- ADHD Test
- [Self-Test] Do I Have ADHD? Symptom Test for Adults
- Relationship Between ADHD and Anxiety
- It’s Not Necessarily ADHD
- Double jeopardy: How to treat kids with comorbid anxiety and ADHD
- ADHD Tests and Diagnosis
- Understanding an ADHD diagnosis
- Getting help after an ADHD diagnosis
Use this scientific test to help determine if you need to see a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD symptoms include difficulty concentrating, keeping organized, impulsivity, and for some, hyperactivity.
This is only a screening test. A diagnosis can only be made by a mental health professional or psychiatrist.
Instructions: Simply answer the questions on how you have behaved and felt during the past 6 months. Take your time and answer truthfully for the most accurate results.
All rights reserved. For personal, educational or research use only. Based upon the DSM-5 ADHD criteria and informed by research such as Faraone, et al. (2005). What Is the Prevalence of Adult ADHD? Results of a Population Screen of 966 Adults. Journal of Attention Disorders, 9, Kumar, et al. (2011). Screening for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adult inpatients with psychiatric disorders. Psychological Reports, 108, and and the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale v1.1 Symptom Checklist by the World Health Organization.
Want to learn more about ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Overview
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Causes
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment
[Self-Test] Do I Have ADHD? Symptom Test for Adults
Thats hard. My personal oppinion would be to go to a doctor or other trusted professional once you hit 18, as then you can ask them for confidentiality. But if you absolutley cant wait and you see your grades failing, or are struggling to keep yourself on task while doing homework etc., then you need to find solutions that can hold you over until you are able to go find someone that can help you professionally.
Keep in mind i am not certified to treat or diagnose adhd and the only real certification i can cite is the fact that i have been diagnosed by a professional and am currently on medication for it. Now medication is a big help, but it is by no means the only thing that can help you cope with adhd. Some things i have found, especially related to studying etc is working out or exercising right before i study/do homework. This always helps because i feel less energetic and jittery after im done and can usually concentrate on what im doing. Also in regards to the medication, it is a stimulant (i take adderall, but most if not all adhd medications are going to be some form of stimulant). That being said, stimulants come in all different forms. Take coffee for example. It is a stimulant, and while i dont drink it that often, when i was out of medication and had no substitute, coffee at least seemed to help a little bit.
Coffee, though may not work for you specifically, as there are different forms of adhd that effect different parts of the brain. Working out though is usually a pretty good thing to do and is good for all forms of adhd.
Alot of it will be testing solutions for yourself. Hell even the medication could not work, so finding the right things that help you stay focused/motivated/whatever is an imperative. Search around on forums and other website and try to incorporate different suggestions into your life to see if they work.
Sorry for the wall of text, i know its kind of counter active on a web site for adhd LOL. Good luck though. If you have any questions, just ask and i will try my best to answer, or at least point you in the direction of a resource that can.
Childhood ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a controversial topic that is still widely misunderstood. While some noticeable behaviors — such as the inability to pay attention or sit still for any period of time — could be signs of ADHD, there are also many types of anxiety disorders, which can also affect children in similar ways.
It’s not uncommon for ADHD to be confused with an anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder, because symptoms can be very similar. On top of that, a child can have both ADHD and an anxiety disorder at the same time, according to Matthew Jarrett, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of Alabama. Establishing the correct diagnosis for each child is key. “Approximately 30 to 40 percent of children with ADHD meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, but there are also cases where ADHD is diagnosed when an anxiety disorder may be the more appropriate diagnosis.”
But how do you determine whether a child has ADHD, an anxiety disorder, or both? Start with this quiz to test your knowledge of ADHD and anxiety disorders.
Relationship Between ADHD and Anxiety
An anxiety disorder is a mental condition that needs to be treated by a mental health professional. There are things you can do, though, to try to reduce your symptoms.
Learn your triggers
In some people, anxiety may be triggered by specific events, like speaking in public or calling someone on the phone. Once you’ve identified your triggers, work with your doctor to help come up with ways to manage your anxiety in these situations. For example, preparing notes and practicing a presentation may help you feel less anxious when speaking in front of others.
Get seven to eight hours of sleep every night
Being tired may trigger anxiety or increase your risk for feeling anxious. Try to sleep for seven to eight hours every night. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try meditating or taking a warm bath before bed to help quiet your mind. Also plan to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Setting a sleep schedule can be an effective way to train your body to sleep when it’s time for bed.
If you continue to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor. If you’re taking medication for your anxiety or ADHD, it could be interfering with your sleep. You may also need to temporarily take a sleep aid. Don’t start taking any additional medication without first discussing it with your doctor. Some medications may make your anxiety or ADHD symptoms worse.
