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Your Expert Overview: Choosing the Right Professional to Treat ADHD

In the alphabet soup of M.D.s, MSWs, and Ph.D.s, choosing the appropriate professional for diagnosis and treatment of ADHD can be confusing. Each specialty has strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a comparative chart, helping you figure out who does what.

What Kind of Doctor Diagnoses ADHD? An ADDitude free download Are you navigating through a maze of ADHD information and just trying to figure out what kind of doctor diagnoses ADHD? Finding a qualified physician isn’t easy.

ADDitude has made the job a little less complicated with this comparison chart that helps you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option…

Psychiatrist: An M.D. who treats the brain and may prescribe medication
Psychologist: A brain specialist who is not an M.D. and (usually) can’t prescribe meds
Family doctor: Knows your family but may not have extensive knowledge of ADHD
Neurologist: A doctor who specializes in treatment of the brain and central nervous system
Master level counselor: Has a master’s degree in counseling or psychology
Social worker: May provide counseling and behavior assistance.
…and more!

A must-read before your next appointment!

2 Comments & Reviews

  1. Disagree! In many states, a licensed clinical social worker has far more robust training and requirements for licensing than a master’s level (MA) clinician. When I practiced in NY and NJ, a LCSW was allowed to bill health insurance as a counselor/therapist and an MA was not. This is because LCSWs are required to have a ton of mandated supervision hours as part of their training, something that is missing in many MA level programs.

  2. I feel I am often misunderstood and have been searching for a Dr … or ANYONE willing to listen. I have ADHD, I know this from the bottom of my heart but because 20 years ago after leaving a bad marriage and losing a child I was misdiagnosed as bipolar. Now even 20 years later, never having a “breakdown “ never taking mood stabilizers since… I’m still being misdiagnosed as bipolar. I get my adderall taken away and these Dr want to put me on these liver damaging medications after knowing me for less than a month! Where do I find these ADHD Dr.’s? Why isn’t it mandated that every psychiatrist know the effects of adult woman with ADHD? You guys know a lot .. I feel I even know more then they do because of you guys but I feel so defeated, and obviously now I’m depressed! I don’t get manic.. never had! Do specific environmental problems get me more excited than a person wo ADHD? Yes! But it doesn’t make me manic! I don’t get upset out of the blue … I don’t get sad out of the blue.. but WHY WONT ANYONE HELP ME!! If these Dr do exist, where are they? They sure as hell don’t live in upstate NY! Maybe CA but sucks for me if they don’t do videos.. I’m up all night angry or with thoughts of feeling no one cares. I’m just tired and hope to god someone can help me feel they are actually listening to me!

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