Many people don’t realize that adults also experience ADHD. Even fewer, then, have a clear picture of what it means to have ADHD as an adult. While ADHD is something that is most commonly tested for in childhood, for various reasons, it can slip under the radar.

The focus of today’s blog post is what testing for ADHD looks like for adults as well as signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.

ADHD Testing for Adults in San Jose and Roseville

When we think of someone with ADHD we often think of a big ball of easily distractible energy. They’re bouncing from one thought to the next without stopping for a breath—and yes, sometimes that’s the case—but ADHD presents differently in different people. Men and women with ADHD experience it differently, as do children and adults.

 Adults with ADHD often:

  • Have trouble managing deadlines.
  • Can be disorganized.
  • Become irritable & frustrated easily.
  • Frequently lose or misplace objects.
  • Struggle to focus on unpleasant tasks for long periods.

At the same time, those same adults with ADHD may be capable of intense focus on tasks that appeal to them or interest them. A favorite video game can suck up hours of their day, or falling down a documentary rabbit hole can leave them wondering where the weekend went. Adults with ADHD may appear from the outside to be low energy.

Men and women experience ADHD differently as well. Men tend to experience that classic restlessness and hyperactivity, where women may end up daydreaming or letting their attention wander instead. In both men and women, ADHD in adults is correlated with relationship issues, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

How Testing for ADHD Works

Many people get started with the testing process by checking out some of the many ADHD self-assessments available online. These tests are straightforward and simple. They usually involve a simple battery of questions designed to help you reflect on your own behaviors and patterns. 

Questions include things like:

  • How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project?
  • How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things?
  • How often do you have difficulty keeping your attention when you are doing boring work?

San Jose & Roseville, CA Psychological Consultation

Once you finish the self-assessment, your next step may be to choose an evaluator to get to know more specifically what the formal assessment process looks like. Be prepared to talk about the self-assessment, explain how you think ADHD may impact your life, and any history you believe you may have with it, looking back on your childhood or early adulthood. 

At this point, the evaluator is likely to initiate an evaluation process that may involve conducting a detailed interview or questionnaire and administering some tests that will help you understand some of the struggles you’ve been facing, while also learning about your strengths and areas you shine. 

Getting a Diagnosis

Increasingly, ADHD testing is available for adults online. But please remember, these questionnaires and quizzes you find online are just a starting point. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, we highly recommend speaking to a professional who specializes in the evaluation and testing of ADHD in adults. You may be able to get a telemedicine appointment depending on where you live. 

Treatment

If you believe you may have Adult ADHD and are uncomfortable with medication, there are plenty of options available to you. There are numerous therapies that are effective in helping people manage ADHD, even without medication. Think of ADHD as a game you’ve been playing your whole life. Maybe you feel like you’ve been losing this whole time, but remember—nobody told you the rules!  Once you learn how to play, you can win. Reach out to learn more about ADHD assessments from our excellent psychologist and evaluator, Dr. Bridget Wieckowski when you’re ready to finally get answers.

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