Diagnosing ADHD

Many of us can relate to questioning whether or not someone we know has ADHD. Maybe it’s your significant other who seems to jump from one task to another without ever really getting ahead on their “to do” list. Or it might be your child who seems easily distracted, can’t sit still in their seat, or who doesn’t seem to be able to focus on their homework or any assignment for more than two seconds. Or it might even be YOU you’re wondering about! It stands out to you that you start a million projects at once and get so distracted that you can’t ever finish any of them.

The question arises – could they have ADHD? Could I have ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) has become a well-known diagnosis, especially in the last twenty years or so. Being more aware of this mental health difficulty seems to evoke more questioning about others or ourselves as to whether or not we experience difficulties with ADHD-related symptoms. I often hear others discuss how more children seem to be taking medication to help manage ADHD symptoms, and I believe it is likely that more pediatricians prescribe drug treatments for the disorder than they did twenty or thirty years ago.

I am bringing this topic to light because I don’t think it’s simply that easy to diagnose others or to self-diagnose. I feel it’s very important to get a sense of whether a person truly has difficulties with attention/concentration by having a thorough assessment. This assessment is generally performed by a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who is skilled at assessing ADHD. The assessment helps to differentiate whether the person’s difficulties are caused by attention/concentration difficulties, difficulties with learning, emotional barriers, behavioral difficulties, or a combination of these. The assessment also helps to clarify an individual’s strengths so that they can implement strategies that can help them excel in various environments.

Although children might be the most commonly tested individuals for ADHD, it is not too late for an adult to be assessed. More often than not, college students and adults in the working world seek assessment in order to improve grades, function better at work, or improve aspects of their home life. Gaining clarification and getting help for potential difficulties can assist both children and adults in functioning better and can even enhance relationships!

For more information about ADHD assessments, please contact the Naperville Counseling Center at (630) 590-9522.