Create a schedule
If you have ADHD, you may find it hard to complete tasks. This can make anxiety worse in some people. To avoid this, create a schedule and stick to it. Expect each activity to take longer than you think. You don’t want to set unrealistic goals for yourself, as this can increase anxiety.
Keep a journal
Writing in a journal can help clear your mind. There’s no wrong way to keep a journal. It’s only meant for you, so you should feel comfortable writing down anything that’s on your mind. Writing in a journal may also help you pinpoint things you want to discuss with your doctor or therapist.
Exercise may help reduce anxiety. In a review of studies, researchers found that exercise reduced anxiety in numerous different studies. More research is needed to fully understand how exercise affects anxiety. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day. If you’re new to exercise, start small and work your way up to longer, more intense workouts.
Treatment for anxiety can take time, and you may need to try several treatments before finding one that works for you. Be patient with your doctor and, most importantly, with yourself.
It’s Not Necessarily ADHD
Timmy is an 8-year-old in the 3rd grade. He has always been known to be a shy, nervous kid who prefers to keep to himself and wait for others to approach him. He favors routine, and becomes anxious to change or when he is in a new, unfamiliar situation. When Timmy is in the classroom, he gets bored easily, often stares out of the window, and even dozes off at times. He is frequently late to school and often complains of having headaches and feeling nausea. Although his vocabulary is quite high for his age and grade level, his academic achievement is below what is expected. Timmy spends an inordinate amount of time on assignments, and always needs extra time to complete assignments and tests. He has problems copying off the board, sitting still, and just staying on track overall. On top of that, Timmy seems to be quite forgetful, as he usually does not have the materials he needs to complete tasks. Although, his teacher reports that he has a hard time paying attention and often gets behind in his work, Timmy does make astute comments and show a great deal of general knowledge. In fact, he often talks about world problems and events seen on the news, and displays great compassion and empathy for them. At this point, Timmy’s parents are frustrated that he is not reaching his potential. They have heard time and time again that Timmy is an ADHD kid and his primary problem is that he just has difficulty focusing. His parents’ frustration continues, as they are at a lost when medication and behavioral methods aimed at ADHD have minimal effects for Timmy, and he continues to have problems focusing and sitting still.
How often have we witnessed this scenario? The fact is that inattentiveness can be caused by various factors, oftentimes unrelated to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, over the previous decade, the media has trained us to identify and attribute any sign of inattentiveness to ADHD. The fact is that Timmy’s inattention, boredom, fidgetiness, forgetfulness, falling behind on tasks, academic underachievement, and difficulty staying on track has little to do with ADHD. This misassumption has led to many misdiagnoses, and resulted in numerous frustrated teachers, parents, and the child him/herself. Symptoms of inattention, distraction, fidgetiness, and what appears to be boredom do not automatically spell ADHD, and instead, can indicate anxiety in children.
Anxiety is the most common cause of mental, emotional, and behavioral problems during childhood and adolescence. However, it is often overlooked or misjudged in children and adolescents. About 13 out of every 100 children and adolescents ages 9 to 17 experience some kind of anxiety disorders. About half of children and adolescents with an anxiety disorder have a second anxiety disorder or other mental or behavioral difficulty, such as depression. If left untreated, anxiety disorders in children will likely progress into adulthood. Thus, it is foremost necessary to learn to identify the correct underlying cause of a child’s inattentiveness. A proper assessment is the first step to prevent long-term difficulties at school and minimize frustration for others involved in the child’s life. From a valid assessment, we can determine a proper diagnosis and establish an effective treatment plan. Therefore, it is critical that parents and teachers understand the difference between anxiety disorders and ADHD in children.
Anxiety vs. ADHD
Although on the surface level Timmy’s difficulty with concentration and focus may appear to be the result of ADHD, a closer look at the clues reveal underlying causes that actually point to symptoms of anxiety. Children with ADHD have a difficult time paying attention and focusing. They may also be impulsive and have difficulty with self-control, and be hyperactive. A child with an anxiety disorder may have symptoms that appear the same; however, the symptoms are actually behavioral manifestations of the child’s preoccupation with excessive worry, fears, and tension. Let’s take a closer look at Timmy’s specific symptoms that are caused by anxiety rather than ADHD.
Timmy is a shy, nervous kid who prefers to keep to himself and wait for others to approach him. Children with anxiety do not always understand why they have excessive worries and catastrophic thoughts that trigger intense fears. They cannot comprehend that the experience of the internal “fight-and-flight” sensation actually serves a survival purpose. From their lack of understanding of what is going on with their mind and body, they may attribute these symptoms to “something is wrong with me.” They may purposely keep their distance from others, especially peers, to keep their “oddities” hidden and prevent others from noticing.
