but you are perfectly capable of doing your own research if you are really motivated to do so. There really is no shortage of groups devoted to paranormal subjects including time travel and astral projection whether those are specifically listed on their websites or not.)

You’ll get a lot farther with groups like these rather than badgering reluctant medical professionals who have no interest or training to discuss these subjects, especially if they feel that they have no connection to objective reality so discussion would be pointless.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Mariah

No need for apology. I wasn’t faulting you but merely pointing out that the OP was creating the impression that the Psychiatrist didn’t believe in talk therapy based merely upon the fact that he refused to discuss time travel.

I agree with you that talk therapy can be tremendously helpful in many cases.

But if a patient keeps insisting upon a subject which the therapist feels is counter productive or whatever then the problem lies not necessarily with the therapist.

Buttonstc's avatar

@RDG

Exactly how does the Psychiatrist refusing to discuss time travel constitute “teasing” you? I think he is being quite clear and direct in his communication with you on that subject. Hardly what anyone else would classify as teasing.

Just because you’re obsessed with the subject and miffed at his refusal to give in to your demands doesn’t mean that he’s automatically the one at fault here. Did it ever occur to you that your expectations are totally unrealistic.

And, if you wasted your hour with the Psychologist trying to arm twist him into talking with you about time travel then I’m not the least bit surprised that he was honest and straightforward enough to tell you that he could not help you.

Would you have preferred that he just string you along and waste more money? I think he was being quite responsible and ethical to tell you honestly that he didn’t feel he could help you. That’s what an ethical medical professional should do.

As I said, there are far better venues to discuss any type of paranormal phenomenon than a medical office. By and large they don’t believe any of it exists so why would you expect differently and then criticize them as if they are the ones at fault or derelict in their duty?

Get a grip.

LostInParadise's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 , You need to be able to see a particular psychologist on a regular basis. You can’t expect much to happen after a single visit. If you can’t afford to regularly see the same person, that is most unfortunate. A psychologist should be willing at least once to hear your ideas about astral traveling in order to get a better idea of who you are.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m wondering why your psychiatrist doesn’t want to get to the bottom of your belief in astral traveling.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III “I’m wondering why your psychiatrist doesn’t want to get to the bottom of your belief in astral traveling.”

Likely because it’s not a productive discussion to engage in for him. Ether he discusses a subject that’s outside his area of specialty, or he’s sitting there saying “no, no, no” while RDG’s insisting “yes, yes, yes”. Ether way it’s not what the psychiatrist is there for, and there’s no getting to the bottom, so there’s nothing really to be gained, for him or RDG, by him discussing it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is the psychiatrist there for?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@all

I am a person who has recovered from a mental illness. I use medicine, meditation, exercise, and talk therapy to keep me in a recovered, stable state. I have been using talk therapy for 30 years.

There is absolutely no topic that is deemed unworthy of discussion. Nothing.

If I walk into my psychologist’s office and state that the Virgin Mary wants him to know his Great Aunt Mildred will call with a message about what to bring home for dinner, then we talk about it. Absolutely nothing is deemed inappropriate for discussion.

If I walk into my psychiatrist’s office and say I want to talk about astrology, then we talk about astrology. If the doctor refuses, that is absolutely inappropriate. I am the one who gets to determine how I use my medical professionals.

Let’s look at the OP’s details. The OP states that the psychiatrist thinks the work done by psychologists is BS. That is an arrogant and incorrect belief held by that psychiatrist.

The OP states he believes it is possible to recover from trauma by other methods than pharmacological ones. I know this is true. I see it in my work in the mental health field every single day. I personally have been aided in my recovery from trauma by working closely with a psychologist.

The OP states a topic he wishes to discuss that the psychiatrist will not talk about. A psychiatrist who determines what is admissible and what is inadmissible in therapy is blatantly ignoring an opening to engage the patient in fruitful therapy.

The OP then goes on to state he cannot change doctors. The system is obviously broken.

More than one person in this thread has written disdainfully that the OP should not talk to a doctor about astral travel. It’s not for you to determine. It is also not for the doctor to determine. The OP is completely within his rights to ask to speak about this subject. The doctor is closing the door when it’s being opened. When I walk into my doctors’ offices and say I want to talk about something, they rightly acknowledge that I am asking for help.

