Did you know that ADHD, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, isn’t just a disorder children suffer from? Over the last couple of decades, more and more adults have been diagnosed with it, and that’s not to mention the estimated number of adults who’ve yet to be diagnosed it.

No matter what your age, the problem can be difficult to diagnose. The symptoms that are synonymous with ADHD can be attributed to many other disorders or hard to pinpoint unless there is clear evidence of other symptoms.

But doctors may have come up with a way to make a diagnosis easier to determine. They’ve created a simple six-question screening test that may be able to determine if an adult has ADHD accurately.

The test was designed by an advisory group of the World Health Organization. They, along with two board-certified psychiatrists, is based on updated ADHD criteria as it’s lined out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5. These criteria are broader than the original version because the previous version didn’t accurately detect a broad cross-section of adults who suffer with mild to extreme cases of ADHD.

These six questions make up the new ADHD Screening Test:

  1. How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people say to you, even when they are speaking to you directly?
  2. How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which you are expected to remain seated?
  3. How often do you have difficulty unwinding and relaxing when you have time to yourself?
  4. When you’re in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing the sentences of the people you are talking to before they can finish them themselves?
  5. How often do you put things off until the last minute?
    How often do you depend on others to keep your life in order and attend to details?

The answers for these questions include either “never”, “rarely”, “sometimes”, “often”, and “very often”. The “never” response gets a score of zero. Scores for higher responses vary. In total, they can collectively add up to a maximum number of 24. A score of 14 points or more may indicate a diagnosis of Adult onset ADHD. Of course, this test is not the only thing to consider when trying to determine a diagnosis, but it provides a strong basis for a potential diagnosis.

If when you take the quiz and think you meet the criteria for adult ADHD, be sure to make an appointment with your family doctor to confirm a diagnosis. While no diagnosis is ever easy to hear, it is far better to know than to be left wondering whether your suspicions are right or not. You might be surprised to know that there are a variety of treatments and therapies or a combination of the two that can help you deal with the symptoms, and in some cases, find much-needed relief from the most bothersome aspects of the problem.

By Ava Mallory

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