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441 US 130,

East Windsor, NJ 08520

(609) 336-7518

09AM to 05PM EST

Can a Primary Care Doctor Diagnose ADHD?

In the modern age, where distractions are never-ending. The concept of focus and concentration has taken an entirely new dimension.

This struggle is more than a passing discomfort for those with ADHD.

ADHD is a growing ailment that majorly affects children. However, adults can also get affected by it. ADHD causes behavioral alterations in a person. It is a matter of concern and needs proper care. If you ever encounter ADHD symptoms the best step you can take is to consult a primary care clinic. It will help you to have proper diagnosis and treatment.

Today we will explore ADHD and the role of primary care doctors in its diagnosis. We will also bring to light the factors and collaborative efforts that support people facing ADHD.

Understanding ADHD

ADHD also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurological illness. It affects both children and adults. People with ADHD may have trouble concentrating and managing aggressive behavior.

ADHD affects around 5.9% of children and 2.5% of adults as stated in a research study. The actual cause of ADHD is unknown. However, it includes various genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. A doctor does a comprehensive evaluation of symptoms, behavior, and history to make a diagnosis.

Recognizing the Need for Assessment

Recognizing the need for an ADHD assessment begins with paying attention to certain behaviors. These behavioral alterations may occur in both children and adults. Let’s have a closer look at these behaviors and how they can make life more challenging.

ADHD may be present in a person by birth. It makes things tricky for the person. According to National Health Services, the most peculiar symptoms of ADHD include;

  • Difficulty in Concentration: This indicates having trouble concentrating on something. Consider it as you are trying to read a certain topic in a book. Although, your mind diverts to other topics.
  • Forgetfulness: People with ADHD have difficulty memorizing things. One moment they will put your things in a place. And the next they will forget where they have put it.
  • Trouble Completing Tasks: Starting a task could seem easy. But finishing it might be difficult. It’s like having a big to-do list but finding it difficult to complete even one of them.
  • Being Hyper for No Reason: Several people with ADHD have a lot of energy and they can’t sit still. They may move about a lot as if they are always on the go.

Initial Assessment by Primary Care Doctor

To your concern; Can a Primary Care Doctor Diagnose ADHD?

When you or anyone in your family suspects ADHD. The primary care physician should be your first point of contact. They are the same doctors you go to every time you have a cold or need a physical exam. It is what they do when you visit them with ADHD symptoms. 

  • Talk about Your History: They will inquire about your previous health. How you grew up, whether anyone in your family has experienced it? It will help them understand your background and if there’s a chance of ADHD or not. 
  • Asking about Your Story: You get to explain how things are going for you. If you have problems paying attention or have issues remembering things. Speaking about the circumstances can assist the doctor in determining what’s wrong.
  • Questionnaires: Doctors may utilize specific paper with questions printed on them. These questions help them find your areas of lacking.
  • Examining Family Matters: The doctor may ask about family. It is because certain traits might run in the family. It will provide them with information if other people within the family have similar experiences.

Can a Primary Care Doctor Diagnose ADHD

Why is Primary Care Important?

The doctor’s inquiries and details you share help them determine ADHD possibility. This first stage is analogous to a piece of puzzle. It helps the doctor figure out what’s wrong. Keep in mind that doctors are your support. Hence, it is critical to express your worries truthfully and clearly.

Collaboration with Parents, Teachers, and Caretakers

When you are being evaluated for ADHD. What a physician says is not the sole variable to consider. Parents, teachers, and carers all play key roles. Let’s have a look at how their collaboration is important;

Parents – Sharing Family Perspectives

Parents are familiar with their children. They observe how they act at home. They know what their child enjoys doing and what not. Parents tell the doctor about the things they witnessed. It helps the doctor understand the whole scenario.

Teachers – School Days and Behavior

Teachers observe the individual at school. Where they spend a significant portion of their day. They tell if they can concentrate in class, or if they struggle in studies. Teachers’ input allows the doctor to see how things are in class.

Carers – Additional Perspectives

Other persons such as grandparents, or caretakers may be there to care for the individual. They can also tell what they have observed regarding the person’s behavior. Their perspective provides doctors with additional information.

Consistency Across Circumstances

ADHD sufferers may behave differently in various settings. Collaboration with parents, teachers, and carers assists the doctor to determine behavior alterations over the period. This allows them to determine whether ADHD is the cause of their social struggles or some other problems.

