Talking to Your Doctor About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Bring someone else to your appointment with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- If you are not happy with your doctor, find a new one. You are in this for the long haul.
- I understand this is a tricky diagnosis to make. Can you reassure me that it is correct?
- Are other conditions also present?
- Can we create a comprehensive list of all the interventions we need to make—at school, at home, in the family, and with medicines?
- What other health professionals should we invite onto our treatment team?
Do you recommend medicine? If so,
- Can you assure me that this medicine is necessary and at the proper dose?
- For how long will the medicine be necessary?
- Please tell me everything I need to be aware of when using this medicine.
- Other than medicine, what treatments do you recommend?
- What kinds of alternative options are available?
- How often should I schedule return visits?
- May we sit down and plan together all the areas we need to deal with—such as school, home, family and medicines?
- What is the best schooling plan for this case of ADHD?
- Do you recommend a change of school, occupation, or working environment?
- What can I expect in the future?
How can I arrange my life to get the most out of it?
- Educational goals
- Vocational goals
- Family and social expectations
ADHD basics. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/adhd/Pages/ADHD-Basics.aspx . Accessed August 14, 2012.
ADHD. The Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/learning/adhd.html . Accessed August 14, 2012.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated April 11, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2012.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated April 25, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2012.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/what-is-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder.shtml . Accessed August 14, 2012.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Management. American Family Physician. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd.html . Accessed August 14, 2012.
Stern T, Rosenbaum J, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch S. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2008.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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