why should an ADD diagnosis be from a psychiatrist?

My son has been evaluated for ADD. Our first step was with his pediatrician. He stated that although certain professionals think this diagnosis should only be done through a licensed child psychiatrist he felt that it was overkill and most ADD can be diagnosed by the primary provider. He had me and the teacher fill out an evaluation and because of our answers felt my son would do well on stimulants.

But still I wonder if the procedure is different with a psychiatrist. I don't think he needs additional therapy because he is not a behavior problem and his grades are A-B. He really just has attention issues and he gets lost and bogged down in the details.


ETA.... but in the end isn't the psych going to prescribe the same Rx? I mean anyone can do that. I really don't think my son needs therapy. I truly don't. He just needs something to sit his mind still. It's not like the ped overdosed him. I checked and it's the minimum dosage. I"m not trying to justify but I'm just asking what do they might do different during the diagnosis process.

8 Answers

  • TomTom
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hey I'm not a psychiatrist but I am a psychologist. The rating evaluation forms are generally what we use to diagnose the condition.

    Also someone referred to ADHD as a mental illness, it is actually a developmental illness


    By what you have said it sounds like you son has Attention Deficit Disorder - Primarily inattentive type.

    With all ADHD we do recommend stimulant medication but it needs to be taken into consideration that sometimes there are negative effects with the medication and that is why other interventions are given.

    If it is the primarily inattentive type, than I'm not sure how much help behavioral interventions would be to your son. These problems are individually tailored for the needs of the children but they generally aim at improving behavior through the use of parenting programs which help parents establish effective communication, recognize and repond to good behavior and reduce bad behavior through cost response and time out.

  • 9 years ago

    Because ADD is a mental health diagnosis and a psychiatrist has the additional training and certifications to be qualified to make that diagnosis. Would you expect a primary care doctor to do open heart surgery?

    Fact is, ADD is often over-diagnosed and misdiagnosed by primary care providers. Take your child to a specialist. The medications for ADD are nothing to mess around with.

    Source(s): RN -- Child/Adolescent psych experience.
  • 9 years ago

    To your edit: Not necessarily. There are many successful behavioural therapies which actually help the child learn how to cope on their own so they do not need drugs. A psychiatrist is trained to know that and a doctor is not. Most people try the behavioural therapy first to avoid drugging their child because it can work wonders, and then the child doesn't need to rely on drugs to do everything. A good psychiatrist would not jump straight on drugs, and would try other options first, since there are many.

  • 9 years ago

    I took my daughter to 4 different doctors (including a psychiatrist) to get the confirmation. I was in denial and blamed my parenting.

    I think it can't possibly hurt to see many doctors to get that sort of diagnoses.

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  • 9 years ago

    If the people doing the diagnosis have no knowledge of neurology and the child is under 6. Then no, they should not be doing a diagnosis.

  • 9 years ago

    In general a psychiatrist is the only one who is licensed to diagnose ADHD and other mental illnesses.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I think with people suffering from disorders therapies are important

    I myself have OCD and I always get A grades

  • 9 years ago

    because ADD is a mental disorder and a psychiatrist is a doctor specializing in mental disorders

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