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A Comprehensive Guide To Getting Diagnosed With ADHD Online

Millions of people in the U.S. have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, aka ADHD. If you’re experiencing symptoms of this common mental disorder, you may be wondering if you’re one of them. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to have a thorough ADHD medical assessment. Online clinics allow you to get an assessment and possible diagnosis for ADHD from the comfort of your own home. In this blog, we’ll talk about the process of getting an ADHD diagnosis online and what happens after the diagnosis. Read on to learn more.

A Brief Introduction

Online care has come a long way in recent years, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic supercharged the need for such services. Now online primary care is a modern convenience that more people than ever can get access to. For those dealing with ADHD symptoms, it can be a convenient way to get a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Before diving into the way ADHD diagnosis works, let’s talk about some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate you have ADHD.

Signs You May Have ADHD as an Adult

ADHD, or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is one of the most common mental disorders in children and teens. However, ADHD can persist well into adulthood, and the symptoms may appear less obvious. Regardless, these symptoms can affect your daily life and impact work, school and relationships. If you suspect you have ADHD as an adult, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating or staying focused
  • Difficulty with organization
  • Difficulty with time management
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impulsivity
  • Being easily distracted
  • Restlessness
  • Fidgeting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Racing thoughts

Everyone experiences ADHD differently, so you may only have one or a few of the common symptoms of ADHD. It’s also worth noting that experiencing some of these symptoms doesn’t always mean you have ADHD. However, if these symptoms are impacting your life, you should consider getting an evaluation to rule it out or diagnose it officially.

Next, let’s dive into the importance of diagnosing ADHD.

The Importance of Diagnosing ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)

ADHD can often go undiagnosed, especially in adults and even more so in adult women. Modern demands mean that symptoms of ADHD can often be attributed to burnout, laziness or lack of effort. However, these mischaracterizations can stigmatize ADHD and discourage people from seeking out an evaluation.

The truth is the symptoms of ADHD can drastically impact numerous aspects of a person’s life. School, work and social lives can be disrupted by ADHD symptoms, which can exacerbate symptoms and lead to low self-esteem and even other mental disorders like anxiety or depression.

Seeking a medical evaluation of your symptoms, will help you understand why these symptoms occur and help you gain access to effective treatment plans. Therapy, lifestyle adjustments and medication, when deemed necessary, can all help to manage ADHD symptoms and improve overall quality of life. 

Furthermore, a diagnosis can provide validation and relief for individuals who have struggled quietly with their symptoms and felt misunderstood. ADHD symptoms aren’t personal flaws but rather the cause of a real medical condition. Having the support of treatment and support systems can also make ADHD more manageable in the long run.

Understanding the Diagnostic Process

The diagnostic process for ADHD can be complex, as ADHD affects everyone differently. It involves a thorough evaluation of your symptoms, medical history and personal experiences. Understanding this process is crucial to obtaining an accurate diagnosis and receiving the necessary treatment and support. 

Typically, you can expect the diagnostic process with a comprehensive assessment and evaluation. This process may involve questionnaires, questions about medical history, questions about personal experiences where you feel ADHD may have impacted you and more. Your health care provider will look for the core symptoms of ADHD during their assessment to see if a diagnosis is appropriate.

Part of the diagnostic process will also involve ruling out other symptoms that bear similarities to ADHD. This will ensure that a correct diagnosis is made and the best possible treatment plan can be put together.

As for the online vs. in-person evaluations, there really isn’t much difference. Your online assessment is conducted remotely through a video call, and you can often fill out your questionnaires and provide medical history through an online patient portal.

What Kind of Doctor Should You See?

For an ADHD diagnosis, you can typically go to a primary care provider. Primary care providers are trained to recognize the symptoms of ADHD and develop treatment plans to help you manage the condition. In some cases, they may refer you to a specialist if they suspect additional testing is needed to rule out other conditions, but this isn’t common.

If you want to make the process as convenient and comfortable as possible, you can go to a primary care clinic like Circle Medical that offers in-person and online evaluations. An online primary care provider is also qualified to diagnose and treat ADHD. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. Clinics like Circle Medical can also provide you with an online portal that provides easy appointment scheduling, an easy way to submit documents and an easy way to connect directly with your provider.

