ADHD Treatment in Canberra


How do I know I need an ADHD assessment?

It's okay; the decision isn't always clear. We suggest that you first arrange a visit with your GP, ideally one with experience in mental health issues. Your GP can guide you based on your unique symptoms and concerns, plus you will need a referral from them to see a specialist.

If you're considering an ADHD assessment, it's likely because something in your life doesn't feel quite right. It might be helpful to educate yourself about ADHD – research, read articles, and consider taking an ADHD screener.

Remember, ADHD can be tricky to diagnose. Its symptoms are behaviours that everyone displays from time to time. Everyone at some point will interrupt or fidget, teenagers may say inappropriate things or seem disorganized, and adults may forget things or put off tasks. Therefore, it's crucial not to mistake everyday behaviors for ADHD.

Also, keep in mind that other issues can cause ADHD-like symptoms. For instance, you may be dealing with something else that's the primary concern, and not ADHD. Hence, an accurate diagnosis is critical to ensure you receive the right treatment and support.

ADHD Psychiatry Service in ACT

The demand for psychiatrists for ADHD assessments has been growing in the ACT, with some patients facing wait times of up to 6 months for an appointment. Without diagnosis and treatment, ADHD can disrupt many areas of a person's life, affecting work, education, and personal relationships.

However, at Epsychiatry, we have a team of two psychiatrists who conduct ADHD assessments and prescribe medication for ACT residents. Our service strives to reduce these lengthy wait times, with most of our patients able to secure an appointment within 6 weeks.

Referrals from GPs in ACT

If you suspect you have ADHD and it is impacting your quality of life, you may obtain a referral from your general practitioner (GP). Your GP can send the referral to us either via email at [email protected] or by fax.

To ensure your referral reaches us, we recommend asking your GP for a copy. Sometimes referrals from GPs don't make it to our inbox. To prevent any delay in your treatment, get in touch with us the day after your GP sends the referral to confirm we've received it.

We see patients for ADHD assessments on a first-come, first-serve basis. So confirming that we've got your referral increases your chances of being seen sooner. Similarly delays in getting back to our SMS and email may push back your initial appointment.

Costs of an ADHD assessment

Usually, ADHD assessments are carried out in a single session. To support the evaluation, we advise that you request a thorough letter from your GP that explains your current symptoms and worries. In addition, we request that you fill out the questionnaires we send to you and send us any psychologist reports you might have before your appointment. Note, you do not need to see a psychologist before your assessment with our psychiatrists.

The first appointment comes at a cost of $875. The out-of-pocket costs, also known as the gap costs, can range from $125 to $629. This range is dependent on whether you've reached the Medicare Safety Net Threshold.

If you're unsure about whether you've hit your Medicare safety net threshold, give us a call or click the link on our homepage for more information.

Arranging your ADHD Evaluation with Epsychiatry

Our goal is to make your journey into our services as rapid and seamless as possible. Once we've received your referral, we'll confirm the expenses with you, match you with one of our psychiatrists who accepts ADHD referrals in the ACT, and ask you to fill out a registration form and have an online call with us.

We provide support to our patients solely through telehealth. The beauty of this is that it saves you both money and travel time, and offers more flexibility when it comes to scheduling appointments. We offer Saturday and Sunday morning appointments, plus weekday evenings.

Who should be present at the session?

If you have a partner or significant other, we strongly recommend their attendance at the initial session. Evaluating ADHD entails gathering insights into your behavior, so it's beneficial to include input from those who know you well (provided you find this suitable). ADHD medications can have considerable side effects, and it's often advisable for someone living with you to be aware of these. They can then promptly bring it to attention if necessary.

Preparation for your ADHD Assessment

Here are some specific suggestions to ensure your psychiatrist appointment goes smoothly:

  1. Prepare a list of your current medications. It's crucial that your medication list corresponds with the one included in your GP referral.

  2. If you have previously taken ADHD medication, remembering the name and dosage could be beneficial.

  3. There's a notable correlation between sleep disorders and ADHD. If you've had a sleep study, consider sending us the results. Similarly, if you've had an ECG or blood test within the last three months, we recommend asking your GP to send us the results.

  4. We will provide you with questionnaires to complete before your appointment. These questionnaires are vital as they help structure your assessment. Please take the time to fill out these questionnaires as accurately as possible.

Once we receive your referral, one of our onboarding coordinators will manage it. As stated earlier, we aim to make your onboarding process as quick and seamless as possible. Our onboarding coordinators have experience with hundreds of clients and are well-versed with the process of arranging ADHD assessments for our clients in ACT.

Why do you not do neuropsychological testing for ADHD?

Neuropsychological testing for ADHD can provide valuable information about a person's cognitive strengths and weaknesses, but it isn't always necessary or helpful in diagnosing ADHD.

  • Limited specificity and sensitivity: Neuropsychological tests may not be as specific or sensitive to ADHD as needed. Many individuals with ADHD may perform within the normal range on these tests. Also, poor performance could be due to a number of factors not related to ADHD, such as anxiety, depression, low motivation, or fatigue.

  • Cost and Accessibility: Neuropsychological testing can be expensive in Canberra and time-consuming, often requiring several hours of testing and potentially follow-up appointments.

  • Focus on deficits, not functionality: Neuropsychological tests often focus on cognitive deficits rather than how these deficits impact day-to-day life. ADHD is primarily a disorder of executive functioning, and many of its challenges are situational and context-dependent, not easily captured by standardized testing environments.

  • Potential for Misdiagnosis: There's a risk of over-reliance on the results of these tests, which can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis. Other conditions, such as learning disabilities, mood disorders, or other mental health issues, can produce similar patterns on neuropsychological tests, leading to confusion.

  • Subject to Situational and State Factors: Performance on these tests can be influenced by a variety of situational and state factors, such as the individual's mood, motivation, level of arousal/alertness, and even the rapport with the examiner.

  • Clinical Interviews are Highly Effective: Comprehensive clinical interviews and the use of normed rating scales remain the recommended standard for diagnosing ADHD. These methods are typically less expensive and time-consuming than neuropsychological testing, and they focus on gathering information about the individual's real-world functioning and day to day problems, which is crucial for diagnosing ADHD.

Remember, while neuropsychological testing can certainly be valuable. But it's not always necessary or the most effective approach when diagnosing ADHD. Each individual is unique, and the assessment approach at Epsychiatry is tailored to their needs.