How to Know If You Have ADHD
In order to know if you have ADHD, you must have a thorough evaluation by a health care provider or mental health professional. This may involve a psychiatric interview, standardized behavior rating scales and information from family members or significant others.
Impairment is the key criterion for diagnosis. Without treatment, ADHD can lead to problems in work, relationships and other areas of life.
What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD
If you struggle to remember things, lose track of your keys, or have trouble focusing during conversations, you may have ADHD. It’s also common for adults with ADHD to procrastinate and fail to follow through on tasks at work, school or home, leading to missed deadlines or misplaced paperwork.
Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity usually show up in childhood, but they can occur at any age. Kids with these symptoms often get bored easily, have trouble sitting still, and are restless during activities like playing games or doing homework. They might blurt out answers before people have finished asking questions, interrupt others, or intrude on games or social situations.
Girls and women have a different expression of these symptoms than men and boys, which is why they are frequently underdiagnosed. They may seem restless, talkative and forgetful but interpret these behaviors as normal instead of thinking about whether they could be signs of ADHD.
Causes Of ADHD
ADHD can cause many problems in people’s lives if not properly identified and treated. These include school failure, family conflict and stress, depression, problems with relationships, substance abuse and even delinquency and job failure.
Some of the symptoms of ADHD are sloppy work, trouble staying focused on tasks and activities and frequent daydreaming or seeming distracted. These symptoms must have caused significant impairment in a person’s daily functioning for a diagnosis to be made. The symptoms must have been present for at least six months and they must have occurred before the person is 12 years old.
In adults, the specialists usually look at the history of ADHD symptoms in childhood before making a diagnosis. They may also wish to talk to a person’s parents or teachers.
Getting Diagnosed With ADHD
The best way to know if you have ADHD is to talk with a professional. You can take online quizzes and questionnaires as a self-screening tool, but they’re not the same as a formal diagnosis from a licensed health professional.
If you’re constantly forgetting important dates, misplacing keys or feeling like you never get anything done, then you may be experiencing symptoms of ADHD. Getting diagnosed can help you put a name to your struggle and finally get the treatment you need.
When choosing a specialist to evaluate your symptoms, ask for recommendations from people you trust. Then, check the specialist’s credentials and academic degrees. Lastly, find out how much the evaluation will cost and whether your insurance covers it. This information can help you narrow down your choices and choose the right specialist for you.
Risk Factors Of ADHD
The causes of ADHD are unknown, but there is strong evidence that it is largely genetic. It appears to run in families, with twin and family studies showing that people are more likely to have ADHD if their mother or father have it. There are also a number of environmental and prenatal risk factors associated with ADHD. These include lead exposure, maternal stress during pregnancy and low birth weight. Certain chemicals, such as organophosphate pesticides which are often sprayed on lawns and agricultural products, have been linked to ADHD.
However, these risks do not guarantee that someone will develop ADHD. In fact, many people exposed to these risk factors never develop ADHD. It is the combination of genes and environment that determines whether someone will develop ADHD or not.
Complications Of ADHD
People with untreated ADHD may feel embarrassed, frustrated and hopeless. They may think their difficulties are their fault or a reflection of their low self-esteem or confidence. A diagnosis can help them realize their problems stem from ADHD and not some character flaw.
A health care provider can diagnose ADHD by reviewing the symptoms in the person’s history, interviewing life partners, family members and close friends and using adult rating scales and checklists. They may also perform a physical examination and give the person psychological tests that measure working memory, reasoning (thinking) skills and visual and spatial awareness.
While impulsivity, disorganization and difficulty paying attention can be frustrating for adults with ADHD, these traits often bring incredible creativity, passion and energy. Counseling can teach these individuals ways to cope with their ADHD and find success in their lives.