Psychiatrist - Psychologist not on the same page

Does it make a difference if the Psychiatrist and Psychologist differ on the diagnosis. I tend to lean towards my psychiatrist’s diagnosis of me - schizoaffective. I am pretty sure the therapist’s diagnosis of me is bipolar and who knows what else, I do not think it includes schizophrenia. Should this be a concern of mine?

If you receive Social Security benefits, then the differing diagnoses do matter. For example, the claim examiner might decide to use the lesser disabling diagnosis to decide your eligibility for initial and continuing benefits. This could harm your benefits.

I would recommend having your psychiatrist write a letter to your therapist with your proper diagnosis. Or share medical records, so both providers agree on the same diagnosis.




Psychiatrist declared me as a Paranoid Schizophrenic.

  • Therapist told me I am more ASPD. Antisocial Personality Disorder.
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I really don’t know the exact diagnosis from my therapist. She does not like to put labels on metal illness - maybe she avoids the schizophrenic label intentionally, for whatever her reasons are. I used to have a psychiatrist who diagnosed me as schizophrenic but refused to put the SZ diagnosis down on print anywhere - he thought it would be too stigmatizing. He also did not like psychiatric labels - most of the other doctors labeled me with schizoaffective disorder, this is my current psychiatrists open label/dx for me

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I’m not sure,but I think a psychiatrist has more years of school then a psychologist.I think that on the tier of importance a psychiatrist is above a psychologist. For instance a psychiatrist can prescribe medication while a psychologist cannot. So o if you want to look at it that way, then a psychiatrists diagnosis might trump a psychologists opinion. Also, I’m not sure if a psychologist is an MD. A psychiatrist definitely is.

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Psychologists are not MDs. Psychiatrists are. Although, on the number of years of schooling, a psychologist may have more, if they have both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. But I would tend to go with the psychiatrists diagnosis anyway. Sometimes, psychologists only have a master’s degree.

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@CarolineC my therapist has a Ph D But @77nick77 is right I would think a psychiatrists dx trumps a therapists dx

Mine actually know eachother, they did internships together when they were younger. My psychologist at first said I was too together to be schizophrenic, but then he talked to my psychiatrist who (I dunno what he said) convinced him that I was schizophenic as ■■■■. My psychologist thinks I have generalized anxiety disorder and my psychiatrist trusted his opinion and put me on a benzo long term. Im still on it, I talked to him today about my weird gagging thing Ive been doing in the mornings and he said “I dont wanna rock the boat and change your medications because you’re doing so well on them”

I have really good experienced doctors who also respect me- they listen to me, theyve seen the results of my evaluation and know that I am majoring in behavioral neuroscience and dont treat me like an infant, they are “forreal” with me, as kids here in Memphis say. It’s nice to be able to understand what is going on in both offices, I know about meds and brain chemistry and that crap as well as the basics of therapy and what approaches my psychologist is taking- he knows that I know what he is doing and it breaks the barrier a little bit, it’s not the average patient-doctor dynamic when the patient is on their way to being a doctor themselves…

But one thing to note, therapists and doctors are taught not to get emotionally attached or involved with patients. They do their best not to think about us at night. They would go insane themselves if they did worry about each and every patient. My docs probably see me as a great success, I came in bonkers and left less than a year later pretty good.

But to answer your question more briefly…its the psychiatrist who needs to make the call because they are the ones who control what you ingest. It’s best to have the two docs communicate and get on the same page, thats what I do, you have to sign a release form of confidentiality.

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