How to Know If You Have ADHD
Whether you’re looking for information on how to know if you have ADHD or you’re an adult with symptoms, it’s important to get the correct diagnosis to ensure you receive the best possible treatment. ADHD can affect an individual’s life in many ways. From impulsivity to inability to concentrate, symptoms can affect a person’s ability to get by in everyday life. The first step to determining whether or not you have ADHD is to speak to a health care professional.
A health care provider may use a variety of criteria to determine if an individual has ADHD. The diagnosis is based on symptoms that are present in two or more settings. The symptoms must be a result of ADHD and not a symptom of another disorder.
When you meet with a health care provider, they will examine your symptoms and your overall life. They will also look at your medical history to make sure there are no other causes for your symptoms. The quality of the assessment depends on the accuracy of the information you provide. The information may also help to rule out other conditions such as thyroid issues or seizure disorders.
You may also be asked to perform a six-question ADHD screener. This can be administered by a neurologist or a psychologist. The results will be used to help the clinician determine the severity of the symptoms. The symptoms must have occurred for at least six months and be present in more than one setting. The symptoms must also cause an impairment. These impairments can include problems with schoolwork, failing grades, failing to pay bills on time, or excessive conflict in a marriage.
The next step is to meet with an ADHD professional. The specialist will review your symptoms, medical history, and the impact ADHD has had on your life. They may also ask questions to get to know you better. The interview could last from a few minutes to an hour.
You may also need to take part in clinical trials to determine if new treatments are available. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) conducts many clinical trials with patients. This is a great way to gain new scientific knowledge and treatment options for patients with ADHD. You can also find out about clinical trials by talking to your health care provider.
If you are an adult, you may feel intimidated by the diagnosis. You may not be aware of the impact ADHD behaviors have on others. You may feel ashamed, embarrassed, and frustrated about the problem. However, the diagnosis does not mean you will have to live with ADHD for the rest of your life. If you are diagnosed, you can take steps to manage the symptoms and improve your self-esteem.
A health care provider may recommend a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or social worker. You can ask your doctor, primary care physician, or health insurance provider for a referral. You can also contact an ADHD support group for recommendations. You may also want to ask family members and friends about their experience with a specific specialist.