When should I talk to a psychiatrist about taking Adderall?

In this article, we will be discussing when you should start considering taking adderall for your ADHD by consulting with your psychiatrist. 

We will also take a closer look at how ADHD impacts your life and the efficiency of drug treatments for the disorder.

When should I talk to a psychiatrist about taking adderall?

You should consider talking to your doctor or a psychiatrist about medication and treatment for ADHD such as adderall if:

  • Your attempts to manage the symptoms without medication are not working. 
  • if your symptoms of adhd are causing dysfunction in major areas of your life such as occupation and relationships.

Impact of ADHD on adults

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can impact various aspects of a person’s life. It can cause problems in their relationships, their careers and education, and can impact their sense of self. 

Adult ADHD symptoms usually begin in childhood which are undiagnosed and even when they are identified and diagnosed, the disorder can persist into adulthood. 

Adult ADHD is different from childhood ADHD in the sense that symptoms such as hyperactivity may decrease however adults may still struggle with impulsiveness, difficulty paying attention. 

ADHD in adults often goes by undiagnosed. People tend to simply assume that they find certain tasks challenging. They might see the effects of their symptoms through missed deadlines, inability to prioritize, relationship problems, difficulty to focus, low frustration tolerance and impulsivity. 

Diagnosis of ADHD

For a person to be diagnosed with ADHD, the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-V) lists various criterias and symptoms which must be present for at least 6 months. 

These symptoms such as inattention and hyperactivity must be inappropriate in certain situations and their developmental age. 

Symptoms must also persist in multiple settings and must cause dysfunction in various spheres of their life. 

Who can diagnose and treat ADHD?

The diagnosis of ADHD can be done by physicians and it is advisable to seek out specialists such as a psychiatrist. Clinical psychologists can also with a license or an advanced degree such as a PhD can also diagnose a client. 

Treatment for ADHD can be done by a psychologist and psychotherapists. They help you manage symptoms and develop strategies to help you function and meet the demands of your daily life. 

Treatment of ADHD with medication requires physicians such as a psychiatrist, pediatrician, family doctors, and neurologist.

When should you consider Medication?

While many people can try to manage ADHD symptoms on their own, through management strategies under the guidance of a professional, often more help is needed. 

ADHD is a neurological disorder, thus neurological interventions are needed. One of the most commonly prescribed and well-known treatments is Adderall.


Adderall is an amphetamine which serves to speed up the messages travelling between the brain and the body.

They are short acting which means they take effect about 30-45 minutes after taking them and are effective for 3-4 hours.

Adderall helps you focus by slowing down the uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine allowing them to work longer. 

Dopamine plays an important role in executive function which controls our behaviour and helps us complete tasks while norepinephrine helps in the area of focus and attention. 

Pros and cons of Adderall

Adderall when correctly prescribed can bring out improvements in 

  • Attention span
  • Impulse control
  • focus and ability to ignore external stimuli
  • Memory

However, there are many side effects related to the use and misuse of adderall. 

Vitalheadandspine says, 

“These side effects can occur in anyone taking Adderall, but they are more likely in people who have been misdiagnosed or who are taking the medication without an appropriate diagnosis.”

Efficacy of Adderall

A meta analysis of various studies done on the efficacy of adderall found it to bring about improvements for the symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity, and aggression. 

Research has also found that stimulants such as adderall is also found to be effective in improving symptoms in 70% of the adults who have been prescribed the medication

When to get a prescription for adderall?

You should consider getting a prescription for adderall if:

  • Your attempts to manage the symptoms without medication are not working. 

Psychotherapy treatments might not work even with guidance from a professional because ADHD is a neurological disorder. There is only so much you can do for things in your biology that you cannot control. 

If symptoms persist and are debilitating, consider talking to a psychiatrist or a physician about taking medication.

  • If your symptoms of adhd are causing dysfunction in major areas of your life such as occupation and relationships.

In the event that your symptoms no longer make it practical to continue living with various drawbacks that the disorder can cause, it is time to consult a psychiatrist or a physician .

