How to Find a Doctor For ADD / ADHD
What types of doctors or other professionals provide treatment for ADD / ADHD? So many options are out there that it may sometimes seem confusing. How does one decide between all the different healthcare providers -– pediatricians, family physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, and counselors? Once you’ve narrowed down your search, how do you choose the right person?
Concerns are often first brought to the primary physician, your pediatrician or family doctor. Your doctor may make an initial assessment and referral to a specialist.
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are qualified to diagnose ADHD, prescribe medication if appropriate, and provide counseling, psychotherapy, support, and ADHD education.
- Psychologists are qualified to diagnose and provide counseling, psychotherapy, support and education, but cannot prescribe medications in most states.
- Pediatricians/Family Physicians and Neurologists are medical doctors who are qualified to diagnose, prescribe medication, and provide education and support, but do not provide formal psychotherapy.
- Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and Registered Nurses (NPs) have Masters degrees in nursing, are Board Certified and licensed by states to diagnose ADHD, prescribe medication if appropriate, and provide counseling, support, and ADHD education.
- Mental Health Counselors, Therapists, and Clinical Social Workers can diagnose and provide support, education, and counseling, but do not prescribe medication.
Find out who in your area specializes in the treatment of ADHD. Meet with them. The best mental health providers are well trained, approachable, nonjudgmental, kind, and communicate well. If you have narrowed it down to a few knowledgeable experts and still can’t decide, go with the one with whom you feel most comfortable.