The Truth About ADD: ADHD Symptoms and 4 Steps to Get Help

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Do you often feel like you’re struggling to keep up with the world around you? Do your thoughts race faster than your ability to express them? Are there times when it feels like no one in the room can understand what you’re going through? If so, it may be time to consider if undiagnosed ADHD might be a factor.

Overview of ADD vs. ADHD

ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. While many people have heard of its existence, few know of the wide range of ADHD symptoms that are associated with this disorder. For those living without an accurate diagnosis, life can become challenging as they struggle to cope with their inner chaos while navigating a world that simply doesn’t understand them.

It’s important to remember that everyone experiences some degree of distraction or hyperactivity from time to time. Still, for those who have undiagnosed ADHD, these feelings can become overwhelming and interfere with their daily lives.

People with this condition often experience difficulty concentrating on tasks or activities, impulsivity in decision-making, restlessness or fidgeting during moments of stillness, and more. In this blog post, we will explore ADD vs. ADHD, the different ADHD symptoms, how to receive an accurate diagnosis, and resources to seek professional help.

However, many people don’t realize that ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD are one and the same – ADD is simply an outdated term for a condition that we now refer to as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Symptoms of ADHD and the Different Types

To understand if you may have ADHD, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the three primary types of ADHD: Predominately Hyperactive/Impulsive Type, Predominantly Inattentive Type, and Combination Type.

The Predominately Hyperactive/Impulsive Type of ADHD is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty staying seated, excessive talking, difficulty playing quietly, and difficulty waiting their turn. People with this type of ADHD also tend to act without thinking and can be easily distracted. They may also feel intensely restless and fidgety and have trouble controlling their emotions or behavior.

The Predominately Inattentive Type of ADHD is often characterized by difficulty paying attention, a tendency to get easily distracted, and an inability to focus on tasks over long periods. People with this type of ADHD may also have difficulty organizing themselves or following through with instructions given to them. They may also appear daydreamy or forgetful when asked about things they’ve been asked to complete.

Finally, the Combination Type of ADHD combines both the hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive traits – making it difficult for someone living with this type of disorder to stay focused on one task while remaining attentive and able to understand what’s being said around them.

4 Steps to Receiving a Health Care Provider Diagnosis

1. Finding Qualified Healthcare Professionals

First and foremost, to receive an accurate diagnosis of ADHD, it’s important to find a therapist experienced in diagnosing the disorder.

This process will involve looking for a qualified medical doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist with specific experience in helping people with ADHD. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the specialist can access standardized tests and other assessment tools to help accurately diagnose ADHD.

2. Research ADHD Symptoms

The next step is to research and discuss potential risk factors associated with developing the condition.

This research phase can include consulting family members about any shared symptoms, reviewing developmental milestones achieved by age group, and discussing any areas where ADHD may be impacting your daily life. It’s also important to discuss any prior diagnoses or treatments, as some symptoms for specific conditions coexist with the signs of ADHD.

3. Ruling Out Physical Symptoms

The third step is a comprehensive physical exam as well as tests such as vision scans, hearing evaluations, and general intelligence assessments.

These tests rule out any underlying conditions that might create symptoms similar to those seen in ADHD. If these tests come back with no signs of underlying conditions, further psychological testing may be necessary to assess for possible signs of ADHD symptoms.

4. Conducting Neurological Testing

The last step is for the specialist to use diagnostic criteria laid out by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V (DSM-V) by conducting psychological testing known as Neuropsychological Evaluations (NPE).

NPEs involve four different types of tests, including cognitive ability testing, executive functioning testing, academic skills assessment, and behavioral rating scales administered by the parent/guardian or teacher – all of which are used together to diagnose the presence of ADHD accurately.

Once all the necessary testing has been completed, the specialist will interpret the results and provide an accurate diagnosis based on predetermined diagnostic criteria laid out in DSM-V standards. For example, suppose an individual is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In that case, they may be referred for appropriate treatment, such as psychotherapy or medication management, depending on their situation and needs.

Final Steps

In conclusion, receiving an accurate diagnosis involves consulting with a professional who has experience diagnosing ADHD symptoms while considering any potential risk factors associated with its development.

Understanding how to seek an accurate diagnosis properly is extremely important because, without it, proper treatment cannot begin – which can lead to ongoing struggles living without anyone fully understanding what they are going through.

A Brief Note About the Rise of ADHD Symptoms in Women

Although ADHD diagnosis is historically geared toward men and children, the adult diagnosis, specifically among women, is rising due to new research and information.

Dr. Quinn, M.D., researcher and author on the effects of ADHD symptoms in the lives of women and girls, points out that in the past, men received an ADHD diagnosis ten times more often than women.

Symptoms of ADHD have previously been dismissed for other conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Still, the push for comprehensive mental health care in recent years has led to more women receiving the care that they need for those suffering from the symptoms of ADHD.

If you are an adult and believe you have the symptoms of ADHD, it is not too late to seek help and receive an accurate diagnosis to improve your quality of life.

Taking the Next Steps to Receive a Diagnosis

It’s important to remember that receiving an accurate diagnosis is just the first step in managing ADHD; once this has been done, it’s essential to seek professional help and then learn techniques on how best to cope with your condition and lead a full and successful life despite the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

If you think you need help with receiving an ADHD diagnosis, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Makin Wellness to schedule an appointment. We would be happy to help you get the treatment you need.

Picture of Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

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