Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder
While the tests below may give you a sense that you do or don’t have ADD or ADHD, you need to be tested by a doctor or psychologist to have an official assessment.
ADD and ADHD do create certain challenges, but they also create particular strength of focus on areas of interest. If managed, they can be more of a gift than a challenge. Many famous and highly accomplished people have ADD/ADHD and if you are able to manage the symptoms, find something constructive you are passionate about and make it a career, you can do exceptionally well.
If you find yourself challenged by the symptoms, there are many strategies that you can begin implementing that can help you manage them. If you are really falling behind in life, (poor relationships, career, money problems, etc) then talk to your doctor about medication.
The media has portrayed medication as a way for lazy parents to “dope up” kids who misbehave. PLEASE don’t dismiss medication out of hand if you or your child is diagnosed. You can always try the medication for 30 days and see what difference it makes. Medication has been able to radically improve the lives of those who suffer from the more severe symptoms.
Ritalin is no longer the only choice. There are many different medications that can be used to treat ADD/ADHD. Talk to a specialist in your area to learn more.
- You often have difficulty focusing your attention and concentrating, except when you are very interested in something.
- You have a short attention span and need to be brought back to the task at hand.
- You frequently “tune in and out” during lectures, or when others are speaking.
- You notice insignificant details of an event, but may miss the most important and significant ones.
- As a child, teachers frequently commented that you “daydreamed” a lot, or you had problems paying attention in school.
- You are easily distracted by noise, movement, or clutter.
- You are constantly noticing or thinking about things unrelated to the task you are doing.
- You can never find anything on your desk or in your room because it is so disorganized.
- You try to get organized, but it often does not last very long.
- You become overwhelmed if you have too many choices.
- You have difficulty managing money (paying bills on time, your check book is never balanced, you pay a lot of late fees).
- You have trouble being on time – you miss deadlines and/or appointments.
- You tend to over commit yourself.
- You are a notorious procrastinator.
- You are unrealistic about how long something will take.
- You have trouble making friends and/or maintaining relationships.
- As a child, you had trouble getting along, being liked or making friends.
- As a child, you were considered “immature” (and may still be).
- You have difficulty sticking to your plans for “self-improvement”.
- You have taken up and dropped many activities and/or interests.
- You can’t tear yourself away from projects you like, even when you know you will be late for something important, or will let someone down.
- It was difficult for you to stay inside and study when friends invited you to go out.
Questions Reflective of ADD/ADHD
- Are you moody?
- Were you an underachiever in school? Now?
- Do you have trouble getting started on things?
- Do you fidget, drum your fingers, tap your feet or pace?
- When you read, do you find that you often have to reread a paragraph or entire page because you were daydreaming?
- Do you tune out, daydream, drift off or space out a lot?
- Do you have a hard time relaxing?
- Are you overly impatient?
- Do you find that you undertake many projects at the same time, keeping many balls in the air at the same time?
- Are you impulsive?
- Are you easily distracted?
- Even if you are easily distracted, do you find that there are times when you can concentrate with laser-beam intensity?
- Do you procrastinate chronically?
- Do you often get excited by projects and then not follow through?
- More than most people, do you feel that it is hard for you to make yourself understood?
- Is your memory so porous that if you go from one room to the next to get something, by the time you get to the next room you’ve sometimes forgotten what you were looking for?
- Do you change the radio station in your car frequently?
- Do you wear out your TV remote by changing station frequently?
- Do you feel driven, as if an engine inside you won’t slow down?
- As a kid, were you called words like, “a daydreamer,” “lazy,” “impulsive,” “disruptive,” or just plain “bad”?
- Do you find it difficult to maintain conversations with your partner or friends if it is not of particular interest to you?
- Are you always on the go, even when you don’t really want to be?
- Were you hyperactive as a child?
- Are you drawn to situations of high intensity?
- Do you prefer to do something that is particularly challenging rather than what comes easily to you?
- More than most people, do you hate waiting in line?
- Are you the type of person who virtually never reads directions first?
