This short article is intended for the lay public, but also for the perusal of medical students who are considering a psychiatric residency.
Psychiatry, as a medical discipline, provides some of the treatment tools that are also available to neurology.
However, there are real distinctions from neurology.
First, psychiatric residencies typically do not provide training in EEG lab operation or EEG interpretation.
Second, as a general rule, psychiatrists do not provide primary care for epilepsy, unless, of course, there is no available neurology consultant.
Finally, psychiatrists tend to try to do more detailed assessments of emotional states than most neurologists.
Why go to a psychiatrists rather than a neurologist ? The simplest answer I can give is that for many reasons, psychiatrists should be better able to help treat issues of adjustment to stressful environments.
For example, psychiatrists are more likely to be comfortable treating phobias. Also, psychiatrists are more likely to be comfortable with treating severe depressions, such as depressions accompanied by thoughts of death.