Adult ADHD: Why See a Specialist?


Allie Lemco Toren

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Adult ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a complex condition that can impact every aspect of your life. That’s why all adult ADHD patients should follow unique treatment plans tailored to their specific needs. But your primary care doctor may not have all the information you need to manage your adult ADHD successfully. That’s where specialists come in: an adult ADHD specialist, called a psychiatrist, has the right skills and insight to help you stay in control of your adult ADHD. Here’s why:

1. A psychiatrist completes extensive training in adult ADHD and is an expert in adult ADHD care.

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in treating diseases related to your mental health. Your mental health is involved in many aspects of human health, so psychiatrists must train extensively to master this area of study. A psychiatrist will have expertise in treating adult ADHD and other conditions related to mental health.

All doctors complete a training program called a residency after they finish medical school. During residency, psychiatrists-in-training acquire essential clinical skills under the supervision of experienced psychiatrists. Their caseloads include patients with adult ADHD and other mental health disorders. At the end of this training, these doctors are eligible to take an exam to become board-certified psychiatrists. Look for a doctor who is board certified in psychiatry and you’ll know you’re seeing an expert.

2. A psychiatrist never stops learning about adult ADHD.

To maintain their board certifications, psychiatrists must keep up with new developments in their field. They must complete continuing education and renew their medical licenses every few years, depending on the state in which they practice and other factors. By following these requirements, board-certified psychiatrists stay on top of new treatments and discoveries about the mechanisms involved in adult ADHD, so they can then provide their patients with insightful, informed, and up-to-date treatment plans.

3. A psychiatrist has extensive experience in treating adult ADHD.

Psychiatrists see a higher volume and concentration of patients with adult ADHD, and thus are more experienced in treating the condition successfully. Because they see lots of patients with adult ADHD, they can add real-world knowledge of the disease to their academic and clinical training. They’re able to use new techniques to determine the best treatment plan, have a deeper understanding of how adult ADHD impacts your day-to-day life, share insight about effectively implementing lifestyle changes, and recognize symptoms that a general practitioner may miss, among other skills.

4. A psychiatrist is a team player.

Psychiatrists work with teams of other health care providers who treat patients with adult ADHD and can connect patients with therapists, nutritionists, life coaches, and other experts in adult ADHD management. Working with a team can help patients address all aspects of the condition and ensure success.

5. It’s easy to find the right psychiatrist for you.

There are thousands of psychiatrists in the United States, so how do you know which is the right doctor for you? By searching on, you can identify the best psychiatrist to help you manage your adult ADHD successfully.

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Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Sep 19, 2017

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