- Do you feel like exploding inside when someone has trouble getting to the point?
- Do you have a hair trigger temper? (Ask someone who knows you well.)
- Do you find that you blurt out things before you’ve thought about whether or not they are appropriate?
- Do you have a tendency to offend people with the things you say, and then not really understand why they’re upset because you simply said what was true?
- Are you particularly intuitive?
- Do you often find yourself involved in a situation without having planned it at all?
- Would you rather have your teeth drilled than follow a list, particularly one made by someone else?
- Do you have a history of planning to organize your life better only to find that you’re always on the brink of chaos?
- Do you find yourself in situations where you want something, you just can’t put your finger on what it is, like an itch you can’t scratch?
- Was there a point in your life when you came across as more flirtatious than you meant to or the way you talked about sexual topics was too far for most people?
- Do you find it hard to be alone?
- Do you often counter depressive moods by some sort of compulsive behavior such as overworking, overspending, overdrinking, overeating, or extremely long periods of time in front of the TV or computer?
- Do you have a really hard time tolerating frustration?
- Are you restless without “action” in your life?
- Do you have a hard time reading a book all the way through (unless it has extreme interest to you)?
- Do you regularly break rules or minor laws rather than put up with the frustration of obeying them?
- Do you get a lot of speeding tickets, have you been in a number of accidents, or have you often scraped your vehicle pulling in or out of parking spots?
- Are you habitually late?
- Do you handle money erratically?
- Are you a gung-ho, go-for-it sort of person?
- Do you find that structure and routine are both rare in your life and soothing when you find them?
- Have you been divorced more than once?
- Do you find that you have had many relationships that start of with great intensity, and then fail your expectations?
- Have you changed jobs a lot, or have you found that self-employment is the only way you can work?
- Are you much more effective when you are your own boss?
- Are you smarter than you’ve been able to demonstrate?
- Are you particularly insecure?
- Do you say things without thinking, or have trouble keeping secrets?
- Do you often forget what you’re going to say just as you’re about to say it?
- Do you ever wonder if you’re crazy?
- Do you get the gist of things very quickly?
- Do you laugh a lot?
- Are you a maverick?
- Do you find it challenging to keep an updated address book, phone book, or Rolodex?
- Are you the life of the party one day and reclusive the next?
- Given an unexpected chunk of free time, do you often find that you don’t use it well or get depressed during it?
- Is paying attention or staying tuned in a chronic problem for you?
- Are you more creative or imaginative than most people?
- Do you work best in short spurts?
- Do you let the bank balance your checkbook?
- Are you usually eager to try something new?
- Do you find you often get depressed after a success?
- Do you feel you fail to live up to your potential?
- Are you particularly restless?
- Were you a daydreamer in class?
- Were you ever the class clown?
- Have you ever been described as “needy” or even “insatiable”?
- Do you have trouble accurately assessing the impact you have on others?
- When you get lost, do you tend to “feel” your way along rather than refer to a map?
- Do you often get distracted during sex, even though you’re enjoying it?
- Do you have a family history of ADD or hyperactivity?
- Did you grow up in a chaotic, boundaries family?
- Do you have dyslexia?
- Do you have poor hand-eye coordination?
- As a kid, were you a bit of a klutz at sports?
- Are you left-handed or ambidextrous?
- Do you frequently make letter or number reversals?
- Would you describe yourself as hyper-sexual?
- Do you have a family history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, or manic-depressive illness?
- Do you feel you have an addictive personality?
- Do you like to gamble?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you drink too much?
- If you have ever tried cocaine or other stimulants, did you find that it helped you focus and calmed you down, rather than making you high? (If not cocaine, what about codeine, like Tylenol 3?)
- An adult with ADD had these symptoms: cocaine abuse, frequent reading of pornography, and an addiction to crossword puzzles. Can you understand him, even if you don’t have these symptoms yourself?
- Were you adopted?
- Do you have many allergies?
- Did you have frequent ear infections as a child?
- Did you have trouble reading all of these questions, find yourself skimming through to the most interesting bits?