A Guide to ADHD Diagnosis

Learn more about common signs of ADHD to have a more detailed discussion with your healthcare provider. Get assessed and receive a diagnosis online.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex condition, and only a licensed healthcare provider can diagnose it. Undiagnosed ADHD often results in everyday struggles and frustrating challenges. You may notice impaired focus, forgetfulness, and difficulties in impulse control. This condition can significantly disrupt relationships, work dynamics, and overall well-being. 

You can take online tests to understand if there is a reason to consult a doctor, but such symptom checklists for self-assessment cannot replace professional ADHD evaluation. At MEDvidi, you can receive professional help at an affordable price, including detailed examination and personalized treatment.

Common Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD is marked by an enduring pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Based on the prevailing behavioral patterns, the condition has three types: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, and combined.

While the specific signs can vary from person to person, there are common ADHD symptoms within each category.

Predominantly inattentive ADHD:

  • Difficulty concentrating and completing tasks
  • Trouble following instructions
  • Inability to sustain attention for extended periods
  • Misplacing or losing items and forgetfulness

Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD:

  • Inability to relax or sit still
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Yelling, excessive talking, and extreme restlessness
  • Interrupting others and inability to take turns or wait

Combined ADHD:

  • Unites inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms
  • Is more common in adults
The standard list of symptoms is more extensive and includes other diagnostic criteria, so it’s important to consult a professional for a diagnosis and support.
Have you noticed any ADHD symptoms?
Learn more about the types and signs of ADHD to know what to pay attention to and discuss with your healthcare provider.

Specifics of ADHD Diagnosis in Adults

To become diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, you have to go through a detailed assessment. Its diagnostic criteria are pointed out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is a widely used classification system for mental health conditions. Some of these criteria are the following:
  • A continuous pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that disrupts functioning or development.
  • Some symptoms should have been present before age 12 in multiple settings.
  • Symptoms cannot be solely explained by another mental or psychotic disorder.
Unlike certain medical conditions that can be identified through physical examinations or lab tests, ADHD is primarily diagnosed through psychological evaluation. As there is no singular method for adult ADHD diagnosis, a certified mental healthcare expert employs diverse diagnostic methods. During the appointment, you will discuss your symptoms, how they influence your everyday life, your childhood experiences that might be related to ADHD, and medical history.

Find a Qualified Medical Professional to Diagnose You

The process of diagnosing ADHD in adults begins with finding the right healthcare provider, be it in a traditional clinic or online. It is best to refer to any of the following specialists:
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Clinical social worker
  • Neurologist
  • Primary care physician
  • MDs and nurse practitioners specializing in mental health
Choose a practitioner with experience in dealing with ADHD in adults, a license to provide treatment in your state, and positive reviews. At MEDvidi, you can consult qualified and licensed medical providers who can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe medication if deemed necessary.
Who can diagnose ADHD?
Searching for the right specialist can be daunting, but not if you know who exactly you are looking for. We are here to tell you more!

What to Do If You Get Diagnosed With ADHD

ADHD is a manageable condition, and once a diagnosis is made, the next step is developing a customized treatment plan. A personalized approach considers not only the symptoms but also unique circumstances and goals. 

Consult your healthcare provider about treating ADHD in your particular case. They will choose the most suitable treatment plan (including medication if needed) and recommend additional self-help strategies. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and coaching. Social skills training and support groups can also help address daily challenges and improve overall quality of life.

ADHD in adults can be managed
There are many treatment options, and we are ready to help you find what will work best for you. Read on to learn more!

Available Treatment Options

With proper ADHD treatment, you can manage symptoms and improve your daily life.

Treatment plans for ADHD may involve medication, with two primary categories: stimulants and non-stimulants. Medicines can help improve severe symptoms that cause the most discomfort in daily life. As a result, you obtain energy and motivation to focus on your lifestyle changes and therapeutic techniques for long-term positive outcomes.

The choice of ADHD medication depends on individual response, and it’s essential to take them strictly as prescribed and under professional guidance. It’s also important to have follow-ups with your healthcare provider to mitigate potential side effects and adjust treatment based on your progress.

In addition to pharmacological treatment, your healthcare provider may recommend psychotherapy, support groups, and self-help methods. You may be suggested to make certain changes in your daily routines and thinking patterns to maintain the results of treatment.

Learn more about ADHD medications
Medicines may be the first-line choice for reducing the most disruptive ADHD symptoms. Learn more about their pros and cons.

Start With a Free ADHD Test for Adults

A detailed assessment for ADHD is a one-on-one consultation with a medical professional. However, to first understand whether you need professional support, you can begin with a standard free checklist, the Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS). Please choose the option that most precisely reflects your feelings and behaviors during the last six months.
Your result: 6 points
ADHD is possible

Even though it is a standard self-assessment test, it is not enough to diagnose ADHD. It may only suggest whether you have symptoms consistent with ADHD and is not a substitute for a professional evaluation. To receive a correct diagnosis, you have to discuss your symptoms and health history with a medical professional.

Schedule a video appointment with a licensed mental health professional and go through an accurate evaluation.

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Frequently Asked Questions
If you frequently face challenges with attention, organization, and impulse control that significantly impact your daily life, it might be worthwhile to get tested for ADHD. Persistent difficulties in multiple settings, such as work, school, or relationships, suggest the need for a comprehensive assessment by a healthcare provider. Seeking such an evaluation can help determine the presence of ADHD or other mental health conditions.
Prior to the appointment, make a list of your symptoms and their effects on your life. Also, recall your childhood behaviors that might point out the signs of ADHD. ADHD always begins earlier in life, often by 7 to 12 years, but sometimes the symptoms can be too mild during childhood to cause you any problems. So, remember to mention if you experienced any of the following:
  • Were you often in trouble at school or home because of hyperactivity?
  • Were there any notable changes in your performance at school?
  • Was your room always organized or in a mess?
  • Did you have issues organizing your life as a child?

Preparing for an appointment in advance will help you remember important details and answer all the clinician’s questions. You may also be asked about concerns at work or school, relationship troubles, difficulties paying bills, missing appointments frequently, organization issues, and your driving record.

An ADHD assessment is a detailed interview with a healthcare provider. It includes various standardized tests covering different aspects of life. Note that sometimes you may need more than one appointment to confirm ADHD diagnosis.

An array of questionnaires [1*] are created for ADHD testing—you may be asked to fill out some of them before or during your appointment. These symptom checklists may cover the signs related to psychology, neurology, and neuropsychology. In addition, your mental health specialist will rule out other conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, etc.

ADHD is a complex mental health condition, so it is impossible for patients to diagnose themselves. You can start with online self-tests to know if your symptoms require professional care, but such assessments cannot substitute professional consultation. Only a healthcare specialist can make a proper diagnosis after an in-person or video appointment.
  • Predominantly inattentive ADHD. It is characterized by difficulties sustaining attention, organizing tasks, and following through on responsibilities. People with this  ADHD type are easily distracted and may need help completing tasks.
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD. It is marked by hyperactivity and impulsive behavior without significant inattention. Individuals with this ADHD type may be restless, fidgety, talkative, and prone to acting without considering the consequences.
  • Combined ADHD. It involves a combination of symptoms from both the inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive presentations.

Learn more about ADHD


1 sources
  1. Diagnostic Accuracy of Rating Scales for Attention-Deficit
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