CWOTUS's avatar

While I fully respect your experience and I admire your excellent and forceful presentation, @Hawaii_Jake, I believe that it is 100% appropriate for any medical professional to refuse to discuss or speculate about things that he knows are outside his ken, his professional ability or experience – or even outside his interest, to be perfectly blunt, at least when we’re not talking about life-or-death incidents or emergency medicine. In that case, obviously, it should be (morally and ethically, if we operated in a moral and ethical market regarding the provision of medical services, where people pay their own way to get what they want, and ethical providers arise to provide the services) the patient’s option to change providers.

But since the State* is paying for the services, and the provider may be one of a very limited number of State-approved providers of the service – and he wholly owns his own time and mind – he is fully within his rights, and possibly bound by his contract with the state, not to “waste time” on things that either he or the State have deemed frivolous or inconsequential.

*I’m using the word “State” in its broad sense instead of NHS, Province or any other governmental entity here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I ask again, what is a psychiatrist’s purpose?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III “I ask again, what is a psychiatrist’s purpose?”

To engage in productive dialog in order to determine the best course of treatment for the patient’s illness, not discuss speculative subjects that are outside his area of training and expertise.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And the psychiatrist couldn’t gain an idea of what the patient is suffering from by getting the details of his belief that he his a time traveler? And other delusions?

Darth_Algar's avatar

It could simply mean that the patient has particularly vivid dreams. And arguing with the patient that it’s delusional is likely to be about as productive as telling a patient that their religious beliefs are delusional. At any rate if it’s not something that’s actively hindering the patient’s life then it’s not really anything to concern with. It might be worth noting, but there’s not likely much to be gained by spending their limited time together focusing on that one subject.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t say anything about arguing. It just seems to me that for a psychiatrist to really know their patient, they should know as much as they can learn.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The psychiatrist has maybe half an hour with the patient, maybe a handful of times a year (if you’re on state aid). That’s not a lot of time and it’s not productive to spend that time talking about one subject that’s purely in the speculative realm.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@CWOTUS A psychiatrist who dismisses any subject a patient brings up as irrelevant or inappropriate because they the psychiatrist are not an expert is cutting off a chance to engage in productive discussion that may further that patient’s recovery.

The psychiatrist referred to in the OP flatly rejects all talk therapy performed with a psychologist. The scientific evidence proves this psychiatrist’s opinions are flatly wrong. Talk therapy works.

Darth_Algar's avatar

But talk therapy isn’t necessarily what the psychiatrist is there for. Quite often the psychiatrist’s role is there to handle the medical end of mental health. Talk therapy can be, and usually is, handled by other mental health professionals.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was referring to psychiatrists in general, @Darth_Algar. Not just the psychiatrists with the parameters you put around them.

If it’s a psychiatrist’s job to control the “medical end” of mental health, why are MDs handing out behavior modification meds left and right?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Darth_Algar This is my understanding of the divide, too. Maybe in the US, there is more overlap between their roles? It’s not uncommon to be referred to a psychiatrist just to talk about meds. If that’s the appointment that has been booked, the psychiatrist is probably not going to lengthen the appointment (delaying his appointments for the rest of the day) to talk about issues that another caregiver is in the process of treating. But if the psychiatrist also does therapy sessions, and if s/he is not worried about giving conflicting advice, they might want to make a separate appointment for that.

Whether or not the psychiatrist flat out dismissed the entire field of psychology is another matter. I’d be interested to know the context and exact wording of this, because it sounds very odd to me. It’s possible, given the OP’s wording, that he is expressing his own frustration with not getting a conversation about astral projection from a doctor he visited for a prescription, and inferring that that doctor must think all psychology is BS, since he did not offer talk therapy to the OP.

janbb's avatar

@dappled_leaves. It generally works the same way here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

All MDs I know personally dismiss chiropractors. But my daughter has been battling severe back problems for over a year. After seeing countless doctors, she finally went to a chiropractor, against the MDs advice. Through him she finally got some relief. And some answers.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

You’re conflating different things. It’s not the parameters I put around them, it’s the fact that fewer and fewer psychiatrists do therapy sessions. Therapy now tends to be handled by psychologists while psychiatrists handle the medical aspects such as management of medications, etc. It maybe use to be the case that psychiatrists did therapy, but times change.

