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ADHD Sources of Support
Find Reputable Adult ADHD Resources & Sources of Support
Watch Out for Misinformation
ADHD is a widely researched neurological condition. That said, it is also a condition that can leave many with more questions than answers and, unfortunately, often a great deal of misinformation. Controversies that have sold as “breakthroughs” have been confusing and sometimes make it a challenge to find supports that actually work for adults with ADHD.
There is no shortage of information available when you type “ADHD treatment” into Google. Unfortunately, there is a massive amount of misinformation that pops up when you do this. It can be incredibly overwhelming to sort the good from the bad (and the ugly). We encourage you to be cautious and skeptical consumers of information as not everything you read is true (particularly on the internet).
Do Your Research
Please take the time to do your research. Ensure that resources are reputable and backed by research. Look for consistent messages amongst these sources. Be open to different ideas, and when one treatment doesn’t work, be prepared to try another, because what works for one person may not work the same for another. Many individuals with ADHD suffer unnecessarily for years due to the massive amounts of misinformation being circulated about ADHD.
ADHD is a condition where the various regions of the ADHD brain differ in maturation, structure, chemistry, and connections when compared to non-ADHD brains. There is no “cure” for ADHD, but there are ways to help reduce the severity and impact of symptoms when you find the right management tools!
The RESOURCES section on our website provides reputable books and websites on ADHD.
Sources of Support: Service Providers and Support Groups
Some of the Sources of Support that can help you with treatment, strategies, and emotional support are physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, registered clinical social workers, ADHD Coaches, and Support Groups. Review our Screening Checklist to guide you in finding a service provider that is a good match for your needs.
Family Doctors (Physicians)
Medical doctors can assess and diagnose ADHD, as it is a neurobiological condition that can be treated with medication. Doctors prescribe and oversee ADHD medication. Doctors:
- will likely be your first point of contact with the assessment and diagnosis process.
- can work with you in treating the disorder with medications.
- may refer you to other health specialists such as psychiatrists for medication management and treatment of other mental health or psychiatric disorders.
- may refer you to psychologists, counsellors, ADHD coaches, support groups, and other resource specialists that support individuals with ADHD.
- A psychiatrist has received specialized training in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. ADHD is considered a mental health disorder and often co-exists with other mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
- Be Aware: there may be a long wait time to see a psychiatrist in many Canadian provinces. If this is the case, consider other service providers for help.
Psychologists with a specialization in ADHD can be a great source of support for individuals with ADHD.
You do NOT need a referral to see a psychologist.
- Assessments: Psychologists can assess and diagnose ADHD. Although ADHD may be diagnosed separately, they may incorporate an ADHD assessment within a more thorough psycho-educational assessment to determine a full learning profile and potentially identify other challenges, such as a Learning Disability, communication disorder, depression, etc.
- Strategies to improve ADHD symptoms and behaviours based on your specific needs.
- Counselling to help with related emotional, mental health, relationship, and social skills challenges. Psychologists can also provide psychosocial treatments, such as cognitive behavior therapy, and suggest behavioural strategies that may work for you.
- Support as an individual through transitions in life, such as starting post-secondary education or transitioning from post-secondary to the workplace.
Gaining self-awareness of your ADHD symptoms uniquely impact your life and which treatments, strategies and accommodations may work for you to manage ADHD symptoms and any co-existing conditions or challenges – as well as how to capitalize on your strengths – will empower you to take control of your ADHD.
When choosing a psychologist, ask questions to ensure they have expertise in assessing and treating ADHD and related mental health challenges in adults.
- An ADHD coach is a life coach trained specifically to help adults and youth with ADHD to better manage their lives.
- An ADHD Coach can help with goal setting, planning and organizational skills, time management, motivation, a healthier self-esteem, and relationships.
- Coaching sessions can take place in person or by telephone or internet so coaches do not necessarily need to be located in your area.
- Although currently not required in Canada, many ADHD coaches in Canada and other countries are now getting certified through well-known institutions, mainly in the U.S., that offer training and accreditation to become a certified ADHD coach. You may want to ask individual coaches for their training qualifications and request that they provide you with testimonials from past clients.
Shopping for a Coach: Read this ADDitude Magazine article to learn about ADHD training and certification, as well as what questions to ask when looking for a coach.
Trying to manage your own ADHD, or living with a person who has ADHD, can at times make you feel like you are alone in dealing with the fallout of those symptoms. Yet ADHD is quite common. It helps to find a community of peers who are facing the same challenges as you are and who will share their ideas and successes with you.
Check to see if there are ADHD support groups in your area.
Online Support Groups:
The RESOURCES section on our website provides reputable websites and books on ADHD.