You need a competent ADHD evaluation.
Jeff just had a horrible experience with an evaluation. I felt very sorry for Jeff and very embarrassed for the psychiatric profession. And personally embarrassed, because I keep recommending evaluations and then this happens.
1.You do need an evaluation. You can self-diagnose on the net, and that’s a good start, but you need confirmation. There are other things that can mimic ADHD. You don’t want to start medication from a doctor who doesn’t understand ADHD. There are conditions that contraindicate trying medicines. So you need an evaluation.
2. You need an evaluation from someone who understands ADHD. This may be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or an ADHD coach. I personally recommend the psychiatrist. Do research before you make an appointment.
Unfortunately, there are many physicians who don’t understand ADHD and don’t understand that they don’t understand. I used to be one. Hope I’m not now.
I’ve been asked what I do for an evaluation:
1. Screen on telephone.
2. Send a general medical/psychiatric questionnaire to bring to appointment.
3. Get a history and get releases signed.
4. Do any indicated physical and neurological exams.
5. Go over questionnaire.
6. If I suspect ADHD:
7. Review criteria together.
8. Some education about ADHD.
9. Some discussion of options.
10. Find out who else I can talk to – mother, spouse, etc.
11. Give Brown attention scale test to take home; explain the test.
12. Try to answer any questions. 13. Schedule next appointment.
13. Write up evaluation, 1-3 pages.
I can usually do this in an hour, sometimes in an hour and a half. I do charge a little more for any initial evaluation appointment.
- Jeff put his experience into our comments. Thank you, Jeff. I will put some of his ordeal into an upcoming post.
2. I rarely see any indication for psychological testing. Extremely rarely.
3. This is past tense. I retired from private practice in 2013.