Hey everyone. I haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD yet, but my partner and I are adoptong a teenager who has ADHD. I never knew much about it before, but the more I learn, the more it all sounds VERY familiar. What is the process I go through to seek an evaluation as an adult?
I’d say the simplest thing would be to first seek a mental health clinic and schedule for an evaluation. When you go in they’ll ask you what you’re looking help for. You can mention that you’re seeking evaluation for ADHD or any other issues you’re facing. Usually there’s some difficulty getting ADHD evaluations given the stigma and also given that a lot of providers want to do testing. That being said, the first step is to contact a clinic and get an appointment.
I’ve found the easiest way to look for clinics is to go to Google Maps, put in your address, then “Search Nearby” for “counseling.” It usually brings up some agencies that you can then research and call. If you have insurance you’ll want to see if they accept yours.
Ah yes . . . that it does! Many of us have discovered our ADHD through such an experience. In my case, my 43 yr. old son was diagnosed at age 4. My wife and I went to a number of workshops, did reading, formed a parents’ support group . . . all related to ADHD . . . to help our son with his struggles. Wasn’t the smoothest journey, but it all worked out fine in the end. And, for me, it wasn’t until I was in my 50’s that I truly began to wonder about myself, perhaps being the from which the fell . . .
In my case I was evaluated by an educational specialist who evaluated and coached ADHDers, both children and adult. And “yep” the and the were definitely true to the saying. Psychiatrists (some) and Psychologists (some) as well as General Practitioners (not many) are qualified to evaluate adults for ADHD. There are ADHD group practices / centers / networks (etc.) too. Best to get a recommendation from someone who has had personal experience, and whom you trust.
Thanks for your help, @Brooklyn and @quietlylost. I called a mental health provider and they are booking into September, so I don’t have an appointment yet. I wish things could happen more quickly, but I guess the mental health system is pretty overburdened right now with everyone feeling the Covid blues.
It may be worthwhile to keep calling other places, or to keep calling the place where you scheduled to see if they get cancellations. Good luck!
I get ads online for internet psychiatrists. Does anyone have any experience with them? I mean, if my appointments are all going to be over teleconfrencing anyways, does it really make a difference if my doctor is local?
I haven’t had any experience. I’d be somewhat cautious, though, as if you’re looking to do medication most doctors cannot prescribe beyond state lines. You’d also want to investigate their credentials to make sure they’re certified to practice. Sometimes people are just doing life coaching and billing it as therapy.
I think so. In the future we will be able to see a doctor and other professional in their office. Virtual interactions are “virtually” 2 dimensional . . . And not the same!!
Yeah you bring up good points. Past doctors have diagnosed me with OCD, then Tourette’s, then schizophrenia, then PTSD, then anxiety. I feel like nobody really knows why I am how I am. It is an endless struggle to find people like me.
I’m in a similar boat as you are, though I’ve tried to go through diagnosis in the past and gotten different conclusions from the clinic I went to.
One thing to remember is that many of the organizational techniques to help with the everyday challenges of ADHD do not require a prescription. You can binge watch “How to ADHD” for a week (or read “Delivered from Distraction”) and try some of the techniques outlined.
Regarding video appointments, I believe that (some?) doctors are being allowed to prescribe out of state during the pandemic, but that it is likely to return to normal at some unknown point in the future. Another thing to consider is what your insurance will cover. Talk to them and the doctor you are considering.
Hi John, Hi Ninjastar,
this sounds so familiar. Both. And yes, I spend some years binge watching “How to ADHD”, and learning different organizational skills. And than some more.
I think I also half conciously postponed getting a a diagnosis.
But taking my newly made experiences now, I would encourage you to keep on walking the road towards diagnosis. For me to have a diagnosis really made a strong difference. Scary as …, but also somehow peaceful. There are so many aspects to our “selfs” and personalities and I don’t want to reduce myself to that aspect and I am not looking for an excuse, nevertheless it is nice to know that ADHD is “fact”. It is the case, it is the way my brain works, I don’t need to question it. It is not mere incompetence or something which disappears with behavioral therapy. Diagnosis helped me a whole lot. It’s like a railing to hold on to when the deck passage is shaky. It helped my inner line of argumentation. And if gave me a back up when somebody argues that I am to fast, to inattentive, should learn to be more focussed, should be more organized, finally get my life sorted our, because it can#t be so difficult of one just takes the things seriously. Also it helped me with getting and covering the treatment. I wouldn’t have gotten Elvanse otherwise and also no Neurotherapy (insurance).
I was so scared and so avoided medication and now I ask myself why. I know, because I think they would change myself. Hm.
Excuse my English. And yes it got very long.
Take care - Annamaria
Thanks for the clarification, Annamaria!
If my message came across as, “Because you can do most interventions without a diagnosis, there is no need for a diagnosis,” then I apologize for not being more clear. I agree that a diagnosis still has a lot of value to many of us - and is why I still seek one. And I do so for all the reasons Annamaria gave! In short, I was just trying to point out that even if it takes a while to get a diagnosis, that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything in the mean time.
Dear John, I believe I just wanted to add on to encourage. Maybe because I feel I lost so much time, put so much hope and energy into it, wanting to be superwoman helping myself. But you are perfectly right in saying start looking for interventions you can do in the meantime, when you can’t get a diagnosis.