Where do I go to get a diagnosis? - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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Where do I go to get a diagnosis?

Chickadee1 profile image

So my counselor advised me to go to a psychiatrist to get a diagnosis as she thinks I have ADHD but can't diagnose herself - at least is not allowed to on the online platform we use for our sessions. I looked at the psychiatrists on my insurance plan but the one guy I found that looks like he especially works with ADHD looks like kids and teens are his primary focus - I may check to see if he does adults as he does have "adult psychiatry" as one of the things he does though not sure if it is ADHD - but he is a specialist with kids with special interest in ADHD. There were other psychiatrists as well that I'm not sure how much they see ADHD - didn't seem to be sepcialists in it anyway... It would be nice to go through the preferred providers on my insurance because it is a lot cheaper - but I also looked at ADDITUDE's list of specialists for ADHD/adult ADHD - there weren't any in my area but some 1 1/2 -2+ hours away or more some do online which would be most convenient especially if they are far away. The thing is it is appealing to think of going to someone who specializes in ADHD and in adults with ADHD in particular... I guess I want to be sure the Doctor understands me and also recognizes the presentation in adults (I'm 45 years old) even if not hyperactive - in your experience is it adequate to just go to a local psychiatrist that doesn't see as much adult ADHD or is it worth it to go an adult ADHD specialist even though it would cost more?

3 Replies

Hello chickadee. I'm 49 and was initially diagnosed about a year and a half ago. The first person I saw was not a specialist. They were a licensed councilor through my primary care provider. They used a pretty generic questionnaire. I filled it out and my spouse filled one out. I spent about an hour being questioned about my past and youth. About a year later I was struggling with finding a medication that worked. My doctor referred me to a psychiatrist. She did NOT specialize in adhd. I was told by her that she thought I should go back on anxiety medication. No way I was doing that. She obviously had no clue as to what she was talking about.

I started search through attitude magazine and CHADD directories for specialists. There were none within 4 hours of where I lived. I was beyond frustrated and questioned whether the initial diagnosis was correct.

In just messing around online one evening I searched adult adhd specialist near me. This local psychiatrist popped up when he never had before. He practiced privately and had 30 years experience! His diagnosis process was much more thorough and was not what I filled out through a large medical corporation. He told me I was an atypical case. No doubt about it. And is more than willing to work with me on medication. Not tell me what I should take. Or make snide comments because they're a doctor.

I would say find someone who for sure speciizes in adult ADHD. Because it presents differently in adults. Find someone who will do a thorough assessment and dig into your past. And especially find someone who is willing to come along side you and work with you.

Hope this helps

Chickadee1 profile image
Chickadee1 in reply to Siggy1972

Thank you Siggy1972 - I really appreciate your response. I do think I would feel much better going to an adult ADHD specialist... sounds like it is probably worth it even if I have to pay extra... I fear a generic questionnaire may not work as well for me - I want someone who will take time to listen to me and figure it out and be able to recognize it even if the presentation is atypical. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad you found someone great to work with you.

When I looked online for how to get a diagnosis I found a site/app called circle medical. I really don't like dealing with the anxiety of a doctors office and they had specific ADHD video appointments so I signed up for one and picked a specialist. Super easy and affordable if that's an option you want to look into.

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