I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist in 1992. I’m currently 57 and I’ve also been re-diagnosed with ADD/ADHD over the years by other doctors too. But my original diagnostic psychiatrist was very thorough and the diagnosis required several office visits, with multiple interviews with me and my parents, and testing such as MMPI, Wechsler etc… Frankly, I think a big part of what brought on the stimulant abuse problems was because of improper, quickie one office visit diagnoses. In my opinion, simply rattling off a few symptoms to your doctor isn’t sufficient to accurately diagnose ADHD, and then prescribe stimulants. Also, it seems that too many doctors only know what their drug reps tell them about the drugs. Drug reps are salespeople, not doctors…Need I say more?
I’m not saying you have to go to a psychiatrist to get diagnosed, but you should be seen by a doctor who knows and understands ADD/ADHD. For me the best treatment I’ve had overall has come from mental health experts I’ve sought out, because they typically know or should know better how to treat ADD. But unfortunately that’s not always the case. So, do some homework on doctors first. I just recently chose to discontinue seeing a psychiatrist because he was eager to push more than stimulants for illnesses and complaints I don’t even have and have never been diagnosed with either! When I’d ask him what exactly he was treating me for he would tell me ADD. But when I asked him what was the purpose of prescribing “compounded” stimulants that contain drugs other than stimulants? He couldn’t give me a straight answer. His own nurse told me on more than one occasion that “all the stimulants nowadays are tainted, that’s just the way it is” Really!? Not good! The landscape for ADD and stimulant medications has become a lot trickier. So, do some research on meds and doctors and by all means ask questions, especially if it doesn’t feel right!