Questions, questions, questions ... oh yeah, answers, answers, answers also - it's got it all.

Questions, questions, questions … oh yeah, answers, answers, answers also – it’s got it all.

Warning: This is not a diagnosis.

Are you curious about your mental health as it relates to ADHD? Of course you are, why else are you here reading this? Oh, right, you have a friend you’re worried about. Okay, we’ll go with that.

Well, good news. You can take the test. Oh, yeah, that’s right, you can get your friend to take the test. It’s completely anonymous so no one will ever know you did it, just you … and your friend.

Can we talk?

But before you take it, or your friend does, I want to have a little talk with you. This is not a definitive test, this is not a diagnosis. Having said that, I must add that it is a damned good indicator that you should seek help. Even if you score low, some evaluation by a mental health professional is probably in order. I’m not saying this because I think you’d cheat, I’m saying it because you took the test. If you did that because you’re seeking answers, then you must have questions. A mental health professional can help you find the answers. Promise me you’ll consider it, ‘kay?

On to the test … not!

Another thing I want to warn you about is rationalizing while filling out the questionnaire. This is about you. Don’t read a statement and then assess how common the indicated situation is in general before you decide what to choose for your answer. Answer for you. Just because you think that everybody has many projects on the go and rarely finishes any of them does not mean it’s okay for you to say [Somewhat] when the correct answer is [Quite a lot].

Another thing you need to know is that the result will not be your permanent, life time score. It may not be very accurate for you at all. If you are currently undergoing greater stress than usual, your score will be higher than it would be under your normal stressful circumstances. Mine went up 16 points after my wife died. And my first score was unmedicated where my second score was well into my treatment. Can you say “Holy stress induction, Batman!” I can.

Put down the keyboard and back away from the mouse

Lastly, while this questionnaire is not a diagnosis, it is, as I said, a strong indicator. And strong is the emotional effect you will experience if this is your initial confirmation of your suspicions. So when you get your score, if it is high, don’t panic. You can’t go backwards. This is not a set back, nor a step forward. You’ve just been given some information, a lot of information really, in a few words. You need to take a break right here. You need to contemplate a few points. You’re not broken, you’re different. You’re not so much to blame for the mess as you are caught in it. You could have done better with your life, but you’d have needed to know how and no one told you that.

There’s not knowing and there’s really not knowing

ADHD means that you have poor self awareness, that’s why you need the questionnaire, and the diagnosis. That’s why you can’t make good decisions for yourself. Well, that’s one of the reasons, you’ll learn about the others now that you’ve started on this path.

So take a break, think it over and make a plan. You took the test, it won’t cure you, but it won’t make you worse either. You don’t get to start from square one, but you do get to start from here. And if you think things can’t get any worse, lucky you, you’ve got nowhere to go but up. Good luck!

The Jasper Goldberg Adult ADHD Questionnaire