Diagnosing Adult ADHD – The Difference Between Psychiatrists and Psychologists

Diagnosing adult ADHD is a challenging task requiring training and experience. Both psychiatrists and psychologist generally meet this criteria but there approaches likely will be quite different. If you have a few extra minutes why don’t we take a look at each one of these specialists and perhaps provide some direction as to which one is the best choice for confirming a diagnosis of adult ADHD.

Diagnosing Adult ADHD – Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are considered medical doctors, thus giving them the flexibility to prescribe medications and run medical tests. On the other hand they may not be trained, or for that matter interested, in counseling. Additionally, they may not be very good at providing you with answers concerning common day to day problems linked to inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity/restlessness.

As far as psychiatrists go, cost may be a serious issue with fees ranging from $200 and up for a 45 minute session. To make the financial impact even worse a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst may insist on a long term a long term commitment which could run in tens of thousands of dollars. For example, there are 53 weeks in a year and you were committed signed up for a one year plan, that would be 200×53= $10,600. A big number in anyone’s book.

Diagnosing Adult ADHD – Psychologists

Realistically, most people don’t know there is such a huge difference in psychologists and psychiatrists. It is really quite understandable since the names sound so similar.

Psychologists are not licensed medical doctors, but have received extensive training in conditions of the mind, and well as useful non-prescription tactics in treating mental health issues such as behavioral and cognitive counseling. They also have a good reputation when it comes to unraveling the web of mysteries often surrounding mental health disorders and coming up with a reliable, and proper diagnosis.

Many adults with ADHD find their psychologists to be an invaluable source for finding new and innovative ways to deal with common everyday issues related to ADHD. They may also view their ADHD psychologist as a friend who is willing to listen to their personal and professional issues in a caring and unassuming way.

On the downside they are unable to run medical tests or write prescriptions. To accomplish this they must refer you to a medical doctor. While the initial cost will probably be less, and the commitment to treatment less lengthy, the fact that multiple doctors will be involved could make the cost of seeing either one of these professionals about the same.

What next? For those struggling with ADHD finding an effective treatment option is an important first step. After confirming a diagnosis the most common method of treatment will likely be prescription stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse. While effective, all stimulant medications come with a number of serious label warnings. The risk of side effects, or perhaps lack of success with stimulants, has prompted many to investigate other options. A couple examples of this are behavior modification therapy and/or natural remedies. Natural remedies for ADHD are a side effect free way to address such problematic symptoms as inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, erratic behavior and hyperactivity and can be used both as a standalone treatment or as a compliment to other nonprescription alternatives.

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