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Questions To Ask Your Psychiatrist About ADHD Treatment
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity difficulties, impacting many aspects of a person’s life. Fortunately, there are several ADHD treatment options one can receive through a licensed psychiatrist. If you or a loved one is suspected of having ADHD, seeking psychiatric care ensures you can operate with healthy and effective methods. Here are some questions to ask your psychiatrist about ADHD and available treatment options.
7 Questions to ask during an ADHD treatment consultation
What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and ADHD are two types of neurodevelopmental disorders. Often, people use them interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. ADD causes a person to feel restless and impulsive, make it difficult to concentrate, and have trouble following instructions. ADHD is often a more general term for attention, organization, and task completion problems. Both disorders can share symptoms, but those with ADD tend to have less severe symptoms.
How will I know if I have ADHD?
A psychiatrist will diagnose ADHD based on one’s history, a clinical interview, and standardized questionnaires. The first step is gathering information regarding their symptoms. They may also ask questions regarding the patient’s past and family history of ADHD and other mental health diagnoses.
Next comes the clinical interview, where the psychiatrist will ask more detailed questions about specific symptoms and how they may impact their life. Finally, the psychiatrist may ask the patient to take several questionnaires to give the psychiatrist an idea of the patient’s mental state.
How do I know when ADHD is showing up in my life?
Those diagnosed with ADHD can be divided into predominantly inattentive or predominantly hyperactive-impulsive. People with the predominantly inattentive subtype are characterized by having problems with staying focused and paying attention, often misplacing their items, having difficulty following directions, constant instances of daydreaming, being forgetful, or having a loss of interest in everyday activities. Those with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive tend to be more restless, unintentionally talk over their peers, have difficulty waiting, intrude on others’ space or conversations, and frequently fidgets their hands or other objects.
What are the ADHD treatments you provide?
While there is no cure for ADHD per se, a psychiatrist can help devise a treatment plan to help one manage its symptoms and live a more productive life. Treatments may include medications, various forms of psychotherapy, and other behavioral treatments. Medication is usually prescribed as part of the comprehensive treatment and is rarely used independently.
Seeing as ADHD shows up differently in men and women, child and adult, no one treatment plan is the same. The psychiatrist will break down each treatment option and determine if a combination will be necessary.
What are the risks or side effects of ADHD medication?
There is always an adjustment period with new medications. Some people experience side effects such as headaches, stomachaches, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and weight loss. However, if one is experiencing any of these side effects and they do not subside within a week, contact the psychiatrist, as the dosage may need to be adjusted.
What if my treatment plan does not work?
If the original ADHD treatment plan proves ineffective, maintaining a relationship with a psychiatrist is crucial. There are many reasons a treatment plan may need to be altered, including changes in the patient’s body chemistry. For example, the same treatment and medication a child used when they were 12 may prove ineffective for them at the age of 30. Other times, patients can go through other medical treatments, and they do not work well with the one prescribed by the psychiatrist. Therefore, the psychiatrist will consider all factors of a patient’s health and life when altering the treatment plan.
What happens if ADHD is left untreated?
ADHD affects children differently than adults. Children can make it hard to function in school, often earning them a label as underachieving or a disturbance. However, this is unintentional. Adults are more likely to develop depression, substance abuse problems, and struggle to socialize normally. The National Institute of Health states those living with unmanaged ADHD also have a high chance of receiving developing other mental health disorders, such as anxiety and bipolar disorder.
Consult a psychiatrist today
Asking your psychiatrist the right questions regarding ADHD can help you understand the process you are about to embark on. ADHD treatment varies for each person and is not a one-size-fits-all solution. To better understand how ADHD affects your life and a psychiatrist can help you take control of your life, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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