Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a commonly occurring condition and for decades was thought of mainly as a disorder of childhood. Images come to mind of the hyperactive, disruptive child running around the school room or house or the quiet boy or girl staring out the window during class seemingly unaware of the teacher, parent, or friend talking to them. We now know that as many of these children grow into adolescence and adulthood their symptoms do not simply disappear. ADHD may change in how it manifests itself later in life but nonetheless is just as impactful on one’s school, work, home life, and relationships with other people.
Getting evaluated and tested by a trained mental health professional before getting ADHD treatment is important because many of the symptoms of ADHD including poor focus, procrastination, distractibility, impulsivity, and poor organization can also be symptoms of other psychiatric conditions. Also, ADHD often co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse and these must be treated as well for the ADHD therapies to be effective. Testing can include psychological testing, computer testing, and psychiatric and psychological evaluation. One quick and inexpensive test that we conduct in our office is the Quotient test but still must be used in conjunction with an evaluation by a trained mental health professional.