ADHD: Symptoms, Tests, and Diagnosis


It can be difficult to identify ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) symptoms in children and adults. One reason for this is that patients have different personalities. However, certain traits a person has may reveal a behavioral issue such as ADHD. Fortunately, the diagnosis process can lead to treatment and educate people on how to handle this condition. This is especially the case since a recent study published in the European Child Adolescent Psychiatry Journal suggests a teenager may not grow out of ADHD.

Parents may notice their child having troubles sitting still when being read to, watching television or any other activity that requires a person to remain idle for a long period of time. A child with ADHD might grab at everything and have to play with it. It is sometimes difficult for the child to focus on anything that does not interest them. Having to do repeated tasks is difficult for a child with ADHD. They may perform poorly in school as they will make careless mistakes, have difficulty listening or following directions. The child with ADHD is likely to blurt out inappropriate comments at inopportune times. Forgetfulness is a common symptom of ADHD as well.

In teenagers, symptoms of ADHD include distractibility, poor concentration, hyperactivity, disorganization, and impulsivity. They have a tendency to become bored with schoolwork easily. They are more likely to make impulsive decisions than their peers and are prime victims of substance abuse, and promiscuity.

Adults who have ADHD may lose their keys or cell phone frequently. In fact, they may lose a lot of things. They experience difficulty concentrating, may experience frequent restlessness and have the potential to act on a sudden impulse. They may not complete tasks that are needed or asked of them. Adults with ADHD are usually disorganized, have a hot temper or have trouble dealing with stress. Frequent mood swings are common and so is having unstable relationships.

ADHD can only be diagnosed by a professional as symptoms of ADHD may be misinterpreted for the symptoms of other conditions. There isn’t one test alone to diagnose ADHD. The doctor will evaluate a child’s performance in school, in a family environment, and also at the practice. They will go over ADHD symptoms to see how many the child has. Interviews may be conducted on people who know the child. Questionnaires along with psychological testing are used as part of the ADHD diagnosis process. In adults, the same applies, but it’s more difficult to diagnose ADHD since the symptoms need to have started during childhood, and it might be difficult to remember back that far. Sometimes, treatment requires looking into school records and talking to people who knew the person as a child in order to diagnose it.