Psychology or psychiatry?

which do you prefer or what works better for you?

  • do you think that treating your mental illness with medication and trying to live with it is best?

  • or do you believe that talking about your problems and trying to get over them is better?

personally i take medication and it has helped me to deal with my problems but it hasn’t cured them completely, i am medicated for a reason and that is because my brain was malfunctioning because of an abundance of bad thoughts that had been overlapping and building up in to this monster called sz, i don’t believe i can peel back those layers but at the same time i am an optimistic person and believe that i can phase them out as if they never happened (consigned to the trash bin so to speak)

so i guess its a case of can you cure it with drugs or can you cure it with words?
can you get to the root of the problem in order to cure it or can you forget about your problems completely with the use of meds?

do you know what i mean?

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To me… I needed both. Meds kick started my upward spiral. Meds got me out of psychosis and slowed the wheel in my head down, and stabilized my moods. Med’s melted the rust brown wax of my negative symptoms so I could get up and start moving.

Therapy taught me how to get through my day and redirect or ignore my voices, got me to recognize the red flags, got me to reconnect to my family, how to recognize emotions, how to over come some of my guilt, how to rebuild some of my confidence… how to trust my family so I do ask them to help me when I need it.

For me it is no way an either this or that… it’s both. I need both.

One to help me cope with what I face inside my head, and one to help me cope with what I face outside my head.


i never had therapy, me and sweep just sort of were therapy for each other so we had to relearn a lot of things ourselves (that is once i was on the right med tho) but that is therapy,

i was talking about the part where the psychologist puts you on his couch and asks you to lie back and think of your childhood or whats your biggest fear and things like that you know like a shrink, someone who tries to analyse to ascertain the truth and try and help you to deal with it,

things like that would be a nightmare for me personally bc i would hate someone to make me relive every last crappy moment of my life in order to bring closure. the only closure i can get is with meds and thats the truth.

Like J, I need both. My brain is malfunctioning and I also need to talk things out because my emotions and thoughts are out of whack. I’m not sure about the therapist I’m seeing, we seem to talk more about him lately. Maybe that’s part of the process, relating to others, at least thats how i’m trying to rationalize it as he prattles on about his kids and i’m bored.


I’ve never had therapy like that either. There is a lot of motion and drawing and stuff in my family sessions. If I was to lie back on a couch, I’d be asleep in a few minutes.


I think that medications are the mainstay of treatment for people living with a severe mental illness like schizophrenia and bipolar - you basically need the medications to function, but therapy is a good supplemental form of treatment that can have benefits. But if someone told me that i had to choose one, I would have to go with psychiatry when it works well. There is no use in staying with a psychiatrist if your needs are not met, or there is a communication breakdown. The same thing applies to therapy, the right therapist can make a positive difference in your life


I need both. So far I have been getting my psychiatric needs seen to, but they are still yet to organise a therapist for me, and I want to remind my pdoc about that. I need therapy, too, especially as I have Borderline personality as well, and some of my behaviour needs to be addressed.


I like hearing about everyone else’s sessions. Because I’ve not had good experiences. Like I said with my current T we just talk about my daily experiences and what I do everyday, how I’m feeling, then it usually morphs into what books he’s reading, movies he’s watched, what he’s doing with his kids for about 15 minutes, it seems like its more talk therapy for him than me. I guess I need to man up and say something about this to him next time.

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I’ve not had any therapy and don’t really think I need any. Psychiatry is enough for me.

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That’s Psychoanalysis, Frued invented it and yes it is the foundation of psychology but there are many different types of therapy now and even the psychoanalysts tend not to do that anymore (my mum’s training to be a psychodynamic counsellor which is psychoanalysis and its off shoots in one) as it gives power to the analyst rather than creating an equal relationship to be productive.

Psychology is the science of mind and behaviour,Freud is the father of it all but many more modern ones are around and they’re primarily science and teach coping strategies, do cbt, help people get back on their feet, they may try to look at your childhood but the therapy is guided by you not the psychologist.

