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VNA of Care New England
VNA of Care New England

Talking to Your Doctor About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about personal risk factors and/or experience with ADHD. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in treatment. Because ADHD reaches into every corner of life, dedicated involvement of close family and friends is vital to successful treatment.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
  • 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 medications?
  • What other health professionals should we invite onto our treatment team?
  • Do you recommend medication? If so,
    • Can you assure me that this medication is necessary and at the proper dose?
    • For how long will the medication be necessary?
    • Please tell me everything I need to be aware of when using this medication.
  • Other than medication, 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 medications?
  • 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

References

ADHD. The Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/learning/adhd.html. Accessed August 14, 2012.

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.

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, et al. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2008.

Revision Information

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