Psychology vs. Psychiatry


I'm new to the site, and finally posting.  My husband and I think that he has ADHD for all the reasons that I've seen echoed here.  He's admitted that he's always thought that he had it and should have sought treatment as a child, but that's not really something his family would have supported or saught out on his behalf.  However, he's never officially been diagnosed, but has recently agreed to meet with someone for a diagnosis/treatment (assming that whoever he sees confirms the self diagnosis).  He's against taking medications, which I support, for now.  I'm comfortable with him trying a more therapeutic technique to begin with, but if he doesn't follow through or it's not working, I've told him that we may NEED to consider medication in the future (for both of our sanity).  My main question is- where do we start with a diagnosis?  Have you had better luck with psychiatrists or psychologists?  Knowing that he's anti meds (at least at this point) has me leaning towards a psychologist, but I'm not certain that's accurate. 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.  I've been reading these forums for quite some time (and have tried to implement several ideas here, which have worked wonderfully- I haven't had to pick up his dirty boxers in over a month!), and I really appreciate and value the opinions and experiences that I've seen.  It's one of those 'ah-ha' moments, to read some of these posts and relate so very well to them!

Thanks so much!

Our experience is that the

Our experience is that the psychiatrist will ONLY diagnose and do medication management. If you're looking for someone to provide counseling and to help with the ADHD issues (imperative to find someone who knows ADHD and it's effect on marriages/relationships) that is where the psychologist is helpful. If he decides to take meds, I would honestly go with a psychiatrist and then use the psychologist for the rest. Good luck!

Psychiatrist or Psychologist

Hello there. I am new to this forum. I have been living with undiagnosed Adult ADHD for my entire life. I am a 49 year old father of 6 children and my wife has left me after 17 years of marriage. I have been in and out of marriage and individual counseling for over 15 years with misdiagnoses for dysthymia, depression,anxiety. I have been on numerous medications that have never really hit the mark. My wife was so burned out by the time I was diagnosed with ADHD 2 years ago that she just left. I am now on Vyvanse and seeing a psychologist to help with issues mentioned in Melissa's book which by the way is right on target with how these symptoms effect a marriage. My only regret is that had we had Melissa's book 10 years ago or had a counselor who understood the relational dynamics that occur in a marriage between a non-ADHD and ADHD spouse, I would not be viewed as broken, lazy or disinterested by my wife and her family. It can be a very lonely place to become singled out as a defective person when your hearts intention is to excel, grow, and become a productive member of society. It is a huge misunderstanding that has caused me much heart ache. BTW...has anyone heard any testimony regarding Dr. Daniel Amen at The Amen clinic who performs SPECT scans of the brain to help pinpoint blood flow activity in the regions of the brain? I am considering this as an additional path to my addressing my issues. Thanks for reading my post! :) Also..Melissa and Ned thanks for caring enough to write and be advocates for people like me!!

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your reply.  We decided to go with Psychology.  We are just more comfortable with that approach right now, especially since he is not interested in medication.  (he always experiences the 'extreme' side effects of meds, even just antibiotics)  His first appointment is today, and I'm so proud of him.  In the past I've had to do all the research (on anything) make the calls, schedule the appointment, keep track of them, remind him.  But he's been very dedicated to this.  He did all the research, found someone on my insurance list who specializes in ADHD, made the call, wrote it on the calendar.  It's been amazing. I think he knows that this has become a deal breaker and has really tried.  Although it took 'so much work' for him to do those things, he did it and I'm already proud of him!

I've also been hearing a lot about alternative approaches regarding fish oil and just healthy living in general.  Has anyone tried that?  My husband is definitely overweight and has a very sedentary lifestyle.. would just getting off the couch (or computer chair as his case is) help with his symptoms?


Husband had his psychology appointment today. Self diagnosis confirmed. It's devastating and relieving all at the same time. I think he hates the idea of having something to diagnose, but that he also likes knowing it's not his fault. He's not lazy and a failure, he just has all these other obstacles to deal with! To me it's relieving that we are on the right path to getting him help! I would just like to say 'Thank you' for this community, reading these posts (even before the diagnosis was confirmed) has been such a help.