Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental and emotional health. They use physical examinations and imaging of the brain such as MRIs to diagnose mental disorders. Treatments include medication and psychotherapy. They differ from other mental health professionals such as social workers and psychologists in the ability to write prescriptions for medication.
There are over 30,000 members of the American Psychiatric Association However only half of psychiatrists accept health insurance or medicare. This is due to low reimbursement rates and less insurance coverage for mental health. It's harder to get an appointment if you can't afford to pay out of pocket.
To find psychiatrists that accept your insurance, go to your insurance company's website and search for in-network providers. Or go to sites that let you search for doctors by location and insurance.
Both are trained in psychotherapy aka talk therapy. Psychotherapy helps people deal with stress, change behavior, and solve emotional problems without medication. Only psychiatrists go to medical school and can prescribe medicine for mental illnesses that require more than psychotherapy. Medications include anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and stimulants.
The most common mental health conditions include depression, bipolar, ADHD, dementia, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Some disorders are genetic while some are environmental. They can interfere with basic daily activities, the ability to work, relationships and communication with other people.