4 Questions to Ask a Psychiatrist about ADHD
ADHD is caused by abnormalities in the brain that impact attention and behavior in predictable ways. People with ADHD, for example, are more readily distracted than those who do not have it. ADHD might make it difficult to concentrate, listen well, wait, or take your time. ADHD is a common childhood disorder that can last into adulthood. Dr. Soroya Bacchus, MD, at Psychiatry Unplugged, provides comprehensive and personalized treatment for ADHD. Visit our board-certified psychiatrist today. We have convenient locations to serve you in Los Angeles, CA and Glendale, CA. For more information, call us or book an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
What should I ask my psychiatrist about ADHD?
How do I prepare for an ADHD appointment?
How will I know if the treatments are working?
What types of therapy may help?
Going in for testing for any type of condition can be daunting if you don’t know what to expect or how to best prepare. For ADHD testing, there are so many different symptoms that you can be experiencing and questions that you may have for your psychiatrist that it may be difficult to keep track of everything. As with any kind of appointment, there can be copious amounts of information to keep track of that you will need to reference later. It is important to know how to best prepare and organize your thoughts for these types of appointments.
Suppose you are meeting with a psychiatrist for the initial testing for an ADHD diagnosis. In that case, it is always good to ask what that testing entails, what steps to expect after the testing is complete, and what the diagnosis could mean for you. If you have received an ADHD diagnosis, some recommended questions to make sure that you and your psychiatrist discuss include what treatment options are available for you, clarifying which type of ADHD you have been diagnosed with, how this diagnosis and treatment might affect other aspects of your life, if you are prescribed a medication, what the symptoms may look like and if it interferes with any other medication you may be taking, and how long it may take before you notice results after starting treatment. ADHD is also commonly a co-occurring disorder, meaning that it is usually found in patients alongside other mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, so it is a good idea to make sure you are tested for any other disorders as well. If you do have children, ask what the symptoms of ADHD may look like in them, as ADHD has been shown to be hereditary.
Before going to your appointment for ADHD with a psychiatrist, some things you can do to better prepare for the conversation and diagnosis include writing down any scenarios that you have experienced recently that you think may be a result of ADHD, and any questions that you have been able to think about ahead of time to ensure that everything that you would like discussed is remembered. Research some symptoms beforehand and write down any that resonate with you and your concerns. Bringing a pad of paper or something to write down any information that the psychiatrist provides, including answers to your questions or expectations for the next steps, is also a great way to help remember any important information you might need later.
Most ADHD medications will take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks to start working, and many people will need to have their medication amount or type adjusted to ensure that the treatment they are receiving is the best fit for them, so it can take up to a few months before the intended results are experienced. You will be able to tell if the medication has started working correctly once you start feeling less anxious and notice fewer mood swings taking place. You should be able to complete tasks that you previously found harder to focus on or boring much more easily and faster, and you will experience more control over behavioral impulses. Impulse control will translate to more control over physical, verbal, and thought impulses, allowing you to feel calmer and more in control in general.
There are 3 types of ADHD, and the treatments or therapies for them are all pretty similar. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most common treatments for ADHD psychotherapy, used to help patients with procrastination, time management, developing healthier coping strategies, and encouraging adaptive thinking. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a treatment for ADHD that uses meditation and mindfulness to teach the brain to have more control over daydreaming and distractibility, observe emotional states, better regulate emotion, and improve overall executive functioning. A few other types of ADHD therapy include dialectic behavioral therapy, ADHD coaching, supportive psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy, group therapy, and narrative therapy, so there are many different options to choose from to make sure that you are able to find the type of therapy that works best for you.
Dr. Soroya Bacchus, MD, and Nicole Oquindo, NP, of Psychiatry Unplugged, are qualified psychiatrists and mental health specialists who specialize in ADHD treatment. We have convenient locations near you in Glendale, CA and Los Angeles CA. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Los Angeles CA, Glendale CA, Beverly Hills CA, Santa Monica CA, Hollywood CA, Burbank CA, and Pasadena CA.