9 Places to Find Help for ADHD

Health Writer
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If you or your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis and seek treatment from someone familiar with ADHD, but it isn’t always easy to find a medical provider that can help. Because of the limitations of some providers — for example, some can prescribe medication and some can’t — you might need more than one medical provider. The following are places that can help you find treatment for ADHD.


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Your family doctor

Many people start with their family doctor because it is someone they know and trust. Although some family doctors and pediatricians feel comfortable diagnosing ADHD, many prefer to refer you to a specialist.


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Psychiatrists

A psychiatrist is one of the few medical professionals who can prescribe medication and offer therapy to treat the emotional issues that often come with living with ADHD. However, many psychiatrists work closely with a psychologist or counselor to provide those services while they have routine visits to determine and monitor medication.


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Psychologists

Psychologists can diagnose ADHD and treat with non-medication therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or emotional support. They cannot prescribe medication. Many work closely with a psychiatrist for those people who use medication to reduce symptoms of ADHD.


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Neurologists

Neurologists work with disorders of the brain and nervous system. They can diagnose, prescribe, and monitor medications for ADHD. These doctors do not provide counseling or treatment for the behavioral and emotional aspects of ADHD.


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Community mental health centers

Many communities have a community mental health center that offers services by psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and other programs, such as support groups and peer mentoring. You can locate centers near you through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) treatment services locator. You can also contact your local health department to request information on community mental health centers.


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Universities and colleges

If you live near a university or college, they may offer mental health services through their psychiatry or psychology departments. Call and request to speak with the head of the department. If they do not offer services, they may be able to provide you with local referrals.


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Professional organizations

Professional organizations provide a listing of their members. You can search for a psychiatrist through the American Psychiatric Association and a psychologist at the American Psychological Association: Find a Psychologist.


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National ADHD organizations

The two major national ADHD organizations both have a provider directory on their site. The directory at CHADD: The National Resource on ADHD allows you to search by type of professional, populations served, and a particular location. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association's (ADDA) Professional Directory allows you to search by keyword and location.


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Support groups

Support groups can provide emotional and social support for living with ADHD. In addition, they are a great place to ask for referrals. Many of the people in the group already have experience with local professionals and can tell you which ones were most helpful. Look for local support groups at CHADD and ADDA.