How to Know If You Have ADHD

How to Know If You Have ADHD

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Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step to gaining control over symptoms that wreak havoc in your life. A health care professional will examine your history and interview you about your current symptoms.

Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. They must be present for more than six months and cause problems in different settings like school or work.

What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD include trouble paying attention, forgetfulness, and difficulty staying organized. These symptoms make it hard to manage daily tasks and often lead to missed work deadlines, schoolwork mistakes, and social or family problems. They also can cause feelings of stress and frustration. People with untreated ADHD are at greater risk for impulsive behaviors, which can lead to accidents, financial problems, and depression.

In adults, the symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity tend to decline with age, but inattention persists into adulthood. Many adults don’t get diagnosed because they assume their difficulties are normal.

Women’s symptoms of ADHD manifest differently than those of men. Girls and women are more likely to experience inattention rather than hyperactivity or impulsiveness, but they may have the same other symptoms as men.

Causes Of ADHD

Scientists aren’t sure what causes ADHD, but they know it has a genetic component. Some studies also suggest that certain environmental factors, like exposure to lead or alcohol during pregnancy or low birth weight, may increase a child’s risk of developing the disorder.

Symptoms of inattention and trouble staying on task may show up as daydreaming or seeming distracted, forgetfulness (like leaving your keys at home or missing an appointment), and difficulty following instructions. In adults, symptoms can manifest as cluttered and disorganized homes, trouble making decisions, or work performance that falls below expectations.

People with hyperactive/impulsive ADHD tend to fidget or have excess energy and talk a lot. They may also interrupt others and act without thinking things through first. These behaviors can cause problems in school, at work and in relationships.

Getting Diagnosed With ADHD

For adults, getting a diagnosis can be an important first step to obtaining accommodations at work or school.3 It can also help people who feel they have a disorder to understand why their symptoms are present.

In most cases, a healthcare provider will start with a clinical interview, which may take up to an hour. They will ask questions about your history, symptoms and how they impact your life. They will also want to know what you have tried already.

End Child Anxiety

Adults with ADHD often have a poor memory from childhood, so the clinician may ask to talk to family members or teachers. They may also ask for a medical examination to rule out other problems, such as thyroid issues or sleep apnea. A diagnosis is often confirmed with neuropsychological testing.

Risk Factors Of ADHD

While genetics certainly contribute to ADHD, the research is showing that extraneous factors like diet, sugar and environmental adversity also increase an individual’s risk for the disorder. Prenatal and perinatal risks including alcohol and drug use by the mother, smoking during pregnancy and low birth weight are also associated with increased risk for ADHD.

But it’s important to remember that these risk factors are not cause and effect, and the majority of children exposed to these issues do not go on to develop ADHD. Likewise, while some children “outgrow” their ADHD symptoms as they grow older, it is very unlikely that any type of treatment will make them completely free from the condition.

Getting diagnosed with ADHD requires a thorough psychiatric evaluation. This includes a detailed description of symptoms from the patient, family and caregivers, completed psychiatric and medical history forms, and psychological testing.

Complications Of ADHD

People with ADHD often go undiagnosed until adulthood, when the symptoms of this mental health disorder become more obvious. As adults, they may struggle to keep up with responsibilities like maintaining a job or managing finances. They also may have difficulty coping with frustrating relationships, which can lead to stress and anxiety.

In some cases, adults with ADHD are not recognized by friends and family as having a condition. They are sometimes viewed as lazy, troublemakers or slackers. They are frequently accused of not listening or seeming distracted in conversations.

ADHD symptoms can be different in children and adults, but if six or more of the following criteria are met, it’s likely the person has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

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