When doctors diagnose ADHD, they draw on several sources of information. These can include an interview with the patient, an interview with people who know the patient, a review of school records, and a round of neuropsychological testing.
When it comes down to it, scientific studies are the best resource we have for learning about ADHD. And it’s easy enough to find research being done on ADHD – just go to a database like Google Scholar or PubMed and type in "ADHD," then filter the results as you wish. It’s important to keep in mind that not all scientific studies are created equal, though. When you’re reading about studies on ADHD either directly or through media articles, here are five questions to ask.
If you have ADHD, chances are you sometimes find yourself in the position of trying to explain what ADHD is to people who don’t know anything about ADHD. So how do you describe ADHD to someone who just wants to know, in simple terms, what ADHD is? Who doesn’t want to get into DSM criteria, executive functioning impairments and subtypes of ADHD?
Being diagnosed with ADHD currently requires an interview to assess your symptoms and potentially neuropsychological testing. The result of this diagnostic process depends on how accurately you report your symptoms and the luck of the draw in who your doctor is.
ADHD can throw a wrench into your ability to have a positive relationship with yourself. One reason is that if you don’t understand how your struggles relate to symptoms of ADHD (for example, if you haven’t yet been diagnosed), it’s tempting to interpret your experiences in terms of character flaws. You decide that the source of your problems is that you’re lazy, incompetent or not trying hard enough.