診斷和症狀-過度活躍症(注意力不足過動症 / ADHD)

GPs cannot formally diagnose ADHD, but they can discuss your concerns with you and refer you for specialist assessment if necessary. Your school can also arrange specialist referrals for your child.

When you visit your GP they may ask you:

  • About your or your child’s symptoms
  • when these symptoms begin
  • Where symptoms occur – for example at home, school, college or university or the workplace
  • Do the symptoms affect you or your child's daily life - for example, do they make social interaction difficult
  • If there have been any recent significant events in your or your children's lives, such as the death of a family member or divorce
  • If you have a family history of ADHD
  • About any other problems or symptoms of different health conditions you or your child may have

children and teenagers

If your GP thinks your child may have ADHD, they may first recommend a period of "watchful waiting". – For about 10 weeks – to see if your child’s symptoms improve, stay the same, or get worse.

They may also recommend starting a group-based, ADHD-focused parent training or education program. Undergoing a parent training and education program does not mean you are a bad parent—it is designed to teach you ways to help yourself and your children.

If your child's behavior does not improve and you and the GP agree that it is affecting their daily life, the GP should refer you and your child to a specialist for a formal assessment.

adult

For adults who may have ADHD, your GP will assess your symptoms and may refer you for assessment if:

  • You were not diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but your symptoms began in childhood and have persisted ever since
  • Your symptoms cannot be explained by a mental health condition
  • Your symptoms can seriously affect your daily life - for example, if you don't perform well at work or find intimacy difficult

You may also be referred to a specialist if you had ADHD as a child or adolescent and your symptoms now cause moderate or severe functional impairment.

Evaluate

You or your child may be referred to one of the following types of specialists for a formal evaluation:

  • Child or adult specialist psychiatrist
  • Pediatrician - child health specialist
  • An appropriately qualified healthcare professional with training and expertise in diagnosing ADHD

Who you are referred to will depend on your age and what services are available in your local area.

There is no simple test that can determine whether you or your child has ADHD, but your specialist can make an accurate diagnosis after a detailed evaluation. Assessment may include:

  • A physical exam, which can help rule out other possible causes of symptoms
  • a series of interviews with you or your children
  • Interviews or reports from significant others such as partners, parents and teachers

Diagnosis of children and adolescents

The diagnosis of ADHD in children depends on a strict set of criteria. To be diagnosed with ADHD, your child must have 6 or more symptoms of inattention or 6 or more symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

To be diagnosed with ADHD, your child must also have:

  • Have symptoms continuously for at least 6 months
  • Symptoms begin before age 12
  • Show symptoms in at least 2 different settings - for example, at home and at school, to rule out the possibility that the behavior is simply a response to some teacher or parent control
  • Symptoms that make their life more difficult on a social, academic or professional level
  • Symptoms are not only part of a developmental disorder or difficult stage, but are not better explained by another disorder

adult diagnosis

Diagnosing ADHD in adults is more difficult because there is some disagreement about whether the list of symptoms used to diagnose children and adolescents also applies to adults.

In some cases, an adult may be diagnosed with ADHD if they have 5 or more of the inattention symptoms, or 5 or more of the hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms listed in the Children's Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD.

As part of the evaluation, the specialist will ask you about your current symptoms. However, according to current diagnostic guidelines, adult ADHD cannot be diagnosed unless your symptoms have been present since childhood.

If you find it difficult to remember whether you had problems as a child, your specialist may want to review your old school records or talk to your parents, teachers, or anyone who knew you well when you were a child.

For adults diagnosed with ADHD, their symptoms should also have a moderate impact on different areas of their lives, such as:

  • Poor performance at work or education
  • dangerous driving
  • Difficulty making or keeping friends
  • Difficulties with your relationship with your partner

You are not considered to have ADHD if your problems are recent and have not occurred frequently in the past. This is because it is currently thought unlikely that ADHD will first appear in adults.

Self-examination symptoms

1. People say you are forgetful

Everyone forgets to misplace their car keys or jacket once in a while. But this happens a lot when you have ADHD. You probably spend time every day searching for your glasses, wallet, cell phone, and other items. You may also forget to return a call, pay a bill, or show up for a medical appointment.

2. People complain and you don’t listen.

It's normal for most of us to occasionally lose focus when people are talking, especially when there are distractions such as a nearby television or something else grabbing our attention. This happens often, especially with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), even when there are no distractions around. But ADHD is about more than that.

3.You are often late

Managing your time and schedule is a constant challenge when you have ADHD. It often results in missed deadlines or appointments unless you work hard to avoid it.

4. You have trouble concentrating

One of the hallmarks of ADHD is problems with concentration, especially when concentrating or paying attention to details for long periods of time. Depression, Anxiety, and Addictive Disorders Can Take a Harm on You Many people with ADHD have one or more of these problems. Your doctor can ask you questions to find out what's causing your attention problems.

5. You leave things unfinished

Concentration and memory problems can make it difficult to start or complete projects, especially ones that you know require concentration to complete. This symptom may also indicate depression.

6. You had behavioral problems as a child

You need to have attention problems or other symptoms of ADHD as a child in order to be diagnosed as an adult—even if these early symptoms haven't been formally diagnosed yet.

As a child, people may have accused you of being lazy. Or they may think you have another condition, such as depression or anxiety.

If you were diagnosed with this disease as a child, you may still have it. Symptoms change as we age, but most people do not go away with age.

7. You lack impulse control

It’s not just about tossing a lollipop into your shopping cart at the checkout. This is doing things even if you know there may be serious consequences, such as running a red light because you think you can get away with it, or being unable to stay quiet when you have something to say even though you know you should stay silent.

8. You can’t organize

You may notice this more at work. You may have trouble deciding what's most important, completing tasks and completing work on time.

9. You are restless

Children with ADHD are often hyperactive, but adults are more likely to be irritable or restless. You may also talk too much and interrupt others.

10. You can’t control your emotions

You may be moody or irritable, express frustration frequently, feel unmotivated, or get angry easily. ADHD can make it difficult to control bad emotions or behave well when you're upset.

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