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How to Talk to Your Doctor About ADHD?

Adult ADHD
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.Read more

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects people of all ages [1*] . Both children and adults with ADHD face various difficulties, from poor focus and distractibility to impulsiveness and restlessness. While the symptoms are challenging to deal with, lots of people underestimate the impact [2*] of the disorder on their lives, and ADHD remains undiagnosed. In addition, someone may not know what healthcare professional to consult when the signs become severe.

In this article, you’ll find out more about ADHD symptoms to pay attention to, how healthcare professionals diagnose and treat this disorder, and how to talk to your doctor about ADHD in the first place.

It is possible to manage ADHD symptoms effectively. Consult a qualified healthcare provider online at MEDvidi.

ADHD: Main Characteristics

ADHD can be characterized by persistent inattention or impulsivity and hyperactivity. Based on these features, there are three types of the disorder: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive, and combined. The symptoms of any of them may significantly affect daily life. Although the symptoms of ADHD in adults [3*] can vary depending on the disorder type and individual specifics, the main ones are the following:

Inattention symptoms

Hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms

  • Trouble focusing, frequently making unintentional errors.

  • Inability to organize work and other activities.

  • Avoiding tasks that demand prolonged mental effort.

  • Frequently misplacing materials required for everyday tasks.

  • Being easily sidetracked by external stimuli.

  • Forgetting [4*] to do routine tasks.

  • Difficulty sitting quietly, frequently tapping or fidgeting.

  • Trouble doing quiet activities.

  • Talking too much and interfering with other people’s conversations or activities.

  • Making immediate decisions without taking the implications into account.

  • Trouble waiting for one’s turn.

  • Trouble controlling impulses, which results in impulsive spending or other impulsive behaviors.

ADHD has a complex nature and many diagnostic criteria, so only a healthcare provider can make a diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis and an assessment of all the symptoms and their impact on the patient’s life are essential when choosing the right treatment plan.

Who Can Diagnose and Treat ADHD

Different healthcare professionals have the expertise necessary to diagnose ADHD. When seeking help, consider consulting with the following professionals:

  • Primary care physician: Start by discussing your concerns with your primary care doctor. They can provide initial guidance and provide a treatment plan.
  • Psychiatrist: You can talk to a psychiatrist about ADHD symptoms because this medical professional specializes in mental health conditions. They may prescribe medications and offer psychotherapy. 
  • Psychologist: Psychologists can provide cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of talk therapy. They can help you develop coping strategies for managing ADHD symptoms but they cannot prescribe you medication.
  • Therapists and counselors: Occupational therapists, behavioral therapists, and counselors can offer practical strategies to manage ADHD-related challenges.
How to discuss ADHD with doctor

Explaining Your ADHD Symptoms: Prepare for an Appointment

The first step toward obtaining an accurate diagnosis is having a detailed conversation with your healthcare provider. So, to be ready to discuss all the important points during your appointment, it’s important to gather information and prepare questions in advance. Here are some aspects to analyze before you discuss ADHD with a doctor and a few recommendations for an appointment:

  • Gather medical history. Be prepared to discuss your medical history, including any past diagnoses, family history of ADHD or other mental health disorders, and medications you are taking. Also, take time to reflect on your past, especially any challenging academic experiences, childhood behaviors, or other times when you thought your ability to pay attention or concentrate was compromised.
  • Symptom list. Make a comprehensive list of symptoms you notice. Include the difficulties you confront and the traits you possess that may be associated with ADHD.
  • Discuss the impact and be honest. Being upfront and honest about how your symptoms affect your life is important. Describe how your symptoms of ADHD affect your daily activities, relationships, employment, and academic achievement.
  • Ask questions. Make a list of questions beforehand. They may be associated with a diagnosis, available treatments, probable drug adverse effects, therapy, self-help alternatives, and coping mechanisms.
  • Follow up. Make sure to regularly follow up with your doctor if you have been diagnosed with ADHD or receive treatment. You can discuss any issues and make the required adjustments while keeping track of your progress.

Share your concerns with a professional at MEDvidi to get an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.

How Do Doctors Diagnose ADHD?

