Reply To: $1200 for diagnosis?!?

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Hello. You live in Oregon? I’m in Massachusetts and I am an LICSW. Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Diagnosis of mental health disorders is guided by the DSM-5. You can go online and use this information to see if you meet the criteria for the diagnosis of ADHD. I was diagnosed as an adult when I was in grad school. I work with people of all ages with ADHD. Females are often missed in this diagnosis, because we are more quiet and well behaved. Not climbing trees and jumping around, loud, etc.
Here, there are checklists that can be completed by the child, teachers, and parents. These checklists are typically given to the parents from their child’s pediatrician, who distribute them to the school to be completed and then returned to the pediatrician. The pediatrician can determine if the child meets the diagnostic criteria. If the do, the pediatrician can prescribe ADHD medications. They usually start with the most common generic med and they are guided by the patient’s response to the Med and any side effects. Psych Med prescribing is done by trial and error, starting with the most commonly effective Med at the lowest dose. Then they titration the dose up if it is working and there are no adverse reactions such as headache,etc. There are many meds to try. Often a trial of a stimulant Med is used to assist in making the diagnosis or ruling it out. When you give a stimulant to a person with an ADHD brain, it has the opposite effect. The stimulant slows the brain down so the person can focus and get work down. Just like a pot of coffee typically revs a person up from the caffeine, if the trial stimulant med makes you feel revved up, then you do not have ADHD. If you have an ADHD brain, the stimulant med will have the opposite effect. It will slow you down so you can get things done. In the trial and error phase, sometimes the dose is too high, and this results in the patient being too slowed down and they can actually present with depressive symptoms. So, just as a pediatrician can treat ADHD, your primary doctor can treat your ADHD if you meet the criteria. This is because this is not a complex diagnosis and the medications are fairly straightforward. I’m not saying that the diagnosis of ADHD is not a complex disorder to deal with. This is a very challenging disorder to live with and manage.

The lengthy test that you are describing is reserved for clients who have a very complex presentation of symptoms. Clients with multiple disorders, making the diagnosis much more difficult.

So, you don’t need that extensive and expensive testing to be done, to be diagnosed with ADHD. GOOD LUCK!!!

And take