Frequently Asked Questions about ADHD
We realize that many new patients may have questions about ADHD so we have put together a special question and answer section to help you understand more about this disorder
Q: Is ADHD a real disorder?
A: Many people honestly feel that ADHD was a concept drummed up by psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies to increase business. However, the condition is real and is recognized by major health institutions, including the Surgeon General of the United States and the National Institutes of Health.
Q: ADHD is only a children’s disorder right?
A: Statistics indicate that while the majority of the people diagnosed with ADHD are children, at least 4 percent of adults experience it at as well. The reason the statistics may be lower for adults is that ADHD is often misdiagnosed or goes undiagnosed in adults.
Q: Is ADHD caused by bad parenting?
A: There are a number of people quick to point fingers at parents, laying the blame for ADHD at the feet of mom and dad. But some people with ADHD have difficulty controlling impulsivity and behavior, and that difficulty may have nothing to do with how those people were raised. In fact, it is the most inherited neurologic disorder in the US. Brain chemistry imbalances are to blame, not parents!
Q: Do more boys have ADHD than girls?
A: According to a 2001 report from the U.S. Surgeon General, girls are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD despite need. Girls tend to have lower rates of hyperactivity and external symptoms than boys, but they may have greater intellectual impairment due to ADHD. As a result, girls may be underdiagnosed with the condition.
Q: Are those with ADHD lazy?
A: People with ADHD are no more lazy or less determined than those who have not been diagnosed with the disorder. ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that changes the way the brain responds and presents unique challenges. A person with ADHD is no more at fault for the behaviors associated with ADHD than a person with depression or mania is for the symptoms associated with those conditions.
Q: Are all people with ADHD hyper and lack focus?
A: A person with ADHD may present mixed symptoms of the condition or be predominantly characterized by one. That means hyperactivity may not be part of the equation, especially for those who are largely inattentive. On the flip side, while some people with ADHD have trouble focusing on certain tasks, some actually get overly focused on things they enjoy. This is known as “hyperfocus,” and it may come at a detriment to the things they do not like.
Q: Isn’t ADHD overdiagnosed?
A: Experts say that ADHD is still largely underdiagnosed and undertreated, and many are not getting the therapy and/or medication they need. Contrary to popular belief, taking medication for ADHD is not a precursor to drug addiction or substance abuse. Many ADHD sufferers who do not get the care they need self-medicate and are at a greater risk for substance abuse.
Q: Is a referral required to be seen at Greenville ADHD Specialists?
A: No. We welcome all referrals and will communicate our assessment and plans to the referring provider for the best possible care of our mutual patient.
Q: Is insurance accepted?
A: Starting on February 1, 2019, insurance will no longer be accepted. We will be considered an out-of-network provider.
Q: What forms of payment are accepted?
A: Cash, Check, Credit/Debit Card. (We do not accept Care Credit)
Q: May I use my flex spending card or HSA?
A: Yes. A detailed receipt can be provided upon request.
Q: How do I make an appointment?
A: For new patient appointments, we ask that you complete and return the new patient paperwork. Once your paperwork is received, reviewed, and accepted we will contact you to schedule an appointment. New patient paperwork is available here and by email. If you have questions, simply give our office a call at 864-305-1662, select option 3 to listen to the new patient information which answers most questions, and then you will have the option to speak to a staff member.
Q: How long is the wait for a new patient appointment?
A: Due to high demand, we are scheduling several months out. We do keep a wait-list and, depending on circumstances, can oftentimes get patients in sooner than their original appointment date.
Q: How long does a new patient appointment take?
A: New patient appointments generally last about 2 hours and consist of the QbTest, rating scale assessments, a clinical interview with the doctor including diagnosis, treatment plan options and prescriptions when needed.
Q: Do you offer any treatments other than medication?
A: Yes. However, prescription medication has been proven to be the most effective, evidence-based, treatment for ADHD. Other treatment options include behavior modification techniques in the home, accommodations in the classroom including a Plan 504 and possibly an IEP, and referral to counseling as needed. Each treatment plan is individualized to your specific needs.
Q: Do you only treat ADHD, or do you treat other problems too?
A: We treat ADHD and comorbidities typically associated with ADHD, including anxiety, depression, ODD, etc. Frequently, adequate treatment of ADHD leads to significant improvements in other problems. Once the patient has been evaluated, the doctor may recommend further testing in our office, further evaluation by other professionals, and/or counseling.
Q: Will the testing show if it’s anxiety and not ADHD? Will it show learning disabilities?
A: QbTest is sensitive and specific for ADHD and helps our doctors differentiate different causes of symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In addition, our CNS Vital Signs testing can also be helpful as a screen for learning disabilities.
Q: If I have already been diagnosed, do I still have to do testing?
A: Yes. Why? Often the diagnosis of ADHD has been previously determined by subjective methods and the necessity of objective data through the QbTest is important. We will be happy to review any previous testing you provide to us. Since we are the only office in upstate South Carolina who administers the QbTest, we prefer that you take the test since it provides unique data different from other “ADHD” tests.
Q: If I’m already taking medication for ADHD, should I take it for the testing?
A: It depends. If you feel the medication is working well, then yes. The test will show if your medication is optimized. If you are unsure or have doubts about your medication, then no. It is best to take the first test without medication to obtain a baseline assessment.
Q: How often do I have to do the testing?
A: This varies for each patient. The retesting is important because it shows exactly how well the medication is working and if there is room for optimization. We ask some patients to take the test again at their very next appointment.
Q: How frequently are follow up visits scheduled?
A: Initially while the patient’s treatment plan is being developed and optimized, usually every 2 to 4 weeks. Once a patient is optimized, we usually schedule 3 month follow-ups.
Q: Do I have to come to your office every time I need a refill?
A: Once a patient is optimized, the doctors will give 3 months of prescriptions to last until the next appointment. But if a prescription is needed between appointments, sometimes the prescription must be picked up in the office.