How Do I Choose the Best Psychiatrist for ADHD?

Erin J. Hill

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADHD), it’s important that you choose a psychiatrist that specializes in this disorder, and that he or she works with patients of the appropriate age. Young children who have ADHD will have different needs than adults, and the earlier that symptoms are accurately diagnosed, the more likely treatment will be successful. Likewise, adults who are newly diagnosed with need to find a psychiatrist for ADHD treatment techniques tailored for them.

A patient's comfort level with a psychiatrist is an important factor when choosing someone to confide in.
A patient's comfort level with a psychiatrist is an important factor when choosing someone to confide in.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition that is usually characterized by a lack of concentration, trouble learning due to racing thoughts, trouble sitting still, self-esteem issues, trouble finishing things, and additional symptoms. It is often noted in childhood, but some patients do not get a definitive diagnosis until later in life. Those with ADHD may have trouble in school, and they are often noted to have problems following directions and sitting still. This can lead to lowered self-confidence and other educational difficulties.

Parents of children with the disorder should look for a psychiatrist for ADHD who specializes in pediatrics. Speak with any potential candidates about their past experience, education, and the success rates he or she has had with other children. You will likely be referred to a psychiatrist or another healthcare professional by your pediatrician, but it is not necessary that you continue seeing the first person you are referred to.

When finding the right psychiatrist for ADHD in children, allow your child to interact with him or her to make sure your child is comfortable. Children will be more likely to talk about any issues they are having if it’s someone they are comfortable with. Listen to your child’s opinion when it comes to care providers, since you want him or her to be as cooperative as possible during sessions.

If you are choosing a psychiatrist for ADHD to help yourself deal with a recent diagnosis, follow similar instructions for yourself. Speak with several people and get a feel of how well you will get along with each of them. Your choices may be limited if you have a restrictive insurance plan, or if there aren’t many psychiatrists in your area. Check your local phone directory, online, or with your family doctor for a reference.

More than one professional may be needed to help those with ADHD. A psychiatrist can help with medical support and other resources, while tutors or counselors may also be needed to help with educational issues and emotional problems caused by the condition. With an aggressive treatment started as soon as possible, ADHD is highly treatable.

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