How to Get a Diagnosis for Adult ADHD
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain difference that can have an effect on how you live your life. Although there are no permanent cures, treatments can help make life better and reduce symptoms.
If you are an adult, your doctor will look for signs of ADHD based on DSM-5 clinical guidelines. They may ask you to complete a self-report or observer scale such as Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales or Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scales, plus they’ll likely inquire about your medical history, development over time, family life and social life, academic achievements and work experience, driving record, drug/alcohol abuse history and relationships with friends and family members.
Ask your primary care doctor for recommendations of local professionals who specialize in adult ADHD diagnosis. Additionally, you can search your insurance plan’s online directory to locate nearby doctors or speak with members of your support group for referrals.
Once your doctor has confirmed you meet the criteria for adult ADHD diagnosis, they will conduct a comprehensive evaluation. This may include a diagnostic interview, standardized behavior rating scales for ADHD, and any additional psychometric testing deemed necessary by the clinician.
The assessment is typically conducted by a psychologist or psychiatrist, who will conduct an in-depth interview with you and your spouse/significant other. They may also ask about your medical history, complete DSM-5 symptom checklists, as well as administer various standardized behavior rating scales.