ZocdocAnswersHow can I tell whether I have ADHD?

Question

How can I tell whether I have ADHD?

Is there a test I can take online? Which doctor do I ask?

Answer

Adult type attention deficit disorder is increasingly being recognized and treated. You can start by talking to your primary care doctor about your symptoms; however, if your doctor is suspicious that you have attention deficit disorder, they will probably refer you to a psychiatrist for more formal evaluation. Unlike attention deficit disorder in children (which many primary care doctors will manage), in adults it tends to be managed by a psychiatrist. There are multiple screening questionnaires for adult type attention deficit disorder. Many of these you can find on line. However, all that this screening test will be able to tell you is whether or not you should get an appointment with a psychiatrist to be more formally evaluated. A common misperception is that all trouble concentrating is caused by attention deficit disorder. There are many other causes, including routine stress and fatigue. Furthermore, patients with attention deficit disorder tend to have significant impairment in their performance, for example at school or work, due to the attention symptoms. Therefore, minor troubles with concentrating would not qualify as attention deficit disorder. You should start by setting up an appointment with your primary care doctor or psychiatrist. They will help you figure out what to do next.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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