Ruling Out Other Conditions

At times, the way you feel or act appears to be ADHD. But, it could be a different disorder. This is the reason doctors don’t jump to the conclusion right away. Below are a few factors they keep in mind before finalizing the actual cause; 

  • Similar symptoms: Consider two individuals who are dealing with separate issues. They may both have difficulty focusing or feel nervous. But the reason for these problems could be different.
  • Looking for Other Conditions: Other factors can make people feel the way people with ADHD do. Such as excessive worry, extreme sadness, or difficulty learning new things. This helps the doctor diagnose the source of the problem.
  • Specialist group: If the doctor suspects something else. He may seek assistance from other specialists. Experts such as psychologists or psychiatrists are well-versed in working with human minds. They may conduct additional tests to identify the cause.
  • Making the Best Decision: When your doctor is certain about your ailment. He can determine the best strategies to cure it. If it’s ADHD, they will concentrate on ADHD- specific treatments and methods. If it’s something else they will treat that instead.

Developing a Treatment Plan

When a doctor suspects ADHD in a patient they don’t stop there. They collaborate with family and close individuals to devise a unique treatment plan. This plan provides a road map for making things better. 

Collaboration of Doctor, Patient, and Family

The doctor consults with the person and their family to determine the difficulties the person is facing as a result of ADHD. They collaborate to develop a strategy to address these difficulties.

Different Plan Elements

The treatment plan involves various factors. They collectively help in the treatment of ADHD.

  • Psychoeducation: This is analogous to learning about ADHD. It teaches the person, his family, and teachers about ADHD and how to support someone having ADHD.
  • Medication: Sometimes, the doctor may recommend medications to manage ADHD symptoms. Only use them if the symptoms are either stressful or other treatments are ineffective.
  • Behavioral Interventions: These are some tips and tactics to deal with ADHD. It could entail creating routines, breaking activities into smaller pieces, and finding ways to keep organized. 

Regular Monitoring

It is critical to check ADHD symptoms regularly. It allows the doctor to determine the efficacy of the treatment. It also helps to manage new issues that are prevailing.

What Doctor Can Diagnose ADHD Other than Primary care?

Most people have a question in mind; Can a primary care doctor diagnose ADHD? Primary care physicians can diagnose ADHD. But they are not the only ones to diagnose ADHD. Some additional professionals are quite familiar with ADHD. These include;

  • Neurologists: Specialists that have expertise in the brain and nerve system. They may diagnose and control ADHD, especially if there are other brain-related issues.
  • Psychiatrists: These doctors are experts in mental health. They can diagnose ADHD and if necessary provide medications.
  • Behavioral Therapists: These are the persons who understand your feelings and behavior. They interview you to determine whether ADHD is the cause of your difficulties or not.
  • Speech and Language Pathologist: When ADHD interferes with speech and language disability. At that time, speech specialists can help. 
  • Pediatricians: These healthcare advisors are experts in children’s health. They have experience in diagnosing ADHD in children and can provide management advice.

Can a Primary Care Doctor Diagnose ADHD

Patients Also Ask

What kind of doctor do you see for ADHD?

A primary care physician, psychiatrist, or neurologist can diagnose ADHD. But initially, it is best to visit a primary care doctor. 

How do I prove to my doctor I have ADHD?

It is best to openly share your experiences and challenges with your doctor. Define the particular symptom and how it affects your daily life. Also, don’t hesitate to talk about family history. So, the doctor can determine ADHD.

Does ADHD count as a disability?

Yes, ADHD is considered a disability. It causes dysfunction in the body of an ADHD person. As a result, the person becomes dependent on others to manage tasks effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Can a Primary Care Doctor Diagnose ADHD? Primary care doctors are the first ones who can assist in identifying ADHD.
  • They ask questions and listen to you to learn about your symptoms.
  • Collaborative efforts of teachers, doctors, and family are required to treat ADHD.
  • If the situation gets complex, other experts like psychiatrists, neurologists, or pediatricians may help.
  • Everyone’s ideas contribute to a better understanding of the ailment.
  • Talking to a doctor is the best step if you suspect ADHD. At Prime Health of New Jersey, our primary care physicians can assist you in getting the right treatment.  


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Our Team

Dr Farhan Malik
Dr. Farhan Malik Primary Care Physician
Dr Shoaib Malik
Dr. Shoaib Malik Primary Care Physician

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