Diagnosis for ADD/ADHD is a powerful step toward relief from its symptoms—and the process toward getting this diagnosis doesn’t have to be confusing. There are a variety of health care professionals whose jobs are to help you diagnose and treat ADD/ADHD, and steps you can take to get started on your own.
Whether you are seeking a diagnosis for yourself or your child, educating yourself about the evaluation for ADD/ADHD—from the many specialists available to what a diagnosis really means—can help you feel more confident about your role in the diagnostic process. And most importantly, obtaining and understanding a proper diagnosis of ADD/ADHD can get you on the path toward help and treatment.
Diagnosing ADD / ADHD: What You Need to Know
There is no single medical, physical, or other test for diagnosing ADD/ADHD. To determine if you or your child has ADD/ADHD, a doctor or other health professional will need to be involved, and you can expect him or her to use a number of different tools: a checklist of symptoms, answers to questions about past and present problems, or a medical exam to rule out other causes for symptoms. Keep in mind that the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, such as concentration problems and hyperactivity, can be confused with other disorders and medical problems. Just because it looks like ADD/ADHD doesn’t mean it is, so getting a thorough assessment and diagnosis is important.
Finding out that you or your child has been diagnosed with something—whether it’s an ear infection, a learning disability, or ADD/ADHD—may feel at first scary or intimidating. In fact, an ADD/ADHD diagnosis can be the first step toward making life better: you can seek treatment immediately, and that means managing symptoms and feeling more confident in every area of life.
Making the ADD / ADHD Diagnosis
ADD/ADHD looks different in every person, so there is a wide array of criteria—or measures for testing—to help health professionals reach a diagnosis. It is important to be open and honest with the specialist conducting your evaluation so that he or she can come to the most accurate conclusion.
Adult ADD / ADHD
Many adults wonder if they might have ADD or ADHD. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides a free quiz Memorial Park Psychiatry provides a free screening tool to help you to determine whether consultation with a specialist like Dr. Sullivan might be needed.
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