View Full Version : What type of doctor can diagnose ADD

11-16-10, 04:08 PM
Forgive me if there's a thread about this already, but I really wanted to get some personal insight on my specific situation from people that are dealing/have dealt with this before..

Can a general practitioner do it? Or does it have to be a psychiatrist/psychologist?

Are there any preliminary steps before setting up an appointment with a doctor?

I feel like I have ADD, but I've never been to the doctor about it.. I started wondering if I had ADD in middle/high school, but the problem continued to go undiagnosed because my mom didn't believe me.. She just thought I was young, lazy and careless. But now that I'm grown, I'm STILL having these same problems.. Not being able to concentrate on things for long periods of time unless I find them extremely interesting, making careless mistakes in my schoolwork, forgetting things all the time, constantly procrastinating. Surely if it were due to being young, lazy and careless, I would've outgrown it before I was in my mid-twenties, right? I DO care about my education so so so much. I want to do well in school. I want to succeed. I want a career. It's like I just can't.. do it.. If that makes any sense whatsoever.

Please help me :(

I appreciate any advice.

[edit] also: should I be diagnosed with ADD, are there any side effects of adderall or vivance that I should know about? I don't know much about either of them, but I'd be slightly afraid to take them if they were prescribed to me because I've heard horror stories about them. They're horror stories to me at least.. of people just NOT being themselves anymore.. being like a drone.

11-16-10, 04:45 PM
My psychiatrist was the one who diagnosed me with add, although my family doctor could have done this also. A lot of doctors don't really understand the debilitating effects of add though. so sometimes its extremely hard to get medication from some doctors. If your worried about getting a proper diagnosis, you can consult an add specialist.

As for the side effects of adderall most common would be irratability/anger/restlessness/insomnia and some gastro intestinal discomfort. Properly using the medication and having a proper diet/exercise/sleep schedule would reduce some or if not all negative side effects..and for me, the longer I take the drug the fewer negative side effects I have. If you'd like to read up a bit here is some wiki links- (adderall) (ritalin). Most side effects are listed there. Yes there are risks when taking medications, I wont lie. But it is ultimately up to you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons. Ritalin/adderall with proper use and dosing can effectively treat add for years. Adderall doesn't make me feel like a zombie. most drug abusers that get extreme side effects tend to be abusing the drug at doses that are alot higher than what is used for responsible treatment of add. Talk to your doctor, they'll answer your questions too. Anyways, hope all goes well and you start feeling better.

11-16-10, 05:36 PM
Anyone who is licensed to make diagnosis can. This can include MD, OD, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Professional Counselor and several others .Each state has somewhat differing rules on this but most follow more or less this format.

The trick is to find someone who has had enough training and experience to do it well.

If you are not sure of your family doctor, you might get a recommendation from that source. Most docs have people that they trust to refer to.

Most psychiatrists do well but some do not especially if they do not work in that area very much. Many family pracs do a good bit of work with ADHD and somewhere over 50% of the ADHD cases are handled by the family doctor.

On the side effects, both Adderall and Vivance are Amphetamines. These type of medications have been around for over 70 years and are considered to be among the safest psychiatric medications we have.

Some rough statistics on the stimulants that might be of help.

The basic statistics on the stimulants is that about 90% will respond positively to one of the stimulants. About 75% will respond positively to a particular one and about 25% will not.

By responding positively, I mean that there is a reduction in symptoms and the side effects are not enough to warrant a med change. By not positively, I mean that that could be little or no effect or the side effects are severe enough to justify a med change.

What this means is that taking these medications is somewhat of a crap shoot. Most will find something that works fairly well with the first try and some will have to try more than one. For some difficult to treat cases, it can take a good bit of experimentation to find the one best suited and sometimes other medications are needed to offset some of the side effects (all medications have side effects).

Another factor to be aware of is that some are delivery method specific responders. This means that an individual might not get good response to Concerta (Methylphenidate-osmotic pump release method) but will to one one of the extend release capsules.

Some physicians have been working with combinations of ADHD medications and there have been reports of positive results with this.

Some of the non stimulant drugs work well but do not seem to be quite as effective as the stimulants.

What all this more or less says is that finding the right medication is not always simple. All you can do is try and see what happens and change when needed. If you find you are feeling like a "drone" then the most likely reason is too strong a dose. This also might indicate that a change in medication be considered.

It is not simple but most get through it with little problem and most find a workable the first time at bat but some have to work to find the right solution.

You might check out and read the article on how ADHD medications work. You might also be interested in the one on what ADHD is and how it affects people.

Good luck, the best tool for working with ADHD is knowledge.