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ADULTS

ADHD Diagnosis

ADHD in adults

adults ADHD diagnosis

Diagnosing ADHD in adults is more difficult because there’s some disagreement about whether the list of symptoms used to diagnose children and teenagers also applies to adults.

In some cases, an adult may be diagnosed with ADHD if they have 5 or more of the symptoms of inattentiveness, or 5 or more of hyperactivity and impulsiveness, listed in diagnostic criteria for children with ADHD.

As part of your assessment, the specialist will ask about your present symptoms. However, under current diagnostic guidelines, a diagnosis of ADHD in adults cannot be confirmed unless your symptoms have been present from childhood.

If you find it difficult to remember whether you had problems as a child, or you were not diagnosed with ADHD when you were younger, your specialist may wish to see your old school records, or talk to your parents, teachers, or anyone else who knew you well when you were a child.

For an adult to be diagnosed with ADHD, their symptoms should also have a moderate effect on different areas of their life, such as:

  • underachieving at work or in education
  • driving dangerously
  • difficulty making or keeping friends
  • difficulty in relationships with partners

If your problems are recent and did not occur regularly in the past, you’re not considered to have ADHD. This is because it’s currently thought that ADHD cannot develop for the first time in adults.

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