What do ADD tests for adults entail?


Quick Answer

There is no single test for diagnosing ADD in adults, according to Helpguide. A doctor or mental health professional uses various tools such as a thorough medical exam to rule out other causes, a history of past and present problems and a symptom checklist to make a diagnosis.

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Full Answer

Adults may be asked to fill out a questionnaire before their appointment, and they may need to name another individual, such as a family member, who can partake in part of the assessment, as stated by Helpguide. To be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, an individual must display a combination of hallmark symptoms such as impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity. Symptoms must be severe enough to negatively impact the person's life. Many individuals experience problems in one or more specific areas such as finances, career and responsibilities related to family. The mental health professional also looks at how far back the symptoms can be traced in the patient's life. Symptoms must have been affecting the patient for at least six months and must be present in multiple settings.

ADD looks different in every individual, and it is important that patients be completely open and honest with the mental health professional to receive an accurate diagnosis, as affirmed by Helpguide. On their own, occasional ADD symptoms are normal in both children and adults, and they also characterize other problems such as emotional issues and learning disorders.

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