Do I have ADHD?
The symptoms of ADHD can be experienced by anyone, but those with a diagnosable condition experience them with greater regularity and severity. For atypicals, the symptoms of ADHD have a noticeable impact on our daily lives.
Therefore treatment can be beneficial for everyone, but atypicals will experience more noticeable improvements. For now, it doesn’t really matter whether you have a diagnosable condition; it is enough that you think you might.
Many factors can hold us back from taking decisive action to manage our symptoms. That can lead to suffering quietly for years. One of the most insidious is the fear of confronting a shocking truth about ourselves.
Change can be uncomfortable, especially if the outcome is feeling like we don’t really know ourselves. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with supportive people during this self-discovery process. Friends who will listen to what you’re going through and remind you that you are still the same amazing person as before your revelation.
Here is a quick self-screening to help you determine the degree of your symptoms. The results could help you determine your next step, such as pursuing a clinical diagnosis.
Keep in mind that no tool can provide a perfect assessment of your condition. The screening below is considered–at time of writing–to indicate a valid correlation with the presence of ADHD.
Before you begin, consider two qualifying questions:
- Have the symptoms of ADHD affected you since early childhood?
- Do the symptoms of ADHD affect your life negatively in more than one setting (home, work/school, social situations)
If you answered yes to both, try the 24-question screening below.
Adult ADD Screening Examination (Version 5.0)
The items below refer to how you have behaved and felt DURING MOST OF YOUR ADULT LIFE. If you have usually been one way and recently have changed, your responses should reflect HOW YOU HAVE USUALLY BEEN.
Rate each item with a number using the following scale: 0 = Not at all 1 = Just a little 2 = Somewhat 3 = Moderately 4 = Quite a lot 5 = Very much
1. At home, work, or school, I find my mind wandering from tasks that are uninteresting or difficult.
2. I find it difficult to read written material unless it is very interesting or very easy.
3. Especially in groups, I find it hard to stay focused on what is being said in conversations.
4. I have a quick temper…a short fuse.
5. I am irritable, and get upset by minor annoyances.
6. I say things without thinking, and later regret having said them.
7. I make quick decisions without thinking enough about their possible bad results.
8. My relationships with people are made difficult by my tendency to talk first and think later.
9. My moods have highs and lows.
10. I have trouble planning in what order to do a series of tasks or activities.
11. I easily become upset.
12. I seem to be thin skinned and many things upset me.
13. I almost always am on the go.
14. I am more comfortable when moving than when sitting still.
15. In conversations, I start to answer questions before the questions have been fully asked.
16. I usually work on more than one project at a time, and fail to finish many of them.
17. There is a lot of “static” or “chatter” in my head.
18. Even when sitting quietly, I am usually moving my hands or feet.
19. In group activities it is hard for me to wait my turn.
20. My mind gets so cluttered that it is hard for it to function.
21. My thoughts bounce around as if my mind is a pinball machine.
22. My brain feels as if it is a television set with all the channels going at once.
23. I am unable to stop daydreaming.
24. I am distressed by the disorganized way my brain works.
This is a screening examination for Adult ADD. It is not a diagnostic test. Scores over 70 are associated with a high probability of ADD. The diagnosis of ADD can only be made on the basis of a detailed history and mental status examination. High scores on this examination may result from anxiety, depression or mania. These conditions must be ruled out before a diagnosis of Adult ADD can be made.
You might decide that self-diagnosis is enough and continue to treat your symptoms without consulting a medical professional, but if you are serious about your treatment, then you’ll want to pursue a clinical diagnosis.