Do I need a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist? I’m confused.

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I made a request to my psychiatrist asking to see a psychologist.  Their is a difference he told me with a little bit of disdain.  Slowly I heal.

I have been confused about this for a long time.  Psychiatrist versus psychologist.  Therapist is what then?

The internet defines the following:

psychiatrist:  a medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.  He treats mental illness with medicine.

psychologist:  a mental health professional who evaluates and studies behavior and mental processes. an expert or specialist in psychology.  Psychology is more of a behaviorist approach.

therapist:  a social worker or a psychologist.

psychotherapy:  the treatment of mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means.

I thought that I was in therapy when I went to see my psychiatrist.  This is wrong.  A psychiatrist merely provides medication without talking about the issues underlying the condition.  My psychiatrist quickly told me in the past that he doesn’t do counseling.  Counseling is provided by therapy.  Therapy is provided by social workers or psychologists.  He also said that he dealt with medicine.  And that psychologists often didn’t support medicine.  So there’s a bit of attitude between the two professions.

If you want to talk about the underlying reason for your mental illness you have to go to counseling.  What I found however was that with social workers they didn’t want to talk about the nitty gritty details but rather talked in generalities.  I need to talk specifically about what happened to me and my reaction to it.  S P E C I F I C A L L Y.  I need to say it out loud over and over again so as to free my soul.  I feel this deep inside.  I know this because when I try to do mindfulness or meditation, thoughts of my abuse still come to me.  In an intimate way.  It’s not enough to talk in generalities if I want to be free of what happened.  If I want my mind to heal.  Therefore I need the help of a psychologist.  Be careful, they are expensive.  But if you are lucky your health benefits will pay for them.  The medication and my psychiatrist have calmed my anxiety.  But if I want to be free of the abuse in my mind, I have to talk about it to someone specialized in psychology.

I am a bit angry.  Why did I have to come to this realization by myself?  Why wasn’t it recommended right away?!  And I have been confused for a long time about the difference between the two.  Hence this post.  Please forgive me for the rant.

I’ve said it before.  It’s not enough to treat the symptoms.  You have to talk about the underlying cause of mental illness.  Therefore this means therapy.  Therefore this means that a psychologist AND a psychiatrist should be involved.  If you are currently under the care of a psychiatrist and need to talk about the reasons for your mental illness, then you need a social worker or a psychologist as well.  I would go so far as to say that you need a psychologist rather than a social worker.  Check if your benefits cover one.  Make an appointment today!

Keep fighting!  Slowly I heal.


Recognizing the Signs of Suicidal Thoughts

An excellent post. Worth the read.

The Bipolar Writer

My First Thoughts on Recognizing Suicidal Thoughts

I have been through some of the worst suicidal thoughts over the past ten years. I have never been great at recognizing how bad my suicidal thoughts have gotten until its too late. It usually takes a very big spiral, a suicide attempt, and me laying in a hospital bed wondering where how I got there.

It was that way for the first five years since my diagnosis. I got better over time with taking suicidal thought and changing them. I haven’t attempted suicide since 2010, but there have been times in the last seven years that I got close. (More the first four years than the last three.)

The most dramatic choice that a mentally ill individual can make in their life is suicide. I have to agree because it has been that way in my experience since my diagnosis of the…

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Lioness and Cub WIP pastel painting.

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to show her Lioness and cub WIP pastel painting.  She is taking a day off today.  Enjoy!

Here you can see a bit of how a pastel painting is done.  Pastels are like a chalk.  You can layer more than one color at a time as in the background.  Or you can use sticks or pencils to make actual lines as in the lioness’ face.  You can also change the color of the paper however I tend to use grey.  It’s not often that I’ll buy a different color.  The eyes are the most important part when painting an animal.  They draw the viewer in.

I am taking a break today.  I’m reading a romance and taking care of my cat Echo.  He is sick.  I even had to help him use the litter today.  But he’s complaining today.  And he ate yesterday and had water today.  So I think that he’s slowly getting better.  I hope so!  I love the Old Man!  I should be reading one of my two healing books but it’s been a bit much lately.  Going to the drop-in sessions is hard.  It makes me think.  Plus I have to overcome my anxiety to get there so it’s very tiring.  My mind is tired.  I’ll see if I go this week.  So I’m reading a romance.  I love romances.  I can hold Echo as I read.

It’s recommended that you listen to your body when you are depressed or have anxiety.  It’s alright to take a day off every once in a while.  I try to take Sunday’s off to relax.  But today I did some errands and then I just got tired.  So I listened to my body and relaxed while reading.  I am tired and recognize the fact so I am taking steps to relax.

The reason that I am painting a lioness with her cub is that I am a grandmother now!  Hallelujah!  And what a miracle it is.  So I am inspired to paint mothers with children.  I might do another watercolor of a human mother and child next.  I have to sketch it first though.  The painting soothes my tattered soul.  Slowly I heal…never stop fighting!

Happy Thanksgiving USA!

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Miriam’s Art wishes Happy Thanksgiving to all her USA friends!  Have a wonderful day and safe travels!

