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HOW IS ADHD DIAGNOSED?

Learn about ADHD and
prepare for a conversation
with your doctor

A little preparation now can be a big help later.

ADHD is diagnosed based on specific criteria

The criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD in adults say that 5 or more inattentive symptoms and/or 5 or more hyperactive/impulsive symptoms must occur for at least 6 months.

In addition:

  • Several inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive symptoms must have been present prior to age 12.
  • Several symptoms must be present in 2 or more settings, for example, at home, at work or school, or in social settings.
  • There must be clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with social, academic, or work function.
  • Symptoms are not due to another mental disorder.

These are not the only criteria used to diagnose ADHD. Diagnosis should be based on a complete history and evaluation by a healthcare provider. Remember, only a doctor or other trained healthcare provider can accurately diagnose ADHD.

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When it's time to talk to your doctor

It all starts with an open and honest conversation about your health. This Doctor Discussion Guide can help. A couple things to remember, this discussion guide is not a diagnostic tool. Only a doctor or other healthcare provider can diagnose ADHD.

DOCTOR DISCUSSION GUIDE