I am qualified to assess and diagnose ADHD in adults (over 18 years). I only undertake this work if you are within the Canterbury DHB area. In other regions you will need a pathway for obtaining medication, in which case a private psychiatrist appointment will be more efficient and cost-effective.
Both Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists can diagnose adult ADHD. Only Psychiatrists can prescribe stimulant medications, which are usually the most effective medications to help manage ADHD. Stimulant medications are controlled substances and must receive a special authority code from a Psychiatrist. A GP can not obtain this code.
In the Canterbury District Health Board area, Clinical Psychologists can perform a diagnostic assessment and provide a report that can be used to provide evidence for prescription at the discretion of a Psychiatrist within the public health service.
I offer assessment and diagnosis for adult ADHD (age 18+). A standard assessment includes:
1. A ~30-minute phone call to screen for ADHD symptoms and other relevant mental health and lifestyle factors before confirmation of booking.
2. A two-hour assessment which includes a semi-structured clinical interview for ADHD, discussing other significant life history events, and current symptoms of other mental health problems.
3. Completion of a self-report questionnaire about current ADHD symptoms, and completion of an observer report form by someone who knows you well. Screening tests for mental health issues are also performed depending on the issues present (e.g. depression, anxiety, eating issues). These are all completed online.
4. A review of symptoms present prior to age 12 by interviewing someone who knew you as a child (such as a parent, caregiver, or sibling) and any available documentation such as school or other assessment reports. Evidence of childhood symptoms is a requirement for diagnosis.
5. A 50-minute feedback session regarding the assessment, recommendations, and the next steps (medication, therapy etc.)
If there is evidence that ADHD is present a report will be provided to your GP who can then send this to the adult psychiatric public health system to a Psychiatrist who can prescribe medication. Other options for treatment can also be discussed.
Please note that for diagnosis there has to be evidence that the person had significant symptoms of ADHD in childhood and early adolescence.
If you have CURRENT difficulties with serious mental health conditions or trauma:
PLEASE seek support and treatment for these issues BEFORE considering an assessment of ADHD.
WHY? ADHD is a lifelong condition that requires management and cannot be "cured". It is only able to be diagnosed if the symptoms CANNOT be better explained by another condition.
Treating and seeking support for treatable conditions FIRST means that you can heal or treat the treatable condition and feel better sooner and if you still believe you are experiencing syptoms of ADHD, it will make an ADHD assessment much clearer.
Sometimes a diagnosis CANNOT be made in the prescence of another active mental or physical health condition. This can be very frustrating, especially if you have been waiting a long time for an ADHD assessment or have paid for one privately.
TIMING MATTERS - If you are going through a period of unusually high stress, grief, trauma, or adjustment it also may not be a good time for an assessment. Its okay to delay. If you have ADHD, it's not going anywhere.
The base fee for this service is $1560 ($1794 GST inclusive) but may be higher if extra interviews or work is required, such as needing to perform additional assessment for co-occurring or complex mental health or social problems. If at any point it appears that you may not meet criteria, and therefore a full report etc is not required, I will let you know and refund the unused fee based on my hourly rate of $224.25/hr GST inclusive.
Please see my current availability for this service please check my CONTACT page