Adult Attention Deficit Disorder
What is A.D.D.?
Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) is a problem with concentration, focus, memory, and distractibility that usually begins in childhood, often persists in adults, and interferes with quality of life. The symptom cluster often improves with Controlled Medication (Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse). Use of medication must be balanced with risks, and requires an individualized and ongoing series of doctor visits. It is controversial whether the response to medication indicates an underlying neuro-psychiatric trait is present, or the medication just enhances performance in certain life-style situations. Regardless, A.D.D. is a real cluster of symptoms that can be altered with medication. The goal is improved life quality.
How is it diagnosed?
Although symptom check lists are sometimes used as screening tools, there are no blood tests, X-Rays, or brain wave tests that can diagnose A.D.D. The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Classification of Disease, and the Psychiatric Society’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual all use slightly different criteria. Originally thought of as an early neurologic development problem, Attention Deficit is often associated with Hyperactivity in children. Children, often after urging by a teacher, undergo “psych-testing” (e.g. pencil and paper tests with measurements of performance to identify specific reading or math problems worsened by distractibility and inattention). In a classroom, those areas benefit from special educational instruction. While it is generally recognized that A.D.D. persists in adults, focus and concentration become the chief complaints. Outside a classroom the hyperactive component is less of an issue, as the excess energy in adults can be used to increase work productivity and creativeness.
Treatment of A.D.D. in the State of Florida
The diagnosis is established after a qualified medical doctor, often a psychiatrist, has developed an opinion that the symptoms are present and significantly interfere with quality of life. Treatment benefit from medication is weighed against the risks. Only an actual trial of a prescription can determine the response to medicine, the side effects, and the proper dosage. This requires follow-up doctor visits and an understanding of Florida regulations, refill policies, and compliance with return doctor visits. A.D.D. medications are in the DEA’s highest class of Controlled Substances, which means there is a risk of abuse, and refills can not be authorized without a face-to-face doctor's visit; phone-in refills are not permitted. Only one month supply can be dispensed at a time, and each prescription is required to be entered into an electronic monitoring data base, the Florida Prescription Monitoring Program, designed to prevent “doctor-shopping” or over-prescribing.
Does Dr. Dudney offer treatment?
As a Board Certified Psychiatrist, Dr. Dudney does provide adult A.D.D. medication treatment in his Tampa office, but only for adults over 18. The office does not accept or file insurance. An initial office visit of $310 is followed by return visits typically every four weeks at $250 per visit. Appointments are normally available as soon as the next business day, and can be scheduled online or by calling our office manager, Sherie, at (813) 873-2036.