What Is ADHD, Anyway?
First, some of the many positive traits common to people with ADHD:
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is characterized by difficulty in:
- harnessing attention
- controlling impulses
- handling emotions
Whereas in children hyperactivity looks like excessive fidgeting, running in circles, and climbing walls, in teens and especially adults it is more likely to manifest as mental restlessness and emotional turbulence.
More Information on ADHD
ADHD Self-Assessment Links
READ THIS FIRST: Self-Assessment vs. Proper Diagnosis
The below assessment tools cannot be used to diagnose ADHD.
A proper diagnosis of ADHD can only be made by qualified health practitioners, and ought to be made at the end of a very thorough procedure, including a detailed life history, as well as descriptions of observed behavior from third parties (parents, teachers, coworkers…). My own diagnosis was given by a doctor of clinical psychology after four one-hour-long sessions. I then chose to supplement that diagnosis with cognitive neuropsychological testing, which took an additional total of six hours. Both doctors were specifically recommended to me by other doctors who had earned my trust.
The purpose of self-assessment tools such as those that follow is to help people determine whether or not they might be exhibiting symptoms associated with ADHD. If you take one or more self-assessment tests, and those tests indicate a strong possibility of ADHD, the next step in obtaining a diagnosis would be to seek a qualified—that is, one who specializes in ADHD for your age range—health care provider.
I recommend, before choosing a licensed diagnostician, that you ask what steps they go through to arrive at a diagnosis. If the steps they recommend amount to little more than questionnaires similar to those below, thank them, say you want to think it over, and then continue your search. If you’re going to have someone examine your brain—the command center of your entire body—you should make sure you find the most qualified, most knowledgable, most careful health professional to do it.
Support for ADHD