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Do Psychiatrist Diagnose Tic Disorders?

People often wonder “do psychiatrist diagnose tic disorders?” and the answer is that it depends.  In general the answer to the question of “do psychiatrist diagnose tic disorders?” is that any psychiatrist CAN diagnose a tic disorder, but you have to know what a tic disorder looks like to do so.  So to answer the question of “do psychiatrist diagnose tic disorders?” it is important to know what are tic disorders and what they look like.

This is where in consideration of that question of “do psychiatrist diagnose tic disorders?”, we need to look at what kind of training the psychiatrist has had.  The best psychiatrist to see for the answer of the question “do psychiatrist diagnose tic disorders?” is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. This is a medical doctor who after four post-medical school years of training in general psychiatry will spend an extra two years of training in problems that are most often limited to children and adolescents.

Since Tic Disorders usually start in childhood and often disappear by adulthood, most adult psychiatrist are rarely trained to pick up a tic disorder even when they see one.  The reason comes down to the fact that the presence of Tic Disorders is rare in adulthood, except under certain conditions.  These certain conditions include: severe stress in someone who previously had tics as a child or if the tics are brought out by taking/or abusing certain medications such as stimulants.

Stimulants are used to treat ADHD/ADD, but can have the side effects of bringing out tics.  It is for this reason that someone trained to use them must use them very carefully.  The challenge often lies in the treatment of an individual (child or adult) who not only has a problem with ADHD/ADD, but an underlying or coexisting tic disorder as well. So to answer the question: Do Psychiatrist Diagnose Tic Disorders?  The answer is yes, but a Child Psychiatrist who also sees adults would be the best person to see.

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