Help!: Lost in the ADHD Diagnostic Maze - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Help!: Lost in the ADHD Diagnostic Maze


Hi, I'm new here. I'm a 41 yr old adult, and I have suspected ADHD for a long while. I started working with a psychologist a few months ago. After the intial 2 hr intake she filed a claim w my insurance with an ADHD diagnosis code. (This part was covered by insurance.) After that intake she told me my insurance wouldn't cover the additional 6 hrs of testing and 16 hrs of interpretation and report writing required. After fighting w my insurance they agreed to cover the 6 hrs of testing, but NOT the additional 16 hrs x200 p/hr which I would need to pay out of pocket. This is money that I really can't afford to pay, so I'm starting to feel very anxious about all of this. Sorry for the wordiness, I promise there's a question here. So my question is: If the diagnosis was already submitted to insurance-wouldn't that imply that the additional amount of testing is unnecessary? Or is that the way it normally goes? Is this in any way similar to what any of the ADHD adults on here have experienced? Should I continue seeing this Dr and just go for it?

I just don't know if this is just my anxiety telling me to run, or if these concerns are legitimate. Any reply is appreciated. I have put so much time and energy into looking for help- This process started in March, I'm tapped out, and I feel so lost.

8 Replies

Hi Aspen11300. The testing process is certainly a headache—I’m going through it with my daughter now, so I certainly empathize with you there. May I ask the reason for the testing? It’s not generally necessary for a diagnosis, which can be made based on a person’s reported history (which it sounds like was done in the initial session). Testing can be helpful if there are questions about the diagnosis, or if accommodations are needed (for work or school, for example), but if the goal is treatment (therapy with or without medication), you shouldn’t need to do neuropsychological testing. I was diagnosed as an adult with only an intake session—twice by a psychiatrist (I switched) and once by a clinical social worker who specializes in ADHD. Hope that helps, and good luck!

Thank you for the reply. "..but if the goal is treatment (therapy with or without medication), you shouldn’t need to do neuropsychological testing. I was diagnosed as an adult with only an intake session."

That was exactly what I was trying to say- if the doctor initially came back with the ADHD diagnosis, I don't understand why we couldn't have moved right into treatment. Just as I came to the conclusion that most of this testing was prob unnecessary, it dawned on me that I had forgotten to cancel the appt and just ended up doing all the testing anyway- which as it turned out was probably a good idea. Regardless, of how much the Dr. learned about me throughout the process- it was worth it for how much I learned about myself. This whole journey continues to exhaust me mentally and emotionally, but at the end of the day I feel better for it.

Thanks again for your reply and encouragement.

Hello - - follow up with ur intuition I totally get it ...cuz having Adhd it's a twist coaster ride hello people don't get it add isn't s a JOKE right -- but hang in there this too shall pass!

Best of luck...

OOO...the process of being took me 5 years and multiple professionals. Finally, I was referred to the Psychoeducational testing at my University because my symptoms were so out of wack. It cost $1,600.00 out of pocket, then I could TRY to file with insurance. The test was dreadful but it validated what type of ADHD I have, and there are sooo many!! Also diagnosed dyslexia, and other learning issues. Once I received the accommodations I wizzed through my masters program!! I not have accommodations at my work and know what I am great at and not great at. I feel that I was ready to be done chasing and just trusted the process.

So your experience sounds like the one I had. I am not telling you to do or not to, I just want to encourage you to follow your gut.

I hope this helps, I know this is frustrating but keep advocating for yourself and you will prosper. Also with the diagnosis I was able to research more information with my hubby and it helped him to understand and empathize with me.

I hope this was helpful,


Aspen11300 in reply to MrsKlco

Your story gives me hope. I can only dream of being able to whiz through any academics. I am so ashamed of failing at school. I dropped out got my GED and spent 10, T-E-N years trying for my associates before I gave up and decided school is not for me. The resulting low self esteem and not to mention very limited job choices and lower quality of life. I can only dream of what it would be like to feel normal in a classroom. Not sure I will ever get there- but I have hope again after being hopeless for a long while.

Thanks so much for your encouragement.

Sorry, ….I NOW have accommodations...

I was in my late 30's when I figured out "what I wanted to do when I grow up!" I had to believe in myself because I had no pos. support (not flipping kidding!!) But now I work with vulnerable people suffering with addiction. Many with ADD/ADHD and I am able to share, influence, and normalize the craziness that (at least their "mentality") is never going away.

I flipping love my life, my carrier, and my family.

To be honest, I was so depressed for so long, suicidal around 6 years ago. I would have not emagined that I would love my life.

Please...listen to your heart, soul, the dreams. I was a terrible student, just BARRILY had the GPA to start my MSW.

Own your personality, your uniqueness, and how amazing you are!!


No, I don't believe you need to go through anymore hoops. If you've answered all those questions and the physician says you have it. That is a way for hospitals to take advantage of someone that is already in a state of confusion. Asking for more money is ridiculous. If she wants you to go through all those tests tell her your not paying for them. You already know you have adhd and if she doesn't believe you then she's the idiot. We go through enough having the disorder

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