Getting a prescription of Adderall. 

Adderall is a controlled substance because of its long lasting side effects and it’s addictive nature- studies have found that people can develop a tolerance to the drug and become dependent on it. 

The drug is especially dangerous for people who do not have a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD as it impacts brain chemistry. 

In getting a prescription for Adderall, here are some of the few things you should know:

  • Consult with your therapist, if you have one, about the possibility to take medication. 

Your therapist, if they are well informed, will keep track of your progress or lack of and may have insight as to what may be going wrong in your attempts to manage your symptoms or whether you do require medication. 

  • You need to talk to a physician with a medical degree or a specialist such as a psychiatrist.

Doctors, physicians, and psychiatrists are the only ones who can prescribe you stimulants and drugs such as adderall in most countries. 

  • Make sure you make an appointment specifically to discuss prescription medication. 

It is important to let your doctor know what the appointment is about so that they can come prepared with the right questions or the right tests for you to undergo. 

  • Be specific and elaborate about your symptoms and history with ADHD.

It is here that you might connect your therapist with your psychiatrist or physician if they are not already connected. Make sure you answer all the doctor’s questions and leave no details about your symptoms and experiences out. 

  • Be prepared for tests

Because Adderall is a controlled substance your psychiatrist or physician may require you to take more tests to confirm your diagnosis and may even consult with other doctors for second opinions. 

All of this is to protect you from Adderall’s  side effects.

  • Be upfront about your interest in taking stimulants.

If you want specifically adderall for your treatment plan. Or else your doctor might prescribe you something else that they usually recommend. 

  • Consider the doctor’s recommendation

If the doctor is prescribing you something else- that may be less strong- consider it. Everyone’s treatment plan has to be tailored for them to get the best results and to avoid side effects. 

You can take the recommendation and do your own research or even get a second opinion about the treatment plan that is being suggested to you.

  • Be informed

Ask questions about the treatment plan, be it for adderall or not. Make sure the doctor is clear about the dosage and the side effects when you discuss the treatment plan. 


In this guide we have explored how adult adhd impacts a person and how adhd can be diagnosed. We have also discussed the efficacy of adderall and how you should go about to get a prescription for adderall. 

Frequently asked questions related to “When should I talk to a psychiatrist about taking adderall?”

Should I talk to my doctor about ADHD ?

Because of the history and stigma ADHD has for being overdiagnosed, many adults who have symptoms of ADHD suffer in silence. 

If your ADHD symptoms persist for more than six months- often starting during your childhood and are in any way interfering with your ability to function in your relationships, jobs, academics, and negatively impacts your quality of life. Consider talking to your doctor about possible ADHD.

What are the rules for prescribing Adderall?

The recommended dosage for Adderall tablets is usually two to three times a day. However, this depends on what the doctor or physician prescribed for you specifically. 

It is important to remember that you must have a confirmed diagnosis to take adderall and avoid taking it with other substances. It is also important to remember that adderall is addictive and can cause substance use disorder if they are not used under the guidance of a physician. 

Will psychiatrists prescribe Adderall for depression?

Adderall is not an approved medication or treatment for depression. 

This is because when Adderall then leaves the bloodstream, the dopamine levels drop and the “good feelings” also disappear.

This can cause depression, anxiety, and panic to be side effects of adderall. 


Should I talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist about ADHD?

If you think you might have ADHD (or any other psychiatric diagnoses), always seek professional help. 

You can reach out to a licensed psychologist or a Psychiatrist both of whom should be trained to identify and diagnose you and also provide treatment strategies. 

What does a psychiatrist do for ADHD?

A psychiatrist may assess the patient’s symptoms and take a detailed account of the symptom history.

They may give a patient several other psychological tests before making a diagnosis for ADHD. A psychiatrist may test a patient for a learning disability, which can mimic the symptoms of ADHD.

They may consult other experts before diagnosis, after diagnosis they can refer you to a specialist who can help you manage symptoms of ADHD in everyday life and may also prescribe you medication for ADHD. 

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