Neurologist VS psychiatrist

Stella Johnson

Active Member
My difficult child saw a psychiatrist for about 4 years. My insurance only had a few local ones on our list of docs. We tried them all and none were all that great.

The one we stuck with finally was never very available. He ran a teen center locally as well and spent most of his time there. He never returned phone calls when difficult child was having major issues. The last 4 times we had appts he was either running an hour and a half late or he wasn't even there due to issues at the teen center. I was fed up.

Even when we did get in for an appointment he didn't really do anything other than ask about her behavior and start writing RX's.

Around the same time that I became completely fed up difficult child started having grand mal seizures and had to see a neurologist. I had told him about the problems with the psychiatrist and he said he would start writing all scripts. He took her off most of the medications except the current ones. difficult child has never been better. :thumb:

On top of all this the mental health coverage on our insurance was horrible. Max of 5 visits per year and a $750 deductible.
So, since she is only seeing the neuro we no longer have any of that and I only pay a $25 copay every time we go in.

I just thought I would post about my experiences between the two professions. Honestly, I think the Neuro is just as qualified as the psychiatrist was in our case. So others who have had similar issues, might check into seeing a neurologist for their difficult children.



Well-Known Member
I never thought about the insurance coverage aspect. That's a
real saver. My personal opinion is that you have to find the
MD who is best qualified AND suits your family best. We love the
psychiatrist I found four years ago and drive two hours each way for the
visits. It is worth it as I have peace of mind. If the same man
were a Neuro...I'm sure I'd feel the same way. DDD

PS: Yes, I know, many people trust their Pediatrian that way.
I prefer specialists.


Active Member
We have been thru every neurologist in the area...and then some. We just recently found our p-doctor, and she is great. I love her. Unfortunately like you said, mental health coverage stinks. We pay 50% for her because she isn't on "our plan" plus a $500.00 deductable. oh well...the price we pay for stable difficult children.

Sara PA

New Member
I have long believed that many of our children have neurobiological disorders, not psychiatric ones. Behavioral issues do not guarentee that the problems are psychiatric. But our system evolved that people with behavioral issues see psychiatrists and psychologist regardless of the cause of the behavioral problems combined with nuerologists failing to learn what they should know about how neurobiological conditions effect behavior as they should. I hope that is changing as we learn more about how brains work -- and don't work correctly.


Active Member
Sara, you are correct in your thinking concerning neurologists. We just couldn't seem to find one difficult child liked and who worked for us. The new P-doctor is all into getting her stable and on only one medication...right now she is on Wellbutrin SL 100mg, and the change has been unbelievable. She has lost 20 lbs since coming of the zoloft that the neurologist insisted was best for her. We are working now on taking out the stimulant. P-doctor believes that the Wellbutrin can cover limited hyperactivity. If not her goal is to add just a short term ritalin for school only....


Well-Known Member
I not only think our kids may have neurological disorders, I think the day will come, possibly soon, when we find out that psychiatric problems and neurological problems are intertwined. Having said that, I prefer NeuroPsychs because of the types of tests they run, pinpointing specific issues that our kids struggle with. My son is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and had seen at least four different neurologists at different times, and not one of them EVER came close to finding the problem. In fact, two said he had "severe ADHD." They seemed to be more in tune about ADHD than autism, although Neurology is their field. Two did an EEGs and fast neurological test (close eyes, touch nose, etc). I personally feel NeuroPsychs are best for behavioral issues. But whatever works for you and all that...and, even though I prefer NeuroPsychs, I think EVERY difficult child should have a regular Neurological work up, especially an EEG.


New Member
I agree.

We've seen a pediatric neurologist, a specialist in his field, supposedly, that did zippo for Dylan. Saw him once and sent him on his way. Obviously, because of no seizure activity, there is no reason for Dylan to see one.

We've had a drag of cruddy psychiatrists, too. I wouldn't ever take a diagnosis from a psychologist, counselor, therapist or school psychologist, because of bad luck, but then, I know some that have gotten diagnosis'es from them, and they've been right on the money.

I don't think you can really compare a neurologist to a psychiatrist to do a "vs" type thing. One is nothing like the other. You have to find who is going to work the best for your child, and take it from there. Who knows? Someone might find an awesome family doctor to handle their medications (crazy, I know, but you never know).