How To Find a Best ADHD Psychiatrist: A Comprehensive Guide

Countless people all over the world are touched by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While there is no definitive cure, undertaking an efficient treatment plan can help mitigate symptoms and enable individuals with ADHD to navigate their day-to-day lives, build healthier relationships, and lead more fulfilling lives. In this blog, we aim to support you in understanding how to find an experienced psychiatrist for ADHD and other relevant medical practitioners who are equipped to manage ADHD.

What Exactly Is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by noticeable inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and/or hyperactivity. Symptoms typically surface during childhood and persist into adulthood for many individuals. As per the American Psychological Association, those battling ADHD may encounter challenges focusing, planning realistically, adapting to changing circumstances, and controlling impulsivity, and often have difficulty with social interactions.

Receiving a Proper ADHD Diagnosis

The first step for anyone who is looking for an ADHD treatment provider is getting formal testing and evaluation. An ADHD assessment is a thorough evaluation process designed to accurately diagnose Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The process includes a variety of techniques and methodologies, such as conducting clinical interviews, observing behavior, and running neurocognitive tests. If persistent issues with attention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity that are affecting daily life, school, or work are a part of you or your loved one’s life, an ADHD assessment might be a beneficial step. This process helps in better understanding and tackling these challenges and produces an accurate diagnosis for ADHD. Booking an appointment for ADHD testing can be done online at any LifeStance mental health clinic locations. Most clinics can accommodate ADHD testing appointments for children and adults, but there are some significant differences in how these testings are administered.

Note: If you are wondering whether or not you are living with ADHD as an adult, check out our blog on identifying symptoms of adult ADHD.

After receiving a diagnosis, it’s crucial to identify your specific ADHD variant to facilitate a more informed search for a specialist. These variants could be:

  • Predominantly Inattentive: Dominated by inattention symptoms.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive: Mainly characterized by hyperactivity and impulsivity.
  • Combined: A mix of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Recognizing ADHD Specializations

Upon diagnosis and variant identification, your next step involves identifying the right mental health professional to collaborate with. According to the CDC, a range of treatment methods are available for ADHD, and various mental health professionals can cater to your specific needs. Depending on your circumstances, you might need to consult one of the following ADHD specialists:

  • Psychiatrists: As a medical doctor, a psychiatrist specializing in ADHD can both prescribe medication and deliver therapy. They play a crucial role in helping manage symptoms and develop coping strategies and are one of the more popular specialists in treating ADHD. This includes child and adolescent psychiatrists who specialize in children’s mental health.
  • Psychologists: Though not medical doctors, psychologists can offer a variety of therapeutic treatments, aiding in symptom management.
  • ADHD Coaches: Coaches are trained to support individuals with ADHD in managing their symptoms and facilitating goal attainment. While ADHD coaches do not provide medical treatment or prescribe medications, they can play a valuable role in supporting individuals with ADHD. They can provide guidance, accountability, and personalized strategies to help individuals with ADHD improve their daily functioning, develop coping mechanisms, and achieve their goals.
  • Counselors, Clinicians, and Therapists: Equipped with a master’s degree, these professionals can deliver various therapeutic treatments.
  • Pediatric Neurologists: Specialists in children’s brain disorders, they can help diagnose and understand ADHD’s impact on brain function.
  • Primary Care Doctors:  Pediatricians and family doctors often treat ADHD. Although they do not specialize in mental health, they can often assist in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.

Exploring Your Treatment Options

Once you have been properly diagnosed with ADHD, you may research if a provider who worked on your diagnosis can also treat your condition. If this particular mental health care professional does not offer treatments, and only specializes in diagnostics, ask about a referral. Most mental health care clinics have a multidisciplinary team, and will guide you through potential treatment options and plans.

For those insured, your insurance company’s website could provide a list of potential treatment providers. Alternatively, if uninsured, you could reach out to local and state mental health services, health departments, or clinics to learn about reduced-cost programs or flexible pay scales. LifeStance works with the most health plans.