Timmy favors routine, and becomes anxious to change or when he is in a new, unfamiliar situation. Children with anxiety regularly feel apprehensive about their environment. They are constantly hyper-vigilant and on guard for any remotely potential catastrophic event to occur. They view their world as an unsafe place filled with unfamiliar and dangerous possibilities of harm, real or imagined. To maintain a sense of security and certainty, they prefer to be in familiar situations, leaving out the need to second-guess anything. When they are put in new environments, they feel intense fear about the uncertainties of their environment, and may even react with extreme temper tantrums.
- Timmy gets bored easily, often stares out of the window, and even dozes off at times. He is frequently late to school and often complains of having headaches and feeling nausea. Children with anxiety disorders often complain that their bodies hurt, and that they feel ill. These are physical manifestations of our internal physiological sensations of anxiety. Children with anxiety may also experience tiredness from lack of sleep at night. Morning and bedtime periods tend to be more difficult than midday for anxious children, making morning routines that much more time-consuming. Although they may appear bored or distracted, anxious children are actually too preoccupied with fears and worries to participate in activities and stay on task. Instead, their minds are elsewhere and lost in their worrisome thoughts, which can negatively affect their academic performance.
- Timmy spends an inordinate amount of time on assignments, and always needs extra time to complete assignments and tests. He is forgetful, and has problems copying off the board, sitting still, and staying on track. Children with anxiety are so consumed with their worries and fears of uncertainty and harm that they have little room in their minds for anything else. In fact, it is rather difficult to stop the train of apprehensive thoughts once the worry engine is triggered. This makes it extremely hard for anxious children who are in the midst of their worrisome thoughts to have the necessary attention span long enough to retain effective memory skills for their classroom tasks. It also makes it difficult for the anxious child to remain still and maintain calmness. As a result, the time needed to complete tasks if often prolonged.
After taking this closer examination of Timmy’s condition, it is clear that his behavioral manifestations stem from anxiety rather than ADHD, as it may have initially appeared. We now have a better understanding of his behaviors and symptoms. Assessing for anxiety gives us a more complete perspective, allowing us to determine a proper diagnosis and establish an effective treatment plan. Thus, learning how inattentiveness presents itself within the anxious child is the first step to gaining specific strategies for working with the child successfully within the school and with the family.
Double jeopardy: How to treat kids with comorbid anxiety and ADHD
Aaron, age 10, has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but is not being treated with medication because his parents do not believe in psychopharmacology. They bring him to a specialized child anxiety clinic and ask for “urgent CBT” because his behavior at school is out of control.
Aaron rearranges the therapist’s office furniture during much of the assessment interview. He also acknowledges many anxiety symptoms. The therapist doubts that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) would help without other interventions.
Children with anxiety disorders and ADHD—a common comorbid presentation—tend to be more impaired than those with either condition alone.1 Effective treatment usually requires 4 components (Table 1), including medication plus behavioral or cognitive-behavioral therapy. This article discusses clinical issues related to each component and describes how to successfully combine them into a treatment plan.
Comorbid ADHD and anxiety: 4 treatment components
Successful treatment usually involves combining 4 components:
- medication trial of a stimulant or atomoxetine
- psychological intervention with behavioral or cognitive-behavioral therapy
- family psychoeducation, with particular attention to possible anxious or inattentive traits in parents that may affect treatment
- treating the whole child by collaborating with school personnel
Make individual adjustments as needed, depending on the child’s symptom profile, social context, and developmental level
ADHD: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Stimulants, atomoxetine, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been advocated for children with anxiety and ADHD. Given the high risk of behavioral disinhibition with SSRIs in children,2 stimulants or atomoxetine are suggested as first-line medications.3,4
Stimulants target ADHD symptoms primarily, but anxiety decreases in some children (24% in a recent trial) as ADHD symptoms are controlled.4 Because it is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), atomoxetine may target both ADHD and anxiety symptoms. When initiating these medications, “start low and go slow.” Recommended dosing is no different for children with ADHD and anxiety than for those with ADHD alone (Table 2).5
Stimulant response rates for children with ADHD and anxiety vary among studies. Some report lower response rates than for children with ADHD alone and possibly more treatment-emergent side effects.6 The National Institute of Mental Health’s Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA) found that comorbid anxiety did not adversely affect behavioral response to stimulants but did moderate outcomes (Box 1).7,8 Adding intensive psychosocial intervention to stimulant treatment appeared to yield greater improvements in anxious children with ADHD, compared with stimulants alone.8
Cognitive impairments related to inattention do not consistently improve with stimulant treatment.9 This is clinically important because children with ADHD and comorbid anxiety disorders can be very cognitively impaired.10
Add an SSRI? Monotherapy is simpler and usually more acceptable to families, but a placebo-controlled study examined adding an SSRI (fluvoxamine) to methylphenidate treatment.4 Children with anxiety and ADHD who received adjunctive fluvoxamine did no better than those who received methylphenidate plus placebo.
