The Benefits and Risks Associated with Being Diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Dr. Namdari at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill treats adults and adolescents with ADD/ADHD. Today he talks about the benefits and risks associated with being diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Benefits:

  1. Treatment. Based on our current medical model, an evaluation for and a diagnosis of ADHD by a trained clinician is necessary prior to treatment. There are several treatment options available for ADHD including coaching, psychotherapy, and medications (stimulants and non-stimulants). With treatment, the primary ADHD symptoms (inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity) and secondary ADHD symptoms (low self esteem, depression, anxiety, low motivation, and etc.) will improve.
  2. Accommodations. In collaboration with your clinician, schools and employers may provide accommodations to help enhance the efficacy of an individual with ADHD. Examples of accommodations include: extended test and task time, a less distracting work environment (such as in the front of the class or away from windows), help breaking work down into smaller/more manageable increments, being given one task to do at a time, and increased reminders on due dates.
  3. Insight. Individuals with ADHD can benefit from knowing that there is something biological which explains why they have different life experiences compared to others. This includes taking advantage of the benefits that ADHD brings and working on mitigating the impairments.

Risks:

  1. Increased insurance premiums. A diagnosis of ADHD will need to be reported if asked by insurance agencies (life, disability, etc.). This can result in increased premiums or denial of insurance.
  2. Accommodations. If someone receives accommodations in school or work, they may need to report this on school applications or to professional boards.
  3. Work. Some professions (i.e. military) will require psychiatric evaluations for those who have prior known mental health diagnoses.
  4. Grief. An individual diagnosed with ADHD may become regretful about how their life may have turned out if they sought evaluation and treatment earlier.

Neutral:

  1. Responsibility. An individual with ADHD is accountable for their own actions. He/she is responsible for seeking an evaluation, engaging in treatment, and acting in a safe way that moves him/her forward towards his/her goals in life.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about ADD/ADHD please feel free to reach out to us in the comments below, by phone or email.

To Your Mental Health,
Dr. Behrouz Namdari

Author
Dr. Beyrouz Namdari

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