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How to Diagnose ADHD as an Adult? 4 Steps

Are you struggling to concentrate on different tasks? Are you failing to recall minor details such as dates and names? Are you feeling impulsive, anxious, and restless? These things may not seem essential. However, they can be a sign of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).

Shockingly, ADHD is a common disease – however, a lot of individuals thinks that it is the disorder of kids, not adults. And this misinterpretation results in a lot of undiagnosed ADHD adults, who are living their lives with ADHD, and not aware of it. Almost 4-5% of adults in America have ADHD, and most of them are not getting treatment. 

However, you can get the diagnosis of ADHD as an adult. So, taking this significant step can assist you, in the beginning, to manage your disease and better your life entirely. If you may think like you are facing the ADHD signs and symptoms, here are four essential steps that you can do to get the diagnosis. 

Consult Your Doctor

Do you know what the primary step in getting a diagnosis of ADHD is? Going to the doctor. 

However, before scheduling the time, you must ask your doctor if he/she is accessible in the assessment and recognition of ADHD. 

According to ADDitude Magazine, only the professional and experienced doctors can diagnose this disease, ADHD. It can be a physician. However, it can be another individual as well with high qualifications and experience. For instance, psychiatrist, psychologist, or the ARPN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) can quickly diagnose ADHD.

Take the ADHD Assessment

When your doctor diagnoses ADHD, you must go for taking the assessment. There are different ways the medical experts can test for ADHD, its signs, and the other conditions related to ADHD. 

Usually, the assessment of ADHD includes the identification of symptoms, patterns, and areas of effort in the daily life of a patient. All these things can assist your doctor in finding out while ADHD is the culprit or not.

The assessment involves any of the below-mentioned interviews, examinations, or tests. The method includes some different kinds of evaluation to make a diagnosis.

Assessment of Symptoms

This assessment of ADHD will assist your professional in finding out if you have the common signs and symptoms of ADHD. With the help of DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition), the doctor will assess you to see if you meet the criteria of a minimum of six out of nine symptoms for ADHD. 

Clinical Interview

You need to sit with the medical professional to talk about your challenges and symptoms. The doctor will inquire some questions, talk about your work performance and family life, address general health, talk about your medical history, and try to take a picture of your routine life. 

Rating Scale Assessment

With the help of the rating scale, you can give ratings of the symptoms in all types of multiple situations. The doctors can use this assessment to know how your symptoms are different as compared to others having the same age. It assists your consultant in ranking the severity of your challenges and symptoms, and it can provide them with a broad idea. 

Physical Exam

The doctor may ask you to perform a physical exam to check if another condition may cause the symptoms that you experience. It is considered helpful for the doctor so that he can prescribe you the medicines after getting the diagnosis. 

Get an Official Diagnosis

After completion of the assessment, your consultant can give you an official diagnosis of ADHD. 

You may want to know what specific type of diagnosis is yours if you are diagnosed with it. There are two types of ADHD: hyperactive-impulsive type and inattentive type. 

You doctor may diagnose a mix of both types. It will assist in finding out the treatment options of ADHD that can work for you. 

Start Treatment

After the testing procedure and assessment, you can begin seeking the treatment. There are a lot of options for treatment available for adult having ADHD, and it is common to start trying out some types of treatment to see what is suitable for you. 

The most common options of treatment for adults diagnosed with ADHD are:


Two types of medicines are preferable in treating ADHD. One is stimulants, and the other is non-stimulants. The first choice when it comes to talking about ADHD is stimulants. The doctor permit you to increase the dose slowly and the symptoms start improving.

Non-stimulants work totally different. If stimulants do not work, you can go for non-stimulants. It takes some time to adjust the dosage. However, it can lessen symptoms as well.  


A good option of treatment is seeing a therapist for regular sessions because therapies can assist you – and your family – in understanding how ADHD works and work on strategies to handle the challenges and symptoms. 

The best therapy to control your actions and thoughts is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Or you can also go for family counseling as well. 

ADHD Coach

You can also try to approach an ADHD coach. ADHD coach is an experienced and professional person who works best with the people having ADHD, and teach them skills that they can use in their life. It is an approach same like therapy that gives you long-lasting benefits.