Tips for Securing an Ideal ADHD Psychiatrist

Apart from the ability to provide therapy and prescribe medication, psychiatrists specializing in ADHD can diagnose and treat coexisting psychiatric disorders. Psychiatrists typically are trained in how ADHD influences such conditions and can help advise. Please note that most psychiatrists specialize in ADHD medication management.

Therapy can help you cope with many challenges that come from ADHD such as time management, organization, and problem-solving. Mastering these skills can help someone feel like they have more control over their life. And by feeling more in control of any symptoms, they are more likely to realize that their symptoms are simply the effects of living with ADHD and not personal character flaws. Whether you’re looking for specific tools to help deal with living with ADHD, ADHD coping skills or insight-oriented therapy to learn how some of your habits are affecting your life and relationships, there is a type of therapy out there that’s right for you.

Building a Trustworthy Relationship

An essential element of successful therapy is fostering a trustful relationship between the psychiatrist and the patient. It’s vital to ensure that your chosen professional understands ADHD and has extensive experience treating it and that they strive to comprehend you and your unique situation.

Research and Question Providers About Their Experience with ADHD

It’s important to probe providers about their experience treating ADHD, as not all specialists possess the same level of expertise. A long-term relationship with an ADHD psychiatrist can enhance therapy effectiveness as trust in the therapeutic process increases. To research for psychiatrists who specialize in ADHD treatments select “ADHD” in the Treatment area drop down box of the psychiatrist directory.

Harness Online Registries for Local Options

If in-person consultation isn’t feasible or preferred, the internet abounds with mental health resources, including online directories of ADHD care providers and therapy platforms allowing you to receive therapy from your home’s comfort. Many LifeStance psychiatrists offer telehealth appointments for ADHD medication management treatment. To find a psychiatrist who treats ADHD online please select the “Yes” option on “offers Telehealth” dropdown box in our psychiatrist directory.  Through video conferencing, psychiatrists can provide evaluations, diagnose ADHD, and prescribe medications. They can monitor medication effectiveness, adjust dosages, and provide ongoing management remotely.

How Therapy Can Support ADHD Treatment

ADHD treatment often incorporates therapy, some specifically designed for parents. Online therapy providers enable you to learn parenting and communication skills and coping strategies to assist your child in managing ADHD symptoms. As per recent studies, online therapy, like parent training or parent-child intervention therapy, can be as effective as traditional face-to-face treatment options.

Key Takeaways

  • Recognizing your specific ADHD type is a key step for efficient specialist search; types can include predominantly inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or a combined form.
  • Although using the expertise of an ADHD psychiatrist is one of the ideal methods to treat ADHD, other medical specialists can also effectively treat ADHD.
  • A range of mental health experts can cater to ADHD, encompassing pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, ADHD coaches, counselors, clinicians, therapists, and pediatric neurologists.
  • In the absence of local ADHD treatment services, online therapy emerges as a valuable alternative; health insurance firms, mental health agencies, and health clinics can assist in finding suitable treatment providers.
  • Psychiatrists hold a critical role in diagnosing and addressing adult ADHD, particularly when coinciding with other mental health disorders.
  • Forming a trust-based relationship with your psychiatrist is essential; make sure to inquire about their prior experience with ADHD to ensure they comprehend your unique circumstances.

Closing Thoughts

ADHD can significantly impact your or your child’s life, making it vital to assemble a trustworthy team of professionals to craft a comprehensive treatment plan. Have you or your child recently been diagnosed with ADHD? Follow the steps outlined above to find a high-quality ADHD specialist in your area or online—the first step is always the hardest, but in time it’s possible to get back to living life the way it should be lived.

Authored By 

LifeStance Health
LifeStance Health

LifeStance is a mental healthcare company focused on providing evidence-based, medically driven treatment services for children, adolescents, and adults.