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How Do I Get Help for ADHD?

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From a young woman in the U.S.: I’m 100% certain I have ADD/ADHD. How do I talk to my doctor without seeming like a drug seeker? I need help with this disorder and I keep getting brushed off. The more doctors I see the worse the stigma seems to get.

How Do I Get Help for ADHD?

Answered by on -


I’m so sorry you are having difficulty getting the help you need. With the drug addiction crisis being what it is in some areas, I’m sure you understand doctors’ hesitance to prescribe medications. But ADHD is a real disorder. Medications are often helpful.

I think you may be seeing the wrong kind of doctor. I suggest that you find a mental health practice or clinic that offers a complete array of services: Assessments, Psychotherapy, and Psychiatry. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor whose specialty is treating mental health disorders. That’s the doctor you need.

Ask for a formal assessment to determine if a diagnosis of ADHD is, in fact, appropriate to your symptoms. If the finding is positive, then do two things:

Make an appointment with a psychiatrist. The assessment will provide the doctor with a rationale for treating you with medication, if needed. In addition, make an appointment with a therapist to help you learn how to manage your symptoms.

Medication can help tone down the ADHD, but it isn’t a “cure”. You need to learn some new coping skills to help you work around your symptoms so they don’t interfere with your ability to be successful at whatever you choose to do. That’s where a therapist comes in.

Whether or not you meet the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD, you are apparently having difficulty with concentration, organization and prioritization. I’m guessing that’s why you are “100% convinced” you have ADHD. But the explanation may be more about what you’ve learned (or not learned) about time management. A therapist will teach you skills and will provide the support you need while you work to put them into practice.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

How Do I Get Help for ADHD?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). How Do I Get Help for ADHD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 19 Dec 2019 (Originally: 21 Dec 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 19 Dec 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.