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The Tattered Promise of ADHD Telehealth

May 24, 2022It took just 30 minutes for Allison, 31, to receive a dual diagnosis of ADHD and anxiety from a psychotherapist on Cerebral. She joined the mental health subscription platform during the pandemic because the wait time to see an in-person clinician for an ADHD evaluation was long — too long for the mother of three children, two preschoolers and one 10-year-old with ADHD. Within one week of her diagnosis, a prescription for the antidepressant Wellbutrin was mailed directly to her home in Illinois.

What followed was alarming.“I began having suicidal ideations,” she told ADDitude. “I let the provider know. They wanted me to keep taking [Wellbutrin] for the three months until my next appointment with them.

I found a new psychiatrist right away and quit trusting them with my care.”Jessica began to suspect she had ADHD during the pandemic and likewise signed up for Cerebral after seeing it advertised on Reddit. She, too, received an ADHD diagnosis following a 30-minute interview with a nurse practitioner. Shortly after that, a prescription for Wellbutrin arrived in her mailbox in Maryland.

Jessica said her primary care physician was never notified of her new diagnosis or medication.“I was told I had obvious depression. I’ve been in therapy for years; I have no signs of depression,” she said. “When I asked about something more specific to treat the ADHD, I was sent Strattera, which caused sudden depression, extreme apathy, and uncontrollable crying.

I then went through the drawn-out cancellation process, got confirmation my Cerebral subscription was cancelled, and I was still billed for the next month. I had to fight for a refund.”Susan* stuck with Cerebral a bit longer, but not much. Following her ADHD diagnosis by

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