The diagnostic process includes a thorough evaluation of a patient’s symptoms, their impact on daily life, and the specifics of health history. It may take more than one appointment to diagnose ADHD in some cases, and the process may involve the following steps:

  • Clinical interview. During an appointment, you will discuss your symptoms, health background, and any difficulties you may be having. A healthcare provider may also inquire about the medical background of your family. During the session, the doctor might also observe your attention span, impulsivity, and hyperactivity signs. The doctor will utilize the diagnostic criteria [5*] for ADHD listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
  • Questionnaires. You may be asked to complete standardized questionnaires that assess ADHD symptoms. These help provide a broader perspective on your behavior in different settings.
  • Medical examination. To rule out medical disorders that could be causing symptoms similar to those of ADHD, your healthcare provider might refer you to specialists who conduct a physical examination.
  • Neuropsychological testing. In some cases, neuropsychological tests may be used to assess cognitive functions like attention, memory, and impulse control.

Can Telemedicine Doctors Help You With ADHD?

Telemedicine has become a convenient way to access medical care, including mental health support for conditions like ADHD. At MEDvidi, you can have a video appointment with a healthcare provider from home. Licensed and experienced providers who have verified their credentials can offer ADHD treatment services both offline and online with the same efficacy. They can conduct thorough evaluations, prescribe medications, and create comprehensive treatment plans tailored to individual needs.

Schedule a telemedicine consultation and see an ADHD expert within 24 hours.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About ADHD

Your consultation with a mental health professional is a safe environment where you can ask anything about your mental symptoms, ways to deal with them, and other related questions. These are a few examples of questions you can ask your psychiatrist or another healthcare professional about ADHD:

  1. What are the common symptoms of ADHD, and how do they present?
  2. How is ADHD diagnosed or assessed?
  3. What treatment options are available?
  4. What are the proposed treatment’s potential advantages and disadvantages?
  5. How do therapies, support groups, or dietary modifications help with ADHD management?
  6. How is long-term management maintained and how frequent follow-up appointments should be?
  7. Do you now take any other medications that might interact with the ADHD medication you are taking?
  8. Are there any methods for enhancing concentration, planning, and time management?
  9. What tools or educational resources would you suggest for a better understanding of ADHD?

Awareness about ADHD symptoms and available treatments can help you develop coping skills, improve relationships with loved ones, and enhance productivity. Diagnosis and treatment process can foster self-acceptance and self-compassion, helping you appreciate your strengths and challenges.


Open and honest communication with an experienced healthcare provider is the key to an accurate ADHD diagnosis and proper treatment strategy. Reach out to MEDvidi professionals to make sure your concerns are heard, go through an in-depth assessment, and receive a personalized plan for coping with the disorder. By addressing ADHD, you invest in your long-term well-being and mental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

There isn’t a single definitive test but there are many standardized criteria. If you ask a doctor if you have ADHD, you may be given questionnaires and go through other various tests that help a mental health professional make a correct diagnosis. Sometimes, ADHD symptoms may overlap with co-occurring conditions but experienced healthcare providers can distinguish between them while conducting a thorough evaluation.

Adult ADHD might have symptoms similar to those of anxiety disorders and depression. For example, distractibility, impulsivity, and restlessness can be attributed to various conditions. However, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also has unique characteristics, and while it may take time to make a correct diagnosis, it’s possible to identify ADHD.

ADHD in adults usually requires a combination of treatment options. These may involve some of the following: behavioral therapies, counseling, medications, and various self-help techniques. Stimulant and non-stimulant medications can assist in managing symptoms, while counseling and therapy help to develop effective coping skills. Lifestyle adjustments tailored to the challenges posed by ADHD symptoms can all greatly enhance quality of life.

Not receiving treatment for ADHD can result in challenges in different areas of life such as work, relationships, and emotional stability. Neglected ADHD may lead to poor academic and occupational performance and heighten the possibility of experiencing mental health problems. It is important to seek professional help because a mental health professional can help you better understand your symptoms, validate your experiences, and recommend treatment options.

It is possible for people to manage ADHD by using non-pharmacological methods such as therapy, coping strategies, lifestyle changes, and structured routines. These approaches can effectively reduce symptoms and improve overall quality of life. The choice of treatment depends on the individual’s preferences and needs, and if your symptoms feel unbearable, it may be a sign to consult a doctor about starting to take ADHD medication.


5 sources
  1. ADHD in children and adults: diagnosis and prognosis. (2012)
    Source link
  2. Low self-awareness of ADHD in adults using a self-report screening questionnaire. (2012)
    Source link
  3. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults: What You Need to Know
    Source link
  4. ADHD and retrieval-induced forgetting: evidence for a deficit in the inhibitory control of memory. (2010)
    Source link
  5. Diagnosis in Adults
    Source link
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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.