Scheduling an Online ADHD Evaluation 

Online primary care has become more accessible than ever. As long as online care is provided in your state, you just need to follow these steps:

  • Choose a provider — First, you will need to find an online primary care provider that can provide care in your state. Circle Medical offers online primary care services to a variety of states, allowing you to easily connect to medical professionals from the comfort of your home.
  • Schedule your appointment — After you choose your provider, you can schedule your appointment. Circle Medical offers same-day appointments so you can get started with the process as soon as possible.
  • Attend your appointment — The next step is typically the evaluation process, where your primary care provider will determine if you’re a good candidate for ADHD treatment. If you receive an initial diagnosis, you will then need to provide medical history and complete an annual wellness exam if you haven’t already elsewhere. 
  • Treatment — If you are diagnosed with ADHD, your primary care provider will begin developing your treatment plan with you. We’ll touch on treatment plans in a bit.

How To Get an Accurate Diagnosis

Getting an accurate diagnosis for ADHD is crucial to receive proper treatment and support. While online evaluations can be a convenient and accessible option, it's important to provide accurate information to your primary care provider. Here are some steps you can take to ensure an accurate diagnosis:

  • Be honest and thorough — When filling out questionnaires or speaking with your provider, make sure to be as honest and open as possible about your experiences, symptoms and concerns. This will give your provider the information they need to make an accurate assessment of your condition.
  • Gather relevant information — If you have journaled or taken notes on your symptoms, make sure to bring them to your evaluation. It can also be helpful to have past medical records prepared, though your provider will eventually ask for that regardless. 
  • Bring a trusted friend or family member — If you feel nervous about your appointment, it can help to bring a trusted friend or family member. They cannot only provide insights about your symptoms that you may not have noticed, but they can also lend an ear and take notes in case you miss anything your provider says.
  • Prepare questions — Come prepared with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the evaluation process or ADHD in general. This will help ensure that you have a productive and informative discussion with your health care professional.

Developing a Treatment Plan

If you are diagnosed with ADHD, the next step is developing a treatment plan. Since everyone has unique experiences with ADHD, your primary care provider will help to tailor the treatment plan to you and your specific needs. ADHD treatment may involve a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes and medication. Let’s take a closer look at each:

  • Therapy — Therapy can be highly beneficial for individuals with ADHD. A common form of therapy used for managing ADHD is cognitive-behavioral therapy. CBT can identify specific ADHD behaviors and individual exhibits and give them strategies to cope with and manage these behaviors.
  • Lifestyle and behavior modifications — Making lifestyle modifications can also help address ADHD symptoms. Implementing strategies such as setting routines, creating a structured environment and using organizational tools can help minimize distractions and improve focus. Other changes like exercise, diet and meditation may also help.
  • ADHD medication — If your primary care provider deems medication to be an appropriate treatment approach, they may prescribe you evidence-based medication options to alleviate ADHD symptoms. Regardless, your provider will monitor your progress and any side effects and adjust dosage and medication as necessary. While medication isn’t always the first route to take for ADHD treatment, it can be effective and is even more effective when combined with therapy and lifestyle changes.

Additional Support and Resources

It’s important to remember you’re not alone in your struggle with ADHD. There are a lot of resources and support systems available to help you feel less isolated. These resources can include:

  • Support groups and forums — There are plenty of in-person and online support groups for ADHD, so you can find a sense of community no matter where you are. These groups and forums allow people to share their ADHD experiences and even share strategies and coping mechanisms they use to manage symptoms.
  • Online platforms and apps — It can be helpful to use the power of technology to manage ADHD symptoms. Various platforms and apps are designed to help with the symptoms of ADHD. These apps include features for organization, time management, productivity and more, which can help you stay on top of your responsibilities and daily tasks.
  • Friends and family — As always, it can help to include the support system you already have in your ADHD journey. Letting friends and family know about your condition can give you a supportive environment and help them gain a better understanding of your struggles.

Book an appointment with a Circle Medical telehealth provider today!

If you think you may have ADHD, then it’s time to consider getting an evaluation. Circle Medical makes it convenient to get an assessment through our online primary care clinic. Best of all, we have same-day appointments. Schedule your appointment today to see if you’re a good candidate for treatment.

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