Who Can Diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
One of our frequently asked questions regarding Adult ADHD Assessments is .…….
What’s the difference between a Psychologist and Psychiatrists in an ADHD diagnosis?
We totally understand how confusing this can be. So, we have put together a brief overview of the titles and jobs that quickly confuse adults seeking answers to their questions about symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder characterised by difficulties with concentration, attention and impulse control which impacts on the person’s day-to-day life. Adults with ADHD often have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time, are easily distracted, or might act or speak before thinking things through. While we might all have these difficulties from time to time, people with ADHD have significant and ongoing difficulties in these areas, which can affect their broader lives, particularly their study, work and relationships.
ADHD presents differently in adults than it does in children. Adults tend to present in a more subtle manner. Adults start to create mechanisms of coping and or overcompensating. So externally, it can seem that a person is highly functional and very organised. When really there is a constant feeling of ‘having 1000 browser tabs open” in the mind at once.
Adults with ADHD tend to report issues with:
- Impaired concentration
- Difficulty unwinding / relaxing
- Impulsivity – including interrupting others
- Chronic procrastination
- Difficulty getting started on and / or completing tasks
- Poor organization, planning, and time management skills
- Irritability and / or interpersonal difficulties
- Hyper fixation
- Sensory sensitivities
Who Can Diagnose ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a paediatrician or a family doctor. Choosing the appropriate professional to conduct an ADHD diagnosis — and oversee the subsequent treatment — can be difficult, and confusing. Each specialty has its strengths and weaknesses to consider. Here is a short list of who does what.
A psychiatrist, a Doctor of Medicine (M.D) who treats the brain, may prescribe medication or other treatment.
- Trained in diagnosis
- Able to diagnose, prescribe medication and treat.
- Cost — fees usually start at about $200+ an hour and go up from there.
- While psychiatrists can diagnose and treat, they may not be trained / or choose to continue counselling and intervention, especially in the areas of day-to-day life skills which may be needed by the person who has ADHD.
- Wait list – Psychiatrist’s may have a long wait time before initial appointments, assessments and intervention.
A psychologist understands how the mind works but is not a Doctor of Medicine and therefore cannot prescribe medications. If the psychologist feels that medications are called for, he or she will make this recommendation
- Trained and experience in assessment and diagnosis of ADHD
- Trained in ADHD interventions, coaching and strategies
- Cost less than a psychiatrist
- Waitlist tend to be less than psychiatrists
- Usually able to provide ongoing tailored strategies, support, therapy and interventions to improve quality of life and functioning
- Cannot prescribe medications
Your Family Doctor
Most family doctors know of ADHD, but may not have the area of interest or ability to devote the time for detailed assessment and diagnosis.
- Is already familiar with you and your medical history
- Is usually easier to see for an appointment
- May have limited special interest or time for to explore ADHD, especially in adults
- May not be able to offer ongoing counselling and intervention
Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic is based in Maroochydore, the heart of the Sunshine Coast. We provide assessment and intervention for Adults with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). We have a team of qualified professionals with postgraduate qualifications who can help adults who are showing signs of ADHD. The assessment process includes an in-depth clinical interview, validated psychometric tools designed to assess for adult ADHD and a comprehensive report with a feedback session.
The comprehensive report and feedback includes detailed recommendations and strategies. We provide practical, easy to adopt recommendations and strategies for you to commence using in order to make immediate improvements in the quality of your life and functioning. Our team is experienced in providing ongoing tailored strategies, tools and therapy to improve functioning in quality of life.
Principal Psychologist/ Director
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