Why see a psychiatrist ?

Ashburton

Registered User
Feb 19, 2007
99
I know a psychiatrist deals with mental illness but I have always wondered why someone with AD would not be treated by a Neurologist? Afterall AD is a neurological disorder,is it not?
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Now this may vary by country, but it has been my experience that psychiatrists are much more on the ball when it comes to mind or mood altering medications. At one point my son had both a neurologist AND a psychiatrist (long story) and the split generally was if it involved anything to do with the more mechanical side the neurologist was the prescriber while the psychiatrist dealt with anything that involved brain processing, if I can put it like that.

I think it's as much historical as anything else when it comes to AD though: demntia was considered for a long time (and still is sometimes) a mental illness so fell under the purview of the psychiatrist.
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
My Jan saw both, in the time when they were attempting a diagnosis.

The neurologist reckoned she was depressed. The psychiatrist was so useless that he had problems even getting the right notes for the case in front of him.

We also had a psychologist who gave Jan some airy-fairy music to help relax her.

They were all part of the private medicine gravy chain, and each extracted their bit of money before passing us on to their mates.

One might almost wonder whether they know it will be dementia all the time, but have an agreement that, since nothing can be done, and since private insurance won't pay out after diagnosis of dementia, they will simply make hay while the sun shines - for them - so to speak.

The private insurance came with my job, so we used it in desperation as much as possible to get past NHS delays in getting appointments and referrals.

To get back to your question - possibly psychiatrist because, in the absence of any solution organically, some of the experience of handling behavioural problems is all they can think of?

It ia [clearly] all a mystery to me... :(
 

Ashburton

Registered User
Feb 19, 2007
99
I am coming under pressure, actually maybe pressure is too strong a word, a family member from abroad has pleaded with me for my mum to get proper treatment, I was slightly taken aback by this, when I said well my mum is seeing the psychiatrist. she said well really a Neurologist is the person to see and that my mum will get better.
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
Perhaps, but I think the line is very much a blurred one. In general I think that neurologists deal with the purely physiological side whereas psychiatrists deal with the symptomatic side.

In dementia you're really dealing with the symptomatic problems because the underlying physiological cause is basically untreatable.

With Alzheimer's particularly, there's not much you can do in the way of physical tests to diagnose (except an autopsy!). You're mostly going by the symptoms, and attempting to alleviate some of the worst of the symptoms.

But then psychiatrists probably have a fair amount of training in the neurological side, since a lot of problems seen by them will have a direct physical cause in the brain. On the other hand there's psychology...

Neurology, psychiatry and psychology are so closely inter-related and overlap so much....
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
I think it is worth trying to explore every avenue.

Had someone I respected said take my wife to the vet because there are some horse pills that they had heard worked to help - I'd have tried it.
really a Neurologist is the person to see and that my mum will get better.
has there been a diagnosis yet? If there has, then I'm afraid the best to expect is a slowing down, but never a getting better. :(
 

Ashburton

Registered User
Feb 19, 2007
99
Mum was diagnosed back in 2003, so it is really for treatment. I don't think my mums sister meant she would get better, rather the way she was a few weeks ago.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I'm not sure how it works in the UK, but in the states a psychiatrist is probably one of the more extensively trained doctors: they have to do all the residency requirements to be a "normal" doctor and on top of that, there is several more years of training before they've qualified. Let's put it this way, over here I'd be much more inclined to believe a psychiatrist who told me I had a physiological illness, than a regular doctor who told me I had a mental one.

Assuming you have a diagnosis Ashburton, I'm afraid the relative that lives abroad is living in a dream world if they think there's a cure forthcoming from any specific type of doctor. I'm not surprised you were taken aback: do they really think there's a conspiracy to keep a "cure" out of the hands of every type of doctor but a neurologist?
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Just to add, in case I wasn't particularly clear, I would be MUCH more confident that a psychiatrist knew what they were doing if it's question of prescibing anti-psychotics and the like: I think they have a much better grasp of how these things work.
 

Ashburton

Registered User
Feb 19, 2007
99
Assuming you have a diagnosis Ashburton, I'm afraid the relative that lives abroad is living in a dream world if they think there's a cure forthcoming from any specific type of doctor. I'm not surprised you were taken aback: do they really think there's a conspiracy to keep a "cure" out of the hands of every type of doctor but a neurologist?[/QUOTE]

I was taken aback by the "get proper treatment", my mum has been as far as I'm concerned, she is on medication, we have just started Ebixa and am hoping and praying that we can get my mums speech and the way she was a few weeks ago back.
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
Hi all,

When I was first diagnosed I saw a Nurologist and then went to see a Psychiatrist.
But the differences were remarkable because, I was treated like a human being by the psychiatrist unlike the Nurologist, who could not be bothered to do all the tests until he was removed from the case. I really think a lot depends on where you are being treated as to what treatment you get and who you see.

Best Wishes

Ken
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
My daughter went to see the Neurologist when , she was having sizers he was the one that refereed her for EEG CT scan , that where I found out that my doctor was also a consultant Neurologist at are local hospital

Mum went to see a Neurologist who sent her for CT scan

psychiatrists come in helpful to understand the psychological side of AZ , as the disease roll back the memory
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
Ashburton said:
Assuming you have a diagnosis Ashburton, I'm afraid the relative that lives abroad is living in a dream world if they think there's a cure forthcoming from any specific type of doctor. I'm not surprised you were taken aback: do they really think there's a conspiracy to keep a "cure" out of the hands of every type of doctor but a neurologist?

I was taken aback by the "get proper treatment", my mum has been as far as I'm concerned, she is on medication, we have just started Ebixa and am hoping and praying that we can get my mums speech and the way she was a few weeks ago back.[/QUOTE]


Poor Ashburton - I can see why that would take you aback!! Of course you are doing everything you can so it is a jolt when someone suggests you aren't!
Having read the posts I think Neborith and Jennifer are definitely on the right track.

Perhaps you could tell your aunt that the present medication needs to be given time to work before any further treatment is considered . . . . ??

I know absent relatives are only concerned for the welfare of those they love (and often feeling helpless to DO anything) but they can be an extra burden on the real Carer!!
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
The psychiatrists that treat dementia patients specialise in the condition.
A friend who is a consultant psychiatrist saw Peg in the early stages,he refered her to a colleague specilalising in Dementia treatment.
Ours had a title "Specialist in care of the elderly".
He was more help than any of the other specialities that we saw.
Norman