Saturday, April 7, 2007

Treatment Can Be Slow

It can take months before everything is in place for treatment of ADD, and that is after an initial screening. Here are some typical steps involved:

  1. Get diagnosed by a psychologist who specializes in ADD or ADHD. (Getting an appointment can take 2-4 months)
  2. If the psychologist decides you have ADD or ADHD and recommends pharmaceutical treatment, you then need to find a physician with experience in ADD to prescribe medication. (If you don't already have a doctor or a doctor who is willing to treat ADD, this can take about a month.)
  3. Finding the optimal medication(s) & dosage(s) with your doctor can take weeks to months; there is some trial and error involved.
  4. It might also be good to get treated by a clinical psychologist. ADD does not happen to you in a vacuum, and your emotional health might also be affected and require attention. Your physician can help you figure out if a clinical psychologist is appropriate for you. (However, getting an appointment with a psychologist can take months.)
  5. A support group might also be available, and is likely listed in your local free weekly newspaper.
For each health professional you see, the first visit is typically a history-taking visit with some initial action taken. However, it might not be until your 3rd or 4th appointment that you start making satisfying progress-- where you and your health care professional understand each other and feel that your current plan of action is effective.

It seems that it would be much better to make appointments with all the health care professionals at the very start, and then cancel appointments as appropriate. Also, it might be good to see psychiatrist who can diagnose ADD, prescribe medications as necessary, and even attend to you emotional health, but the shortage of psychiatrists can make this difficult as well.

The point I'm trying to make is that getting treated can take a long time, but it appears that scheduling all elements early can greatly reduce lag time you might otherwise endure.