While only a qualified mental health professional can actually diagnose a mental health problem, the following information can be used to help assess what general area you might be having difficulty with (please note that this is not a comprehensive listing of all psychiatric disorders and does not substitute for an evaluation by a mental health professional):
ADULT ADHD - Why It's Important to Get Evaluated
Research suggests that the symptoms of ADHD can persist into adulthood, having a significant impact on the relationships, careers, and even the personal safety of those who may suffer from it. Because this disorder is often misunderstood, many people who have it do not receive appropriate treatment and, as a result, may never reach their full potential. Part of the problem is that it can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in adults.
ADHD or "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" is the term used to describe a set of symptoms that result from deficits in certain aspects of executive functioning. Currently, there are three types of ADHD:
the "Primarily Inattentive Type",
the "Primarily Hyperactive/Impulsive Type",
and the "Combined Type" which is characterized by a certain amount of both Inattentive and Hyperactive/Impulsive symptoms. Contrary to popular belief "ADD" is not an actual diagnosis. It was a popular term coined to describe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Primarily Inattentive Type.
ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence and is independent of this variable. In fact, having a high IQ can at times allow individuals to compensate for their ADHD symptoms, making it more difficult to diagnose. When this disorder goes undiagnosed it often has detrimental effects on the quality of an individual’s life. Untreated ADHD can lead to:
problems in relationships,
poor money management,
poor credit ratings,
lack of follow through on short-term and long-term goals,
termination at work,
ADHD can look different in adults than it does in children. People can have symptoms as children but not be diagnosed and only later in their adult life find out that they have ADHD.
Evaluations for ADHD can be short and relatively simple or much more complex and quite costly. You may wonder "Do I need a really expensive evaluation to determine if I have ADHD?". The answer is "maybe not".
You need a neuropsychological evaluation (think expensive and anywhere from 8-14 hours of testing) IF:
You want to qualify for accommodations at school or work, such as extended time on tests, a quite workspace, etc.
You are going to use the diagnosis to receive disability payments or in any legal proceedings
If you simply want to know if you have ADHD and explore different treatment options such as medications, therapy or coaching you may not need an expensive evaluation.The diagnosis can be accurately given with just a very thorough interview. Dr. Jordan has many years of experience diagnosing and working with children, adolescents and adults with ADHD and can typically provide a diagnosis of ADHD in an adult in 2-3 visits. Dr. Jordan no longer diagnoses ADHD in children or adolescents but can provide referrals for that if needed.
If you think you may have ADHD take a look at the characteristics below: Some Characteristics of Inattentive Symptoms Include:
Difficulty sustaining attention at work or during meetings
Difficulty managing time (and arriving to work on time)
Inefficiency and slowness at getting things done
Forgetfulness with daily activities and difficulty remembering appointments, assignments, and/or obligations
Difficulty Getting Started on tasks that will require sustained attention and/or mental effort
Difficulty switching tasks and shifting attention from one task to the next once focus has been achieved
Becoming overwhelmed by large tasks and difficulty maintaining order while carrying out a task
Procrastination, starting tasks at the last minute, with an inability to complete tasks without an approaching deadline
A tendency to make careless mistakes, often overlooking details with a failure to edit or correct mistakes
Some Characteristics of Hyperactive/Impulsive Symptoms Include:
Poor emotional control: may become too easily upset over small events and have an explosive reaction
Difficulty "slamming on the brakes" before behaving; may act without thinking, interrupt others during conversations or while working, make inappropriate comments, react with emotionally charged comments, etc
Difficulty sitting through meetings at work, feeling fidgety or restless
Feeling as though you have to constantly be moving or doing something
This is not intended to be a diagnostic tool, but if any of these characteristics apply to you on a frequent basis or cause you frustration, I recommend a professional ADHD evaluation.
It is important to receive a psychological evaluation in order to acquire the appropriate diagnosis. It is also important that your physicians collaborate in order to offer you the best treatment.