How Does a Doctor Diagnose a Patient with ADHD?

ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can make it difficult for the person to pay attention. It can also cause hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Adults and children can be diagnosed with ADHD, but it is most often caught during childhood.

There is no single test used to diagnose ADHD. Diagnosis usually involves a comprehensive evaluation by a psychiatrist, who is a medical doctor and can therefore diagnose and treat the issue. (Contrast this with psychologists, who are not physicians and cannot prescribe medicinal treatment.)

Let’s talk about some of the main symptoms of ADHD, how it is diagnosed, and where you can go in Southbury and in NYC for an accurate medical evaluation and effective treatment.

Symptoms of ADHD

People with ADHD have marked impulsivity and carelessness that can prevent them from maintaining stability, and this makes them unreliable. Much time is spent shifting focus away from the task at hand and daydreaming.

In children, this inability to focus can prevent them from progressing in school, and they may have difficulty later on when they become adults. Adults with ADHD tend to display frequent tardiness, missed deadlines, and the inability to maintain a job.

Diagnosing ADHD

A psychiatrist is fully knowledgeable in the whole spectrum of mental health conditions, including ADHD and other issues that can co-occur with ADHD. Since ADHD tends to have overlapping symptoms with other mental health conditions, it takes an experienced medical specialist to accurately diagnose the condition and to know which treatments might work in each individual case.

The first step is a clinical interview. If the patient is under the age of 18, the psychiatrist will ask the parents about the child’s medical history.

Second, the doctor will evaluate the patient’s symptoms. Children need to exhibit at least six out of the nine possible symptoms that are officially associated with ADHD. The symptoms would be present before the age of 12, interfere with school, and not indicate another health condition.

Diagnosing adults involves a clinical evaluation, and an adult must only exhibit several of the symptoms in order to determine a firm diagnosis. It is usually easier for a psychiatrist to diagnose an adult with ADHD than a child with the condition.

Other tests may also be included during the diagnostic phase, such as intelligence tests, ability tests, and focusing tests. If the doctor confirms an ADHD diagnosis, the physician will also indicate the severity of the condition as being somewhere from mild to severe. The precise diagnosis will help in dictating which treatment might be best.

ADHD Doctor in New York City and in Southbury, CT

If you’re looking for an ADHD doctor in Southbury, Dr. Mark Stracks of Psy-Visions is here for you. Dr. Stracks has many years of experience in treating ADHD, which is usually caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals – and therefore usually responds to prescription medicine to help bring brain chemistry back into balance.

To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Stracks, call us today at (718) 887-2918 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you.

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