How do I know if I have ADHD?

Try answering the following six questions.

 

Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Often

Very often

How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?

 

 

 

 

 

How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organisation?

 

 

 

 

 

How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?

 

 

 

 

 

When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?

 

 

 

 

 

How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you have to sit down for a long time?

 

 

 

 

 

How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?

 

 

 

 

 

Score one point for each question if you answered sometimes/often/v often to any of the first three questions and add one point for each question if you answered often/very often to the second three.
If you score four points or more then it would be useful to arrange an ADHD assessment. If you scored less then four points then it is highly unlikely that you have Adult ADHD.

Adults with ADHD may not realise that the problems they have with work, relationships and family are in part because of the disorder. Here are some common symptoms that are experienced by adults with ADHD and questions you can ask yourself to see if they may apply to you.

Symptom

Question related to symptom

Lack of focus

Do you have difficulty concentrating?

Losing things

Do you often lose or misplace things?

Disorganisation

Are you disorganised at work and at home?
Do you miss appointments regularly?

Restlessness

Are you restless and/or fidgety?
Do you have trouble staying seated at meetings?

Difficulty finishing projects

Do you start projects and then abandon them? Do you procrastinate on projects that require a lot of attention to detail?

Impulsivity

Are you impulsive? Do you find it hard to stop and think before doing or saying anything? Are you sometimes in difficult situations because you have reacted angrily or even violently?

Poor work record

Have you lost jobs because of poor time keeping or because it’s hard for you to stick to a task? Do you often resign from jobs because you get bored quickly or fall out with your boss?

Mood swings

Are you known to have a hot temper and mood swings?

 
Rating scales have been developed for adults that ask detailed questions about your behaviour. One commonly used scale developed by the World Health Organisation and available for general use without charge is the Adult Self Report Scale ASRS-v1.1 (see reference 1 below). The first part of this is the basis for the six questions in the first table above.

Although these scales help, there is no simple test to determine whether you have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Only an in depth interview with a specialist can rule out other causes of your difficulties and diagnose ADHD accurately.

References

Reference 1
Kessler, R.C., Adler, L., Ames, M. et al (2005). The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS). Psychological Medicine, 35(2), 245-256 http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/ftpdir/adhd/18%20Question%20ADHD-ASRS-v1-1.pdf

 


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