Like all health issues, an ADHD diagnosis requires that you manifest a certain percentage of the symptoms that define the disorder.
But there’s more to it than that. You also have to manifest those symptoms in more than one setting.
And still you may not receive a diagnosis. There is one last requirement. You see, these symptoms also have to impact your life negatively.
Here’s a question, if you have all the symptoms, and they occur in more than one setting, but you don’t feel negatively impacted, do you get a diagnosis?
Here’s two more questions: Do you need a diagnosis? Do you even want a diagnosis? Lets say your bopping along down the road of life, oblivious to the horrendous list of symptoms you’re manifesting, and completely convinced that life couldn’t be better.
How do you know if your symptoms impact your life negatively? That’s another question, isn’t it? Sorry.
But really, lets say your bopping along down the road of life, oblivious to the horrendous list of symptoms you’re manifesting, and completely convinced that life couldn’t be better. But how can you be sure?
What if the time you’ve spent on Facebook, and standing in doorways asking “What was I doing?,” and looking for things that you’re sure were in a pile though you’re not sure which pile, what if all that time might have made the difference between a good life and a great life?
That’s right, it doesn’t count. Because the negative impact is the one that occurs when your symptoms cause you frustration, and your frustration causes you stress, and your stress exacerbates your symptoms.
The negative impact is what ADHD does to your self esteem. It is what ADHD does to your self worth. If you don’t feel it, it isn’t diagnosable
Just because you are unaware of the symptoms, doesn’t mean that you aren’t diagnosable. If you are easily distracted and feeling frustrated to the point of stress by that, there may be an answer. If you behave inappropriately sometimes and then loath yourself and your behavior, there may be a reason. If you find you just can’t cope with lineups or long forms, can’t manage to be on time ever, can’t seem to keep up with income tax filing, can’t stop doing impulsive things or making bad decisions … there may be a diagnosis in your future.
And it may be the thing that helps you to a better life.
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Last reviewed: 12 Aug 2014