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How to Talk to Your Doctor About ADHD

ADHD is a condition that affects millions of people, but it can often go undiagnosed. When you’re unable to manage your ADHD, it can impact your daily life in negative ways. If you think you may have ADHD, it’s important to feel comfortable talking to your doctor about it. Having a conversation with your doctor about your symptoms can get you the help and treatment you need.

Understand your symptoms

To diagnose ADHD, you will need to go over your symptoms with your doctor. Your doctor needs to understand your daily experiences and struggles. Remember, ADHD symptoms can also vary from person to person, so your experience with ADHD may be much different from someone else’s.

Before talking to your doctor, take some time to write down the symptoms you’ve been dealing with and how they’ve affected you. If you’ve already attempted to address these symptoms with lifestyle changes, make sure to note these as well. Giving your doctor a comprehensive view of your situation will help them create the best treatment plan possible for you.

It can also be helpful to do some research into the different potential treatments your doctor may suggest. Often, ADHD treatment will consist of lifestyle changes, therapy and counseling. If medically appropriate, your doctor may also recommend ADHD medication to help with your symptoms. Understanding all the different symptoms and treatment options will ensure you and your doctor have the most productive conversation possible about potential next steps. We’ll touch more on this point later.

As mentioned, it’s important to remember that not everyone will experience ADHD the same way. With that being said, here are some of the most common symptoms that manifest in individuals with ADHD:

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Difficulty staying organized
  • Getting distracted easily
  • Impulsiveness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Fidgeting
  • Trouble sitting still
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Restlessness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Procrastination

It’s also worth mentioning that ADHD symptoms can be exacerbated by certain factors like stress, lack of sleep, malnutrition and mood disorders. Make sure you’re thorough when talking about your situation and mention to your doctor if you feel like any of these factors could be contributing to your condition.

Write down your questions

You will likely have a lot of questions to ask your doctor, and it’s best to get them all answered when you’re first discussing with them. Make sure you don’t forget any of your questions by jotting them down. This way you can come prepared, and you’ll feel more informed about your situation after your appointment. Here are some helpful questions you may want to ask your doctor:

What lifestyle changes can help manage my symptoms?

  • Lifestyle changes are often one of the first treatment options for managing ADHD symptoms. For some people, this may be enough to help them reduce the impact of ADHD on their daily lives.

What are my potential triggers?

  • As mentioned, certain things can worsen ADHD symptoms. Stress, mood disorders, lack of sleep and diet all may contribute to worsening your ADHD symptoms.

Do you have any resources for ADHD?

  • Your doctor may be able to recommend local or online ADHD websites, support groups and centers that can help you learn more about your condition.

How will we keep track of my progress?

  • Your doctor should have a comprehensive timeline for checking in and tracking your progress. This should be a regular part of any ADHD treatment plan so that you can make adjustments to your treatment as necessary.

Are there non-medication treatment options?

  • Most doctors will opt to go for other treatment routes before prescribing ADHD medication. These will typically consist of lifestyle changes and therapy.

Why are you recommending medication?

  • If your doctor opts to prescribe ADHD medication, feel free to ask them why they decided on this path for treatment.

If your doctor decides to prescribe ADHD medication, you may have other questions. Such as:

  • Why are you prescribing this ADHD medication?
  • There are several different types of ADHD medication. Your doctor can provide you with more details about the one they’ve chosen.
  • What are the side effects?
  • It’s important to know what the potential side effects are so you know how the medication may impact your life, and so you can report side effects to your doctor if they occur.
  • How long will it take for this medication to start working?
  • Knowing your treatment timeline is an important part of the process. If your medication isn’t working, your doctor will need to know about it.

You may even have more questions than this, but this is a good place to start. Remember, your doctor should be there to help and guide you through this process as comfortably as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask them any questions about their reasoning and treatment methods. It’s your health, so you’re well within your rights to ask about it.

