Your absolute first step with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) before considering medication and ADHD treatment is to make sure a proper assessment and diagnosis.
You can find several variances within ADHD and other medical conditions that share symptoms. It is very important to understand exactly what you're coping with when you seek treatment. It's like treating the most popular cold with antibiotics - they don't have any effect and the cold won't go away, likewise you will end up putting things within your body that you merely don't need. However, with ADHD an erroneous diagnosis and mistreatment has far more significant risks because ADHD doesn't disappear completely like the common cold. It affects every aspect of your life.
So your absolute first faltering step is to make sure an effective assessment and diagnosis.
Where can you go for your assessment and diagnosis?
Ideally you intend to get a proper assessment and diagnosis performed by an expert in ADD/ADHD. For children and teens with ADD that is often easier simply because there are more pediatricians and child psychiatrists comfortable with ADD than you will find adult psychiatrists more comfortable with adult ADD.
If you're a grownup buying a specialist who is a professional in ADD, then the best place to begin is with your household doctor, or primary care physician. The next step (if your doctor doesn't know who to send you to) is to get hold of the local medical school, or the greatest medical school near where you live. Speak to the secretary of the department of psychiatry and ask about who is working together with adult ADD.
I also recommend asking around your community. You may be surprised to learn who you already know that has dealt with ADHD, they may know of some local experts.
What to expect from the assessment and diagnosis:
Whoever you go to, you intend to make sure an intensive history and an actual examination is conducted. Generally speaking you may wish to spend at least 45 minutes to an hour on the thorough history. Some doctors may break this up into several appointments, but just realize that diagnosing ADHD in about five full minutes is generally poor medical care. A doctor will more than likely give you some questionnaires, enquire about background information, and schedule another visit.
The physical examination itself is extremely important. If you're seeing a psychiatrist for an ADHD diagnosis, it can also be important to view a physician for the physical exam portion. Psychiatrists generally don't do the physical exams.
The physical exam is important since it helps to eliminate other conditions. Like, if somebody has a hearing problem, and they are not attending to - it's because they can't hear properly. So the appropriate treatment is a hearing aid, no ADHD medicine. Right? There are many background conditions that may cause people to believe there's an ADHD condition when there really isn't.
To begin treating ADHD with out a proper diagnosis simply results in treating the incorrect thing. The issue doesn't get resolved, in fact things may become worse, and you're left with a medicine cabinet high in medications for improper diagnosis. Take the time to discover a qualified ADHD specialist and obtain a proper diagnosis and assessment. It will mean all the difference along with your treatment experience and success.