How to Know If You Have ADHD
In order to get a diagnosis of ADHD, a health care provider or mental health professional must conduct an evaluation. This may include a psychiatric evaluation, questionnaires completed by teachers and caretakers, interviewing the patient, and examining medical records.
It can be difficult to accept that you have ADHD, but a diagnosis is the first step toward getting help and improving your life.
What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD
Women and girls with ADHD often go undiagnosed, partly because the condition was once thought to affect mostly men. Symptoms of the disorder can be more subtle in women, especially during hormonal changes.
To diagnose ADHD, a medical provider must first check a person’s health, family history, and mental health. The provider must also rule out other conditions that could be causing symptoms, such as depression or anxiety.
Adults with undiagnosed ADHD can face many problems in their lives. They may find it difficult to maintain a relationship, keep a job or manage finances. They may also struggle to stay healthy and make it to doctor appointments or take medications regularly. They may often forget to pay bills on time and end up in debt due to impulsive spending.
Causes Of ADHD
A person with ADHD has trouble paying attention, sitting still and controlling their behavior. They may also have problems staying organized and managing time. These problems cause problems at school, work and home. They can affect a person’s relationships, and lead to depression and anxiety.
Adults who have symptoms of ADHD can be diagnosed with the disorder by health care providers or mental health professionals. A thorough evaluation includes a description of the symptoms from the person and their caregivers, a review of family and medical history, and testing to rule out other conditions that can have similar symptoms.
People with ADHD can benefit from getting treatment and developing coping strategies. Many are prescribed medications, including stimulants. These can have side effects, such as decreased appetite, headaches and sleep problems.
Getting Diagnosed With ADHD
To diagnose ADHD, health care providers must look at a person’s history of symptoms in multiple settings and evaluate them over time. They may use standardized behavior rating scales or ADHD symptom checklists. They may interview a person’s partner, friends and family members. They might also give the person psychological tests to measure working memory, executive functioning, and visual and spatial skills.
Adults who have untreated ADHD can suffer a great deal over the years. They can be mislabeled as lazy, irresponsible or stupid because they lose track of things or have trouble finishing tasks. The disorder can also interfere with relationships as people struggle to keep up with all of life’s demands.
Risk Factors Of ADHD
The exact cause of ADHD remains unknown, but it is thought to be caused by genetics and problems with the central nervous system at key moments during development. It is also linked to environmental factors such as exposure to toxins during pregnancy and smoking or alcohol use by parents.
In order to diagnose ADHD, the symptoms must be a significant impairment in two areas of life (home and school) and have occurred for at least six months. In addition, the provider must identify whether the symptoms are inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive or combined.
Getting the right diagnosis of ADHD is important because it is a protected disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act. This means that people who are diagnosed with this disorder may qualify for certain work accommodations.
Complications Of ADHD
Many people with ADHD experience chronic stress, anxiety and low self-esteem. They may struggle to cope with responsibilities at work, home and school. This can lead to financial problems including unpaid bills, missed doctor appointments and ignoring medical instructions.
Some adults with ADHD are able to compensate for their symptoms and live productive lives. However, as they grow older, the effects of their ADHD become more apparent. If you have trouble staying on top of responsibilities, feel restless even when you should be sleeping or have frequent misplaced items, it’s possible you have ADHD.
Some medications used to treat common adult health conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes, can interact with stimulants for treating ADHD. It’s important to disclose this to your health care provider when determining the best medication options for you.