Just thought I’d clarify it as they do get mixed up but it’s very rarely like that even in psychoanalysis, well in the UK anyway, If someone told me to lie on a couch, I’d tell them where to shove it :stuck_out_tongue:

And to answer your question, I need both, meds keep me level and able to accept uncertainty whilst therapy (I have cbt), helps me tackle things as they come, he’s trying to teach me coping strategies and how to notice warning signs. I haven’t really learnt them yet though, we’re getting there.


I once went to see a clinical social worker who utilized Freudian psychoanalytic type therapy - I sat down on a large couch, I refused to lie down when she asked me and she might have said no more than 10 words throughout the session. It was basically me talking about my childhood, the trauma I experienced in my marriage and divorce.
I swear to you that I walked out of the session an hour later feeling worse than when I entered that office - I was more depressed and balling my eyes out - Freudian type therapy can be straight out dangerous for those afflicted with schizophrenia or bipolar - I would not recommend this kind of therapy to those suffering from a biologic based mental illness


Something I do when I see my therapist is take a list in of things I want to talk about. We then go through the list during the session. If nothing is going on I write down things from my past that I want to work on or qualities I would like to have. Maybe though you don’t need therapy right now.

To answer the question, I’ve needed both. Meds helped give me relief and broke through my delusions. Therapy taught me the coping skills I needed. I have a good therapist now. I’m going to start an after care group since I finished IOP earlier this year and I feel I could use the support with changing my meds around. :sunny:


People experiencing psychosis are regularly denied psycho-analytical therapy in the US.

The ‘therapy’ available by licensed masters degree level social workers focuses on ‘interventions’ and little more. Once you are out of a crisis & stable, some of the social workers have so little training you will be better served by reading self help books. The self help books are only form of training for the MLSW therapists sometimes…If you want to keep disability payments, meds are not working to relieve symptoms, use of a MLSW can keep the payments coming by talking to the therapist to prove you are functioning okay while you step down your medication doses & thereafter. You need to just quit going to your pdoctor & NEVER fill out a release so your MD/pdoc or therapist can talk to each other. I had to do this to lose weight as I reached disabled size & meds were not working…But, I always act normal & ignore the people I meet who are nutty…

Psych doctors’ approaches vary a lot…If you find a good care team, you are lucky. Sometimes the care does more harm than good…If you want the medication or think it could be helpful to sleep or keep away depression, just keep trying new pdoctors. If you get upset & talk to the doctor while upset, some will give you a forced mental care warrant & you will have to pay for ‘attitude adjustment weekend’ in mental hospital. So, be aware you do not have any right to give feedback except change doctors & you will be okay…

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Right now I have a psychiatrist and a therapist at a clinic paid for by Medicaid. This particular clinic requires that you both see a psychiatrist and a therapist. Neither of them are very good for me, but it is how I get my meds. My therapist is very shallow. He usually wants to talk about the weather and how my schooling is going. He never has any compassion for me for all of the pain that I have suffered. That said, I switched to him from a therapist in the clinic who was even worse. I am not about to try again in such a low paying clinic. I doubt they have anyone who is really good.

I tried seeing a therapist at another clinic where I actually had to pay money. She was a nightmare. When I told her about my intrusive thoughts, she said, “That’s not normal!” That statement made me feel all suicidal. She also insisted on getting into my records from the clinic, and to talk to the other therapist and psychiatrist. She obviously had never dealt with the seriously mentally ill before, and was only accustomed to dealing with the worried well. So I quit going to her after one session. It was quite a nightmare. So now I am just stuck with my bad therapist, but I know that there are worse out there. I feel I would greatly benefit from good therapy.


It is very hard to find a good doctor these days. Its not for everyone. i believe my son will have to start seeing a therapist soon-as a requirement. He is one of those that says no to everything-even if its beneficial for him. If he gets a bad one-look out! ;}
On one hand, it`s good that they are trying to put something in place to help anyone with a MI…but instead-to save money- for who?? they fill places up with mediocre doctors.

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I think meds help to a degree with certain things but there are things that meds alone are not so helpful for. A combination of meds and therapy is probably the best approach.