Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - Diagnosis

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Please describe how you came to be diagnosed with adult ADHD.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white square:

How is ADHD in adults diagnosed?

In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, a child must demonstrate six symptoms of inattention or six symptoms of combined hyperactivity and impulsivity, while an older teen or adult need only exhibit five of each group of symptoms. The symptoms should start before 12 years of age, be present in more than one setting (for example, home and work), be severe enough to cause problems for the individual, and not be able to be better explained by another condition for the diagnosis of ADHD. There are three kinds of ADHD: predominately inattentive type, predominately hyperactive/impulsive type, and the combined (inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive) type.

Many health-care professionals, including licensed mental-health therapists, primary-care providers, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and social workers may help make the diagnosis of ADHD in adults. One of these professionals will likely conduct or refer for an extensive medical interview and physical examination as part of the assessment. As ADHD is sometimes associated with a number of other mental-health problems, such as depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other anxiety disorders, Asperger's syndrome and other autism-spectrum disorders, the evaluator will likely screen for signs of depression, manic depression, anxiety, and other mental-health symptoms. The symptoms of adult ADHD may also be the result of a number of medical conditions or can be a side effect of various medications. For this reason, routine laboratory tests are often performed during the initial evaluation to rule out other causes of symptoms. Occasionally, an X-ray, scan, or other imaging study may be needed. As part of this examination, the sufferer may be asked a series of questions from a standardized questionnaire or self-test to help establish the diagnosis. Some symptom checklists for children have been adapted and revised to effectively screen for ADHD in adults. Examples of such checklists include Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale, or CAARS, as well as the Adult Self Report Scale.

Return to Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

See what others are saying

Comment from: ADHD husband, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 01

I am a wife of a husband with ADHD. My life is terrible. I experience anger, judgement, assumption, criticism, impulsiveness and financial burden. We have identical bags, duplicate copies of books, and millions of shoes everywhere. Our house is a mess with my husband's overflowing belongings. I feel like I am trapped in his fantasy. All our kids have ADHD, my 15 years old son talks and behaves like my husband. I want to divorce, but I feel scared and threatened. I wish he would admit to his condition and get the right treatment.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: barb dugan, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

I am 31 and have ADHD. I'm focused with my thoughts. My medicine works, so why am I told that adults who take Adderall are not allowed to also take Ritalin? I've heard it's done and that it can help.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!