Atomoxetine. A large, randomized, controlled trial of atomoxetine in this population found good tolerability and statistically significant reductions in ADHD and anxiety symptoms compared with placebo. Effect size was greater for ADHD symptoms than for anxiety symptoms,11 however, which supports smaller trials that show more consistent evidence of atomoxetine reducing ADHD symptoms than anxiety symptoms.
Similar to antidepressants with the SNRI chemical structure, atomoxetine’s effectiveness for a given child takes several weeks to determine. This can be a problem in children who are highly distressed or impaired and require rapid symptomatic improvement.
Recommendation. Consider a stimulant or atomoxetine initially for children with anxiety disorders and ADHD, and seek concurrent behavioral or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Caution families that:
- >1 medication trial might be needed, as response may not be as consistent as in children with ADHD alone
- medication-related improvements in ADHD symptoms will not necessarily be associated with reduced anxiety symptoms or improved academic ability
- improvements with atomoxetine might not be evident for several weeks.
Medication dosing for children with ADHD*
|Medication||Recommended starting dosage||Recommended maximum dosage||5 most common side effects in descending prevalence|
|Methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin)||5 mg tid||Total 60 mg/d||Insomnia, nervousness, decreased appetite, dizziness, nausea|
|Methylphenidate hydrochloride (Concerta)||18 mg every morning||54 mg every morning||Headache, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, vomiting, insomnia|
|Dextroamphetamine sulfate (Dexedrine)||5 mg every morning||Total 40 mg/d||Palpitations, restlessness, dizziness, dry mouth, decreased appetite|
|Mixed amphetamine salts (Adderall)||10 mg every morning||30 mg every morning||Decreased appetite, insomnia, abdominal pain, emotional lability, vomiting|
|Atomoxetine (Strattera)||0.5 mg/kg/d||1.2 mg/kg/d||Decreased appetite, dizziness, stomach upset, fatigue, irritability|
|ADHD: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder|
|* Recommended dosing is no different for children with ADHD and anxiety than for children with only ADHD|
|Source: Reference 5|
ADHD Tests and Diagnosis
Understanding an ADHD diagnosis
It’s normal to feel upset or intimidated by a diagnosis of ADHD. But keep in mind that getting a diagnosis can be the first step toward making life better. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can start getting treatment—and that means taking control of symptoms and feeling more confident in every area of life.
An ADHD diagnosis may feel like a label, but it may be more helpful to think of it as an explanation. The diagnosis explains why you may have struggled with life skills such as paying attention, following directions, listening closely, organization—things that seem to come easily to other people.
In this sense, getting a diagnosis can be a relief. You can rest easier knowing that it wasn’t laziness or a lack of intelligence standing in your or your child’s way, but rather a disorder that you can learn how to manage.
Also keep in mind that an ADHD diagnosis is not a sentence for a lifetime of suffering. Some people have only mild symptoms, while others experience more pervasive problems. But regardless of where you or your child land on this spectrum, there are many steps you can take to manage your symptoms.
Co-existing conditions and ADHD
It is important to understand that an ADHD diagnosis does not rule out other mental health conditions. The following disorders are not part of an ADHD diagnosis but sometimes co-occur with ADHD, or get confused with it:
Anxiety – Excessive worry that occurs frequently and is difficult to control. Symptoms include feeling restless or on edge, easily fatigued, panic attacks, irritability, muscle tension, and insomnia.
Depression – Symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and self-loathing, as well as changes in sleep and eating habits and a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy.
Learning disabilities – Problems with reading, writing, or mathematics. When given standardized tests, the student’s ability or intelligence is substantially higher than their achievement.
Substance abuse – The impulsivity and behavioral issues that often go along with ADHD can lead to alcohol and drug problems.
Getting help after an ADHD diagnosis
A diagnosis of ADHD can be a great wake-up call—it can give you the extra push you need to seek help for the symptoms that are getting in the way of your happiness and success. If you or your child is diagnosed with ADHD, don’t wait to start treatment. The earlier you begin tackling the symptoms, the better.
Managing ADHD takes work. Finding the right treatments for you or your child is a process—one that takes time, persistence, and trial and error. But you can help yourself along the way by keeping the following goals in mind: learning as much as you can about ADHD, getting plenty of support, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits.
ADHD is treatable. Don’t give up hope. With the right treatment and support, you or your child will be able to get the symptoms of ADHD under control and build the life that you want.
Treatment is your own responsibility. It’s up to you to take action to manage the symptoms of ADHD. Health professionals can help, but ultimately, the responsibility lies in your own hands.
Learning all you can about ADHD is key. Understanding the disorder will help you make informed decisions about all aspects of your or your child’s life and treatment.
Support makes all the difference. While treatment is up to you, support from others can help you stay motivated and get you through tough times.