July 15, 2024

There are a few ways to getting diagnosed with ADHD, and I believe some
are more effective and accurate than others. The most effective
way to get tested, in my opinion, is by a psychologist or psychiatrist
trained in ADD and learning disabilities. Because ADD often is
accompanied by other learning disabilities, testing for these is also
helpful. It would also be helpful to test for learning
disabilities to make sure that ADD symptoms are not really a learning
disability in disguise.

The formal testing done by a licensed mental health professional are
long and costly, but in the end they are worth the time, effort and
money invested in them. If the individual tested does come to be
diagnosed with ADD, it is a sound diagnosis that has been thoroughly
evaluated and tested. Individuals can have confidence in what
they have been told and move on to the next step in their
recovery. If they are told they do not have add symptoms, they again know
they can trust who is telling them this and feel relief that they do
not have to struggle with the disorder. This may mean they have
some other learning disability or psychological issue, but they will be
given the right direction to follow from an educated professional.

Another route that people are diagnosed is again through a psychologist
or psychiatrist, but here a long history is taken of the
individual. Report cards and other formal documents are looked
through and family members are interviewed. The licensed professional
attempts to get a clear picture of the issues the individual faces, and
they try to see how long their problems have been going on.
Depending on who they are testing, the process can be long or short,
simple or complicated. This method also provides educated answers, and
the individual being interviewed/evaluated should have confidence in
their diagnosis.

There are a couple other ways that individuals are diagnosed with ADD
that are not nearly as effective and can lead to misdiagnosis.
Some school professionals such as guidance counselors have diagnosed
kids with ADD in the past, and I honestly do not believe they have the
education or tools that are necessary to do this. Giving someone an ADD
diagnosis changes their life, and should be given with care.
Also, some people may think they have ADD and get a referral to a
psychiatrist. Some psychiatrists may ask you a few simple
questions and then hand you a prescription for stimulants. This
method of diagnosis I find disturbing. A short questionnaire will
not tell you whether someone has ADD, and this way of diagnosing I have
no confidence in. It calls into question the professionalism of
the psychiatrist, and does nothing for the individual in question.


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