Can You Get Diagnosed With ADHD As An Adult?

Can You Get Diagnosed With ADHD as an Adult?

Can You Get Diagnosed With ADHD As An Adult?

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a commonly diagnosed condition in children and presents in adults. Mental health awareness makes many more people seek solutions to conditions (such as ADHD) initially perceived as mere behavioral tendencies. Even so, there is no single medical, physical, or genetic test for ADHD, but a qualified mental health professional can provide a diagnostic evaluation. Let’s see how you can be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. This article aims to enlighten the reader on how to get diagnosed with ADHD online.

Can You Get Diagnosed With ADHD as an Adult?

Procedures Employed by Doctors to Diagnose Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD can only be diagnosed through analysis of the symptoms presented. First the clinician will check if you had the same symptoms since childhood. There’s a likelihood of adults having ADHD that was carried from childhood [1*] . Secondly they will check the extent of the symptoms you exhibit from inattentive to overactive-impulse or a combination of both. Let us look at how symptoms present themselves on that scale.

ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Presentation

ADHD Adults in this category present the following symptoms

  • General difficulty sustaining attention
  • They make careless mistakes or is not keen on details
  • They appear not to be listening
  • Disorganization problems
  • They do not like tasks that require sustained mental efforts
  • Easily lose things
  • They are easily distracted
  • They are forgetful

ADHD Predominantly Overactive-impulsive

If you are an ADHD fitting this presentation, you will exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Fidgeting with feet, squirms, or hands when on a chair
  • Experiencing difficulties remaining seated
  • Tends to be noisy when engaging in activities
  • Talking excessively
  • Hurriedly answering questions
  • Intrudes or interrupts others
  • Acting or feeling as if a motor drives them
  • Extreme restlessness

The Combined Presentation

When having this type of ADHD you usually present a mix of symptoms that are common with both excessive activity ADHD and inattentive characterized ADHD. Clinicians will diagnose you with ADHD depending on the number and severity of the symptoms you are experiencing. They may also use the duration of the symptoms and the degree to which the symptoms lead to impairment in varying areas of life. More significantly, the clinician will examine whether the symptoms result from other factors before they can conclude that you have ADHD.

How to Get Diagnosed With ADHD Online

The diagnosis process for Adult ADHD involves some of the following steps

  • An rough understanding on Adult ADHD symptoms
  • Visiting a General Practice medical doctor, with whom you discuss the symptoms. The doctor may recommend further attention from an Adult ADHD specialist.
  • Speaking with an adult ADHD specialist
  • Receiving assessment from a mental health professional
  • Discussing the next steps in recovery and coping mechanisms (Medication, CBT, Group Therapy, and couples and family therapy).

You can get online adult ADHD treatment by contacting mental health professionals. Check that they have been certified by the relevant authorities and also go through patient reviews to know for sure that you will get the best services.

Adult ADHD Symptoms

There are many symptoms that may indicate Adult ADHD that include:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Having poor time management skills
  • Poor organization and prioritization of problems
  • Having problems laying focus on a specific task
  • Exhibiting extreme restlessness and activity
  • Experiencing frequent mood swings
  • Getting angry quickly
  • Having problems following through and completing tasks
  • Experiencing trouble when trying to cope with stress
  • Having trouble when multitasking
  • Poor planning
  • Inability to tolerate frustrations

What’s the Connection Between Childhood and Adult ADHD?

Getting diagnosed with ADHD as an adult is only possible if the condition was present during childhood. However, ADHD cannot develop during adulthood [2*] . It is difficult to spot ADHD signs and symptoms in adults, but they usually start during early childhood, specifically before age 12, and then continue to adulthood. ADHD in adulthood usually leads to many problems.

Typically, if you have adult ADHD then you had the condition during your childhood.


Medical specialists can use the following tests to diagnose adult ADHD;-

  • Physical examination: crucial in helping to rule out if other occurrences are the causes for the symptoms
  • Gathering information: Usually done by asking questions about medical issues, symptom history, personal and family history, among others.
  • ADHD rating scales or psychological tests: This is usually done to help collect and evaluate information relating to the symptoms.

To get the right treatment it is important to consult the right professionals, that is doctors with experience in diagnosing Adult ADHD.

Is It Harder to Diagnose ADHD in Adults? How Do You Get Diagnosed With ADHD as an Adult?

Performing an ADHD diagnosis is a little bit more difficult in adults. This is because there are disagreements if the list criterion used to diagnose children and teenagers applies to adult diagnosis [3*] . As an adult, you may often be diagnosed with ADHD if you exhibit five or more of the symptoms of inattentiveness. A positive diagnosis may also happen if five or more hyperactivity and impulsiveness symptoms normally listed on the diagnostic criterion in a child with ADHD are presented. During the assessment, the clinician will inquire about your present symptoms. Even so, the currency diagnostic guidelines recommend that confirmation of ADHD in adults can only be confirmed if your symptoms were present in your childhood. In some instances, you may not recall whether the symptoms presented during your childhood. This will require the clinician to talk with your parents, teachers, or anyone else who knew you during your childhood to establish the essential facts.

Can You Get Diagnosed With ADHD as an Adult?

As an adult, you will only be diagnosed with ADHD if the symptoms have had a moderate effect on different areas of your life, which include:

  • Poor achievement in education or at work
  • Dangerous driving
  • Experiencing difficulties in making and keeping friends
  • Experiencing difficulties in relationships with partners

Note that ADHD does not develop for the first time in adults. If your symptoms have not been occurring regularly in the past, you cannot be considered to have ADHD.

In conclusion, diagnosing Adult ADHD is not easy because there are disagreements about adult and childhood symptoms. However, there are ADHD doctors for adults who specialize in diagnosing the condition and effectively help with the right coping mechanisms. You can find ADHD treatment doctors at EZCare Clinic.


+3 sources
  1. Childhood predictors of persistent ADHD in early adulthood: Results from the first follow-up study in China. (2015)
    Source link
  2. Our Current Understanding of Adult ADHD. (2014)
    Source link
  3. The DSM-5: Classification and criteria changes. (2013)
    Source link

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in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.