What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a neurologist?
Psychiatry and neurology are related. In fact, we share the same board, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and psychiatrists are required to complete some training in neurology (and vice versa). But the two fields are also very distinct. Psychiatrists specialize in mental health problems, including depression and other mood disorders, anxiety, psychosis, personality disorders, and addiction. Psychiatrists tend to view mental health issues in terms of biology (involving not just the brain but the whole body), psychology, and social factors. Neurologists specialize in disorders affecting the brain and nervous system, including stroke, movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders, and neurodegenerative disorders.
There are some disorders where the scope of psychiatrists and neurologists intersect. For example, psychiatrists may be called upon to help rule out depression and other psychiatric disorders that can masquerade as dementia (a neurological condition). Psychiatrists may also be called upon to help manage mood symptoms, psychotic symptoms, and behavioral problems related to Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.