Can My Primary Care Physician Diagnose ADHD?

Getting an accurate dr t primary care harlingen tx diagnosis is the most important step in effective treatment, but unfortunately this condition is not so easy to identify. While a lot of people are familiar with the common symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity, the majority of people (including professionals) are just not trained or aware of what is really happening with an individual struggling with ADHD.

For this reason alone, it is very important that you see the right doctor when being evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD. Believe it or not, but all doctors and professionals are not created equally.

In fact, a lot of people want to know if their primary physician or their child’s pediatrician can diagnose ADHD. But the real question people need to ask themselves is, “should your physician or pediatrician make an ADHD diagnosis?

ADHD Is Poorly Understood

ADHD is an incredibly complex condition that most people do not understand, including doctors. If you think of your family physician, they are trained as a generalist. They evaluate, assess, diagnose, and treat almost everything they can unless they feel a referral to a specialist is called for.

The tricky part about seeing your family doctor to diagnose ADHD is that in most cases they are NOT a specialist. They are NOT always trained or aware of all the intricacies and subtle differences between ADHD and other conditions.

The more and more we learn about ADHD, the more we realize that ADHD is a condition of “variable attention” and NOT inattention. We also know that ADHD is more about motivation that it is about attention deficit.

The other important differences to be aware include “co-morbid” or what we call co-existing conditions. True ADHD very rarely comes alone. It is commonly found with other conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, non-verbal learning disability, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, and many more.

Your doctor also needs to be aware that there are many conditions, both mental health and medical diagnoses, where the common symptoms of ADHD also appear. One psychiatrist I collaborate with has said that these symptoms (hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity) are like going to the doctor with a high fever.

In other words, we know something is going on, but we need to look closer and rule out a number of other conditions before we know for a fact that we are dealing with is ADHD.

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