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks.  Thanks for all that we have.  The food, the shelter and the love.  It could also be a time to remember indigenous people and their need for help and respect.  Share the joy of living and show respect to indigenous people.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash with modifications.

Blocking out things and positive counter statements.

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Miriam speaks of blocking out things and positive counter statements.  Slowly she heals.

I had an appointment and blocked out all of my fear.  I didn’t notice that it was there although it was there subconsciously.  I blocked it all out so that I could function normally.  The appointment was positive and I am doing better health wise with maintaining a better diet.  I still have things to do so that I can loose weight.  But walking is good!

When I got home I analyzed my fear and the blocking out event.  I am doing this to better understand when, how and why I block things out.  My anxiety/fear was moderate but it was still there.  Here is the form I am using now.

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So I am analyzing what I feel when I block things out.  For me it is fear.  And then I analyze the fear, belief in a negative statement and belief in a positive counter statement.  The positive counter statement helps to reduce the belief in a negative thought and the subsequent fear or emotion.  Slowly I heal.

Blocking out thoughts and self-hate thoughts.

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Miriam speaks of blocking out thoughts and having self-hating thoughts.  Slowly she heals.

The way I have survived from my bad experience as I child was to block it out.  Apparently this is normal for abuse victims.  Some of them don’t think of what they are doing.  Lately I have been reading and using that to block out everything.  I just follow the story and read as if my life depends on it.  A way to heal from this is to become aware of when you block things out.  So I have made a form to help me.  That will be my job for the next weeks.  I will notice when I am blocking things out.

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One also has thoughts of self-hate.  This form will help me to become aware of times of self-hate and what I am thinking.

self-hating talk

I plan to use this form in the up and coming weeks.  Slowly I heal.

Groundbreaking new Study Finds that Pumas may not be as Solitary as they Appear

Interesting post by The Jaguar.

The Jaguar

Out of the Darkness by Valerie. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A landmark study has just been released by scientists from the big cat conservation group Panthera. It describes repeat observations of relatively peaceful, social interactions between a supposedly solitary carnivore: the puma (AKA mountain lion, cougar, Florida panther, Puma concolor).

The study, led by Dr. Mark Elbroch, took place in northwestern Wyoming. Elbroch and his colleagues put GPS collars on 16 pumas, which allowed them to track the cats’ movements. When the data from a puma’s collar indicated a cluster of points in one area, the scientists visited the location to see if the cat had made a kill. When it had, they placed motion-activated video cameras at the site (Elbroch, Levy, Lubell, Quigley, & Caragiuol, 2017).

Elbroch et al. (2017) were able to record remarkable interactions between pumas. They found that unrelated cats…

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Palm Oil is Threatening the Elusive Clouded Leopard

Important information about the clouded leopard!

The Jaguar

Nice Portrait of a Male Clouded Leopard by Emmanuel Keller (Tambako the Jaguar). CC BY-ND 2.0

Clouded leopards are some of the most elusive and understudied cats on the planet. They comprise two species: the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) and the Indochinese clouded leopard (Neofilis nebulosa). The latter felid (cat) inhabits portions of mainland Southeast Asia, China, and the Himalayan foothills – whereas the former is restricted to parts of Borneo and Sumatra. Both species are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, and both are threatened by palm oil.

An article recently published by Mongabay explores this problematic relationship. The Sunda and Indochinese clouded leopards both need dense forests to survive. These cats are highly arboreal, and have even been recorded hunting monkeys in trees (Hunter, 2015). As palm oil production expands in clouded leopards’ range, more forested land is…

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World Leaders to Discuss the Fate of Snow Leopards on August 24


The Jaguar

Snow Leopard by Skeeze. Public Domain CC0 1.0

A critical meeting is taking place on Thursday, August 24. Delegates and heads of state from all twelve snow leopard (Panthera uncia) range countries are coming together for the Global Snow Leopard Summit, where they will be discussing the fate of this mythic cat.

These world leaders will be meeting in the Kyrgyz Republic, and they will be joined by experts from various fields. Their goal is to assess the state of snow leopard conservation, update a key document called the Bishkek Declaration, and strategize for the future. They will discuss ongoing threats to snow leopards, ways to bolster funding for the cats’ conservation, and how to sustainably increase rural peoples’ livelihoods.

This last element is key, because many human communities within the snow leopard’s range are extremely poor. They are also heavily reliant on livestock. So when…

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The Snow Leopard: Ghost Cat of the Mountains

Great post…

The Jaguar

Snow Leopard by Steffiheufelder. CC0 1.0 Public Domain.

This is an important time for snow leopards (Panthera uncia). In August, representatives from all 12 snow leopard range countries will be meeting in Kyrgyzstan for the Global Snow Leopard Summit. The Snow Leopard Trust has started a petition to urge the leaders at this meeting to strengthen their commitments to save snow leopards, which you can view here. Therefore, this seems like the perfect time to release a quick-facts guide to this most enchanting of cats.

Population Status

No one knows for sure how many snow leopards remain in the wild, but the total is thought to be between 4,500 – 10,000 (Panthera, 2016b). That number is falling, and snow leopards are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The wild snow leopard population has likely fallen by at least 20% in the…

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