Talk with a doctor you feel comfortable around

All of these tips will be much easier to follow if you have a doctor you feel comfortable around. You may already have a primary care doctor who you trust and who you’ve known for years. If they have experience with ADHD, this can help make the process much easier.

With that being said, it can sometimes be difficult to find a new doctor when you don’t have a primary care doctor or if your doctor doesn’t have experience with ADHD.

To find a primary care doctor who will make you as comfortable as possible, start by researching your options. You can check online to see if there are local options or telehealth options for doctors who have experience treating ADHD. This initial research phase will allow you to read reviews and decide if a doctor could be right for you.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice, you can interview prospective doctors to make sure they’re right for you. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions. Interviewing and talking to them will help you decide if you find them easy to talk to. It will also help you learn if they’re attentive and caring with their patients.

Finally, don’t hesitate to explore other options if your doctor isn’t working out. You should always feel comfortable and safe speaking to your doctor. It makes it easier for you to talk openly about your symptoms and get the best care possible.

Be specific when describing your concerns

We talked about the potential symptoms you might experience when you have ADHD, but your doctor needs to know about your specific concerns and how the symptoms impact your life. Explain the challenges you’re facing with ADHD and how often these challenges occur.

If possible, provide concrete examples of times your ADHD has affected you. Some generic examples that may apply to you are falling behind on tasks at work or having trouble communicating with a partner. 

These specific scenarios can help your doctor better understand your condition and create a more tailored, effective treatment plan for you. Always be as open and honest as possible when describing these concerns to your doctor.

Consider bringing a friend or family member

Not everyone is comfortable in medical settings, which is why it can be helpful to bring a friend or family member you trust. This will provide additional support for you, and your friend or family member can come with questions of their own. They can also take notes on the conversation so you have more insight after your appointment.

It can be even more helpful to bring a friend or family member who has experience with ADHD or who has struggled with it themselves. Their perspective may be helpful, and they can advocate for you when you feel out of your depth. Overall, even just having another person who you’re comfortable with around can make it easier to be open and honest during your appointment.

Ask about treatment plans and next steps

Once your doctor has diagnosed you with ADHD, a treatment plan will be next. Based on your symptoms and your experiences with ADHD, your doctor will design a treatment plan that will address these concerns to improve your daily life. Therapy and lifestyle changes are effective non-medication options.

If medically appropriate, your doctor may also decide to prescribe medications. Regardless of the treatment plan you land on, you should discuss the next steps with your doctor. The next steps will usually consist of implementing the treatment plan and scheduling regular check-ins to see how you are progressing. It’s important to be comfortable with your doctor so that you can provide honest feedback about your treatment plan. Let them know if your symptoms are improving or if they’re worsening. Don’t hesitate to let them know about any concerns you may have at each check-in.

Following these tips will help you advocate for yourself when seeking help with ADHD. If you need help finding a primary care provider, Circle Medical can help.

Can telemedicine doctors help you with ADHD?

Did you know that you can get an ADHD diagnosis and treatment from the comfort of your home? Telehealth has advanced to the point where you can receive the same quality of care as an in-person physician. Instead of dealing with all the inconveniences of finding a doctor in your local area and getting to the clinic, you can simply use your mobile device to get the ADHD care you need.

A telemedicine provider like Circle Medical can diagnose you, create treatment plans, refer you to specialists and even prescribe medication when medically appropriate.

Talk to a Telehealth Doctor Today

Circle Medical has a team of over 200 board-certified primary care providers who can provide you with quality and convenient care. If you think you may have ADHD, our providers can provide a comprehensive assessment virtually. If you’re diagnosed, we can move on to treatment. It’s that easy, and you don’t even have to leave your couch!

Get Treatment with Circle Medical

Circle Medical offers same-day appointments. Schedule your first appointment and attend right from our mobile app. If you’re a good candidate for treatment, you can take all of your appointments and receive care right from the same app. Our treatment doesn’t stop at ADHD either. Circle Medical providers can help treat a variety of conditions. Schedule your same-day appointment to get started!

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