Also, a psychiatrist is an MD. A psychologist isn’t. Other MDs might prescribe psych meds, but it’s not a great idea in my view. I’m generally not a fan of doctors attempting diagnosis’s or prescribing meds that are outside their area of specialty But many do and there’s nothing stopping them from it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III “All MDs I know personally dismiss chiropractors. But my daughter has been battling severe back problems for over a year. After seeing countless doctors, she finally went to a chiropractor, against the MDs advice. Through him she finally got some relief. And some answers.”

There are reasons for that. Few doctors would flat-out state that chiropractic therapy is absolute bullshit, however most medical doctors harbor a certain mistrust of the field. The standards of entry and education are lower, the regulation isn’t near as strong as it is for medical practitioners and there’s a tenancy among chiropractors to advise against modern, science-based medicine in favor of unproven quackery.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I understand that. And I have always felt the same way.
But a situation occurred a few months ago that caused her to say to hell with the doctors telling her not to go, and she went. And in the end the chiropractor is the only one who actually gives her a modicum of relief. The others just prescribe powerful pain meds, which she doesn’t want to take because she doesn’t want to become a addict.
He is also the one who referred her to the Laser Spine Institute in St. Louis. Unfortunately she was not a candidate for the surgery. But she still goes to the chiropractor once a week.
You know, he looked at her X-rays, the ones the MD’s took. They had completely ignored the fact that her hip was about an inch out because that wasn’t their line of work. They saw it, but ignored it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

She got lucky and found one of the few decent chiropractors. I’ve known people who have went to a chiro for minors things and came out pretty badly hurt.

Tell me, what, exactly, do you expect a doctor to do about something that’s not within their field of practice?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Refer them to someone who is a specialist? If you’re a GP and in the course of examining a patient you realize they have a heart issue, you don’t say, to yourself, “Well, I’m not a heart specialist so I’ll just pretend I didn’t see that.”

Here’s is why she went to the chiropractor. After 8 months of grueling pain, losing her job because she can barely walk, undergoing one terrifying surgery in Jan, which didn’t do anything, she was losing hope. The doctors were adamant that she NOT go to a chiropractor, so she didn’t.
Then one day she called me. She said, “Mom. I fell down last Friday.”
My heart just stopped. I said, “Oh my God.”
Then she said, “I fell on my right hip. There was a really LOUD cracking that seemed to go on forever…and then, Mom….I got up by myself. I didn’t have to hold on to anything to help drag me up, or call my husband. I got up by myself!!!
When she fell it kicked her hip back into position.
So she went to the chiropractor the following Monday, and has been going once a week since.
Her hip always goes back out. He said there is a groove along the hip bone that’s worn from her hip sliding out.
I don’t know where to go from here, but her visits offer her the most relief she’s had in a year, even if it’s only temporary.
She’s 37 years old. She is so freaking brave and strong. It makes me cry.

janbb's avatar

I’m a bit perplexed as to how we got on to chiropractry from psychologists and psychiatrists.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because A) it’s in Social and the original question was about answered out and because B) because psychiatrists look down on psychologists the way MDs look down on chiropractors.
That’s how.

tranquilsea's avatar

My psychiatrist would have said, “And what does the paranormal have to do with your mental health?” and he was a BIG believer in talk therapy. He actually saved my life. It was a bonus he could prescribe drugs when needed.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Wait, you claim that the doctor ignored her and didn’t refer her to a specialist, but she had surgery for the problem, which implies that she was referred to a specialist (as most specialists won’t see a patient without a referral).

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Darth_Algar , she was depending on the professionals to tell her what was wrong with her. They told her it was XYZ (something to do with the nerves.) She she was referred to XYZNerve specialists for surgery in January. That surgery did little to nothing.
In the course of her exams they took X-rays, which clearly showed the hip displacement. But the hip displacement didn’t have anything to do with the XYZNerve problem, so they ignored it.

It wasn’t until she went to the chiropractor, and he saw the X-rays that the XYZ specialists took, he about hit the floor. You could SEE how far out her hip was. A 5 year old could see it.

He then referred her to the Laser Spine Institute in St. Louis. We were so hopeful…but, in the end, all the shit had gone on for so long she was not a candidate for the surgery. So she’s back to square one. Just surviving.

jca's avatar

I have never been to a psychiatrist or a psychologist but from friends who have, what they say is that the psychiatrist (a medical doctor, aka MD), spends 15 minutes, “how are you doing? How are you feeling?” and write the prescription. Psychologist and/or therapist spends 50 minutes and is more in depth with how you are doing, feeling, life issues, etc.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther