View Full Version : High scores in the psychological test battery, no ADHD?


Eilert
02-03-12, 01:58 PM
I did some psychological tests as a part of my assessment for ADHD. Some of the tests I did really well on according to the psychologist.

The two tests I did good on was one where I would look at two symbols, then check if any of those two symbols were present among a set of eight symbols. And check "yes" if any of them were, "no" if none of them were.

The other one felt like a game of trivial pursuit. Lots of questions about "What is Madame Curie known for", "What are the name of the continents" and so on.

Apart from these two, the rest of my tests had mediocre results, but not very bad. Have any of you been diagnosed ADHD even if you had some above normal scores in some of the tests?

I'm feeling really bad now, my ability of focusing really hard on important occasions seems to have been really counterproductive. Same with all my efforts on sitting still, not interrupting others, letting others have their turn and considering other people's emotions. Has all my (and my parents and teachers) effort only made me undiagnosable with ADHD?

Fuzzy12
02-03-12, 02:09 PM
I can't be sure but I doubt that they would rule out an ADHD diagnosis just based on these two tests. I don't know about the first test but in the second test, I think, most people would be able to answer basic questions like the ones you mentioned. Maybe they test for some other kind of disability (or presence of an injury) to rule it out? Anyway, I also wonder if ADHD might actually be conducive to collecting a large number of random facts, since apparently lots of us are naturally curious and keep looking up trivia. Though I guess, to be honest, I haven't actually been diagnosed with ADD.

I guess there is a wide spectrum of ADHD, not just in terms of severity but also in terms of different types or characteristics. I would hope that the clinicians and their tests take that into account.


Has all my (and my parents and teachers) effort only made me undiagnosable with ADHD?


I know what you mean. In real life, I'm so used to hiding my depression, wearing a mask and pretending to be a functional person that I find it difficult to convince my GP that I actually really am quite severely depressed.

cameron90
02-03-12, 02:55 PM
I can't be sure but I doubt that they would rule out an ADHD diagnosis just based on these two tests. I don't know about the first test but in the second test, I think, most people would be able to answer basic questions like the ones you mentioned. Maybe they test for some other kind of disability (or presence of an injury) to rule it out? Anyway, I also wonder if ADHD might actually be conducive to collecting a large number of random facts, since apparently lots of us are naturally curious and keep looking up trivia. Though I guess, to be honest, I haven't actually been diagnosed with ADD.

I guess there is a wide spectrum of ADHD, not just in terms of severity but also in terms of different types or characteristics. I would hope that the clinicians and their tests take that into account.



I know what you mean. In real life, I'm so used to hiding my depression, wearing a mask and pretending to be a functional person that I find it difficult to convince my GP that I actually really am quite severely depressed.

The only reason I started doing well in school was because during parent-teacher interview or whatever, my grade 6 teacher gave me crap for half an hour about not meeting my potential and that I was capable but not making an effort, without even acknowledging my mother was there. I went from a C student to an (almost) straight A student after that because I was scared of him... :o

Probably wasn't just that, I had a very loving mother who encouraged me and had high expectations from me. Now that I think of it, I tried so hard to please other people...

I don't think they can base a diagnosis on merely those two tests, are you scheduled for any others? You don't have to be stupid to have ADHD, and people with ADHD are not necessarily stupid. Variation of intelligence is pretty close to that of the general population. There's also the psychological evaluation and clinical evaluation by the doctor.

JOHNCG
02-03-12, 09:14 PM
I did some psychological tests as a part of my assessment for ADHD. Some of the tests I did really well on according to the psychologist.

The two tests I did good on was one where I would look at two symbols, then check if any of those two symbols were present among a set of eight symbols. And check "yes" if any of them were, "no" if none of them were.

The other one felt like a game of trivial pursuit. Lots of questions about "What is Madame Curie known for", "What are the name of the continents" and so on.

Apart from these two, the rest of my tests had mediocre results, but not very bad. Have any of you been diagnosed ADHD even if you had some above normal scores in some of the tests?

I'm feeling really bad now, my ability of focusing really hard on important occasions seems to have been really counterproductive. Same with all my efforts on sitting still, not interrupting others, letting others have their turn and considering other people's emotions. Has all my (and my parents and teachers) effort only made me undiagnosable with ADHD?

Tests from general neuropsychological batteries: like digit-span tests or card-sort tests and figure drawing tests, and so on, are, like neuroimaging data, not diagnostic for adult ADHD in their own right; and it is wholly inapporopriate for them to be used in that way. At most, neuropsych tests may provide some useful supplemental cognitive-type information for the evaluating clinician, usually after an adult ADHD diagnosis has been confirmed.

The most important part, by far, of a clinical evaluation for adult-persistent ADHD is the interview process ( including analysis of historical documentation like school reports/medical records, etc); that attempts to confirm a pattern of chronic and pervasive psychosocial impairment (as opposed to the presence of ADHD-associated symptomology) beginning at (as the DSM V will soon specify) around the age of 12, and present throughout the intervening years of the patient's life to the present time.

It's a mistake, in my opinion, to see a psychologist first, for an initial evalauation of possible adult ADHD. Ideally, you should make a qualified psychiatrist who has some experience in dealing with adult ADHD your first port of call for diagnosis/advice.

Good luck with your diagnosis/treatment!

John.

Fraser_0762
02-03-12, 09:39 PM
There's no true test for "ADHD". All these tests seem to be a measure of ones intellegence.

ADHD can't be measured by your intellect.

I'm very smart, I have a pretty high IQ (although it does seem to shift up and down a lot). My general knowledge isn't so good (actually, its pretty poor). But I think this stuff is irrelevant anyway.

mctavish23
02-03-12, 10:13 PM
For those new members that don't know me, as I haven't been around much lately :

I'm a Licensed Psycholgist (with an MA) in Minnesota.

I DO NOT PRACTICE ON THE NET.

I was diagnosed with what is now ADHD -Combined Type in 1972 .

I've been at my present position since January 23rd 1984, and Licensed since Feb.'85.

Over the years my child/adolescent practice has become 95+ % ADHD related,largely

through word of mouth referrals.

I work at a (very) rural, non-profit Community Mental Health Center with huge

catchment area.

I would like to "ditto" the above comments on there being NO TESTS of ANY kind deemed

appropriate, or accepted for the sole purpose of diagnosing ADHD.

Good Luck .

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Eilert
02-04-12, 01:15 AM
Thanks everyone! :) ..Hopefully my psychiatrist thinks the same when the psychologist talks to him about the tests.

spunkysmum
02-04-12, 02:11 AM
There's no true test for "ADHD". All these tests seem to be a measure of ones intellegence.

ADHD can't be measured by your intellect.

I'm very smart, I have a pretty high IQ (although it does seem to shift up and down a lot). My general knowledge isn't so good (actually, its pretty poor). But I think this stuff is irrelevant anyway.

I agree that the way those tests are described make them sound like intelligence-type tests. I would hope they wouldn't try to rule out ADHD based on the scores of an intelligence-type test. I tend to do well on tests. I wouldn't want somebody trying to tell me I don't have ADHD because of it.

JOHNCG
02-04-12, 07:54 AM
I agree that the way those tests are described make them sound like intelligence-type tests. I would hope they wouldn't try to rule out ADHD based on the scores of an intelligence-type test. I tend to do well on tests. I wouldn't want somebody trying to tell me I don't have ADHD because of it.

Tests from a typical, general neuropsychological battery might include a mixture of: basic " intelligence" (IQ) sub- tests (the general knowledge quizz the OP cites was one of these), CPTs ( Continuous Performance Tests of various kinds) , tests for differerent aspects/elements of human frontal lobe Executive functioning like digit-span tests or the "Wisconson" card-sort test (both used to evaluate working memory), or the "Tower of London" test, or any number of different problem-solving or sequencing-type tests, or figure drawing tests, and so on and so forth.

In short, there are lots and lots of different types of , methods of, and reasons for, conducting formal neuropsychological testing, not just IQ tests. But using any such tests, either alone or in combination as a sole diagnostic tool for a complex, multi-faceted neurological/psychiatric disorder like adult-persistent ADHD is totally, 100% inappropriate and wrong. Despite this a lot of clinical psychologists still currently persist in the practice, which is a worry in the year 2012, because it boils down to a problem in that profession with what is nothing but pure - and therefore wholly inexcusable - scientific ignorance, period.

JOHNCG
02-04-12, 08:11 AM
For those new members that don't know me, as I haven't been around much lately :

I'm a Licensed Psycholgist (with an MA) in Minnesota.

I DO NOT PRACTICE ON THE NET.

I was diagnosed with what is now ADHD -Combined Type in 1972 .

I've been at my present position since January 23rd 1984, and Licensed since Feb.'85.

Over the years my child/adolescent practice has become 95+ % ADHD related,largely

through word of mouth referrals.

I work at a (very) rural, non-profit Community Mental Health Center with huge

catchment area.

I would like to "ditto" the above comments on there being NO TESTS of ANY kind deemed

appropriate, or accepted for the sole purpose of diagnosing ADHD.

Good Luck .

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Robert,

Is it possible, in your professional opinion, that "Devo" were, in fact, victims of adult-persistent ADHD?? It seems to me that they did display some strongish signs of comorbid ADHD-associated personality pathology, not to mention striking and chronic verbal and behavioural impulsivity, etc., etc ?? "Whip it", being a case in point??

What do you think??

Regards,

John

mctavish23
02-07-12, 12:53 AM
LOL

The De-evolutionary trashmen ?

Who's to say they weren't ahead of their time ?

"Professionally" speaking, I'd lean more towards The Butthole Surfers as the

likely "classic" example of potential ADHD'ers.

Then again, I'd be remiss in failing to mention George Clinton and Parliament

Funkadelic. :cool:

Brilliant question that deserves more input from like minded members.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

JOHNCG
02-08-12, 06:16 AM
For those new members that don't know me, as I haven't been around much lately :

I'm a Licensed Psycholgist (with an MA) in Minnesota.

I DO NOT PRACTICE ON THE NET.

I was diagnosed with what is now ADHD -Combined Type in 1972 .

I've been at my present position since January 23rd 1984, and Licensed since Feb.'85.

Over the years my child/adolescent practice has become 95+ % ADHD related,largely

through word of mouth referrals.

I work at a (very) rural, non-profit Community Mental Health Center with huge

catchment area.

I would like to "ditto" the above comments on there being NO TESTS of ANY kind deemed

appropriate, or accepted for the sole purpose of diagnosing ADHD.

Good Luck .

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Robert,

What's your opinion on the clinical utility of SPECT and fMRI neuroimaging data at present?

I know that SPECT and fMRI data are not currently diagnostic for ADHD, (like Daniel Amen and other like-minded researchers claim they can be.)

However, we've had these kinds of neuroimaging technology used specifically in ADHD research for over 20 years now,- and the technology is getting more sophisticated and reliable every day- so it seems to me that SPECT and fMRI could now play a useful role, at least much more of a role than they currently do, in any modern clinical evaluation for ADHD.

For example, say, we're pretty certain - very certain , actually,- that in adult ADHD, blood perfusion through (certain main regions of) the frontal lobe is decreased below what it is in normal, non adult, ADHD comparisans. fMRI, as you know, can show us this.

So, suppose a certain psychiatrist is screening a certain individual for adult ADHD using the currently advised, conventional methods (history of psychosocialimpairment, symptomology, etc); it seems to me that if there is fMRI data at hand for this patient clearly indicating reduced frontal perfusion, then it would be quite useful for this psychiatrist when considering his final diagnosis?? (As would any other kind of neuroimaging data demonstrating general hypoactivity of the patient's frontal lobe)

What do you think??

Regards,

John

Impetus
02-08-12, 07:57 AM
there are a couple of tests I don't hear much about on here.

the first is Conner's Continuous Performance Test http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_Performance_Task

Second being Wisconsin Card Sort http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_card_sort

these two tests seemed to play a pretty central role in my diagnosis. Have you taken anything like this?

TygerSan
02-08-12, 11:57 AM
there are a couple of tests I don't hear much about on here.

the first is Conner's Continuous Performance Test http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continu...rformance_Task (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_Performance_Task)

Second being Wisconsin Card Sort http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_card_sort

these two tests seemed to play a pretty central role in my diagnosis. Have you taken anything like this?

Couple of points about these tests: The CPT has many forms (including the new Quotient test, which claims to be more clinically valid), and has been used to diagnose ADHD.

Problem is, all it shows you is that you have an attention problem, and doesn't say *why*. People with schizophrenia also score poorly on this test, as do others with brain injuries. Even *worse* is that there is a high number of false *negatives* on the test, i.e. you can do well, but still have significant impairment in other aspects of your life, and therefore still have ADHD.

Tests like the Wisconsin Card sorting task get at higher-order cognitive function (i.e. prefrontal cortical function) like rule learning and cognitive flexibility, but again results aren't necessarily specific to ADHD.

mctavish23
02-09-12, 01:40 AM
First JohnCG's question :

The "rap" has always been about :

1) the use of radio active dyes in human subjects
(even though it's urinated out quickly)

2) the cost $$$$ (i.e., Amen = (approx.) $10K last time I saw a cost projection)
(Good Luck getting an insurance co. to pay that)

Impetus :

1) There are NO CPT's that are diagnostic due to the high rate of False Negatives

You have ADHD and it misses you due to likely hyperfocus
(i.e., we rule at videogames)

There was a study that Russ B referred to in 2003 in which 52% of ADHD subjects
reportedly passed the TOVA WITHOUT EVEN TRYING !

He didn't mention the specific study, but it wasn't lost on me that it would mean a
coin toss is slightly more accurate; which is insulting.

If you go to the ADHD Handbook 2006, 3rd Edition, which is referenced at Russ's site
Chapters 8 and 9 are on Assessment (primarily about kids)

Chapter 9 covers EVERY MAJOR CATEGORY of TESTS used to assess ADHD.

2) Under Neuropsych tests, it lists the Wisconsin Card Sort Test.

NONE OF THE TESTS LISTED IN THAT CHAPTER (which is based on the most
extensive lit review at that time ) WERE DEEMED APPROPRIATE OR ACCEPTED
FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF DIAGNOSING ADHD.

I've done (literally) several thousand ADHD evals over the last 28 years.

The majority are all follow up (non-diagnostic) assessments designed to look for
ancillary (secondary) support of the Diagnostic Hypothesis of ADHD.

That's based on my Evidence Based Protocol I developed out of the common
research from the major Clinical Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of
ADHD from around the world.

They all read remarkably similar.

They were also thrown in the trash by my boss and the two Pre Doctoral Intern
Supervisors where I work, because I don't have a PhD, so I can't possibly "tell"
them what to do.

Eight years later, and they won't let me present to the Interns.

It's a long story that's taken a real toll on my health.

The bottom line is that I'm doing something about it.

If you know me at all, it means I'll settle with them for harming all the clients they've
misdiagnosed by "flying blind," and then it's my turn personally.

Bottom line : please don't worry about the right thing being done.

That's a polite way of saying NEVER bet against me in a conflict.

Seriously.

I hope this helps .

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

JOHNCG
02-09-12, 04:14 AM
Robert,

Thanks re the SPECT and fMRI

One other question for you...

Is it true that:

(1) in the US, clinical psychologists can get their licences to practice and then, for instance, diagnose/ treat members of the public with adult ADHD, despite the fact that ADHD is still not on any of the syllabuses in any grad schools (for psychologists) in the States?? That is , is it true that learning about ADHD is not currently a licencing requirement for clinical psychologists in any US State??

(2) In the US there are no laws in place to prevent an individual who has no qualifications at all in psychology formally referring to themselves as a "psychoanalyst" or a "clinical psychologist" or a "psychotherapist", etc; and advertising their services (as such) to th general public??

Regards,

John

Dizfriz
02-09-12, 09:36 AM
Robert,

Thanks re the SPECT and fMRI

One other question for you...

Is it true that:

(1) in the US, clinical psychologists can get their licences to practice and then, for instance, diagnose/ treat members of the public with adult ADHD, despite the fact that ADHD is still not on any of the syllabuses in any grad schools (for psychologists) in the States?? That is , is it true that learning about ADHD is not currently a licencing requirement for clinical psychologists in any US State??
Where this is usually covered is on the license exam. Normally most grad programs do not have specifically have courses on each disorder but the student is expected to have knowledge of all of them for the exam. Also keep in mind that the student must go through an internship before being allowed to take the exam.



(2) In the US there are no laws in place to prevent an individual who has no qualifications at all in psychology formally referring to themselves as a "psychoanalyst" or a "clinical psychologist" or a "psychotherapist", etc; and advertising their services (as such) to th general public??
I do not know about psychoanalyst but clinical psychologist and psychotherapist are usually "protected terms" in that there are state laws providing legal consequences for using these terms without the proper license. This is considered a state issue and each state has slightly different rules.

Just a small bit of information.

Dizfriz

mctavish23
02-17-12, 03:40 PM
I agree.

"Psychotherapist" is a little nebulous though.

As for diagnosing adult ADHD, it's in reality (IMPO) a "crap shoot."

Even though there is an evidence based protocol, it doesn't mean

someone's read it.

However, the DSM-V (2013) is moving towards the use of :

1) The Developmental Course of the Disorder Across the Lifespan
(Age Referencing of symptoms)

2) Gender Referencing

Both of which are part of the current evidence based protocol.

Excellent questions.

Thanks.

tc

Robert