How to Know If You Have ADHD
Getting a proper diagnosis of ADHD can be the first step to treatment. Symptoms may include restlessness, difficulty paying attention, and difficulty following instructions. Treatment can include medication, therapy, and coping strategies. A proper diagnosis can lead to improved quality of life.
The best way to determine whether or not you have ADHD is to have an expert perform a clinical evaluation. This is where a healthcare provider or psychologist examines your symptoms, your medical history, and your overall mood. He or she will also look for other conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) offers clinical guidelines for diagnosing ADHD. These include asking questions about your symptoms and using a clinical interview to determine if there are other conditions that may be causing them. You may also be referred to a qualified professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker. Choosing a specialist can be daunting at first, but most health insurance plans will list professionals by specialty.
The oh-so-popular self-test for ADHD isn’t always accurate, but it’s a good way to get started. You’ll want to choose a test that’s appropriate for your level of activity. You’ll want to answer questions honestly, and you’ll want to see if your symptoms are the same as those of people who don’t have ADHD. The NIMH also offers a fact sheet, Tips for Talking With Health Care Providers, which demonstrates the best ways to interact with your doctor.
The best way to know if you have ADHD is to ask your doctor. If your doctor doesn’t have any suggestions, you can go to an ADHD support group or find a reputable website. If you’re lucky enough to have family or friends who have ADHD, ask them if they recommend seeing a professional. You can also look for a local university-based hospital that has a psychology graduate school or ADHD clinic.
A clinical interview is a fancy term for a doctor asking about your symptoms and asking you about your medical history. The therapist may also ask you to perform a test of your attention skills. The tests may be short, or they may require you to perform a complex task. The therapist will look for signs of ADHD such as distractibility, poor organizational skills, and poor attention.
The most important part of the clinical interview is asking about your symptoms and evaluating your overall mood. ADHD can have a negative effect on your life, and you’ll want to discuss the possible consequences with your physician. You may be concerned about missing work or school, failing classes, and failing to pay bills on time. You might even be embarrassed about hosting guests.
The oh-so-famous “Mirror-Move-Motion” test is another fun way to test your attention skills. The test involves asking you to pretend to walk and then briskly move in front of a mirror. You’ll have to move from one side of the mirror to the other while doing so.