View Full Version : How were you diagnosed with ADHD and what age?


zachmalek
05-27-17, 04:54 PM
Hey, I'm going in for a doctors appointment on Monday finally to see if I have ADD/ADHD. I'm just wondering, what is the process like. Does everyone have to complete a quotient computer ADHD test? How long did it take, what questions should I be prepared to answer, etc.

sarahsweets
05-28-17, 11:12 AM
There arent really any tests for adhd. There certainly arent any computer tests. There are some tests used to rule out other disorders if they are suspected but as far as specifically diagnosing adhd-there arent any.

generally, adhd is diagnosed with a thorough history from the patient-sometimes surveys and scales (like the conners scale) done by willing family members and sometimes (if you have access to them) school report cards and info that would demonstrate your impairments. Not all of these things are musts. Many of us are older patients that have no access to stuff like that or family members that would be unhelpful for the diagnosis .

zachmalek
05-31-17, 01:56 AM
Is there not an ADHD "quotient test" on a computer where your movements and your impulsivity/inattentiveness are tested?

namazu
05-31-17, 02:38 AM
Is there not an ADHD "quotient test" on a computer where your movements and your impulsivity/inattentiveness are tested?
Yes, this test exists, and it is (US) FDA-approved "to provide clinicians with objective measures of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention to aid in the clinical assessment of ADHD”.

But the test is not necessary for diagnosis of ADHD -- a thorough evaluation does not require it.

It is also not sufficient for diagnosis of ADHD -- scores on a computerized test are not good enough to confirm or rule out a diagnosis on their own.

As far as I'm aware, none of the major medical organizations recommends these types of computerized tests in their guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Testing in an office does not do a particularly good job of reflecting how you think and act in real-life settings.

It won't hurt you, but there's very limited evidence to suggest that it really helps a good doctor make a more accurate diagnosis. (It may make them, and the company that markets it, some money, though.)

A thorough medical, family, developmental, and educational history, along with information from you and people who know you well about how you function in different settings (home, school, with friends, etc.), are the main components of a "gold-standard" evaluation for ADHD.


How did your appointment go yesterday (or is it next Monday)?

zachmalek
05-31-17, 03:17 AM
Thank you for the explanation! :) And it was just an appointment with my family doctor. I explained all of my symptoms to her and how they affect me and she told me that she thinks I have anxiety combined with ADHD. She referred me to a specialist and I'm waiting on a call for an evaluation.

aur462
05-31-17, 05:38 PM
Good luck with the diagnostic process.

The computer "quotient test" mentioned is something that I can perform as well, perhaps better I suspect, than the nonADHD set. The one time I took it, as an adult, I had no trouble. This test is better for impulsivity, etc than those with "ADHD-PI" (inattentive only), and PERHAPS is more accurate for children than adults. Of course, as mentioned, tests aren't taken in isolation and according to my former pdoc/ADHD specialist, a history and current symptoms are the "gold standard" of diagnosis.

I don't think my family still has it, but my kindergarten report card is a who's who of ADD. The words "bogged down" and similar terms conveying ineffectuality were peppered throughout the year's report. I'm sure my self-esteem must've taken a nose dive early on - FUN :yes:, and since I wasn't hyperactive, I'm sure the assumption was that I was at best learning disabled or simply a dim-wit :D. Incidentally, despite not exhibiting behavioral issues, I had a streak of stubbornness in kindergarten; because I thought it wasn't cool or simply didn't feel like it, I refused to participate when we were supposed to sing together in class, with my teacher ending a song on at least one occasion with an impromptu "Robiiin leetss siiingg".

AndrwAR471105
06-23-17, 09:38 PM
My answer is a long one, which I just shared along with some questions at
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1953572#post1953572

Short answer: My parents thought I was too hyper and rebellious and took me to a doctor at age 7. They prescribed me Ritalin for the next 3 years. And it's been all downhill from there...

ative65
09-10-17, 09:35 AM
Hello,

I have was diagnosed at age 35. I was given a referral by my therapist for a diagnosis. Like others have said, there is no one test that gives you a score and says yes or no. For me, I was asked a series of questions about what is going on currently; my symptoms at home, work, in public and how long those symptoms have been present. I was also asked about my past, during college years, teen years and going all the way back to elementary school, including my GPA when I graduated from high school and in general, the grades I got in elementary (as best as I could remember). I was also asked about any current or past drug usage along with alcohol use.

The school questions are because it is most often the case that people undiagnosed ADHD have difficulty in school which results in poor grades. The drug and alcohol use was because some drugs can cause ADHD like symptoms, along with long term alcohol abuse.

During the evaluation, I took my husband with me, one because I was freaked out about getting an evaluation, even though I suspected that I had ADHD for a while. Both the intake person and the psychiatrist asked myself and my husband questions like those above, with my husband giving insights into symptoms that I had no clue I had!

I was given a prescription that day for medication and had monthly follow-up appointments to check to make sure the medication was working. It took months to finally get it correct. At that point, my psychiatrist wrote me enough prescriptions for three months at a time. Federal law will only allow him to write three months at a time before requiring a follow-up. Warning, I spend more time waiting to see him than I actually spend going over my symptoms, but it's worth it to have clarity for the first time.

Emre22
09-10-17, 10:16 AM
I was diagnosed 2 years ago when i was 20 years old .
I already had some co-existing conditions like depression and OCD when i firstly talked to my doctor about ADHD, i failed about one year in college and i wasnt able to do most of things in my life. SSRI and SNRI anti depressants never worked for me when it came to motivation and being functional.I already had impulsivity , but we couldnt figure out my inattentiveness till we figured out SSRI and SNRI dont fix my functionality and productivity problems.

I filled some test forms , then doctor prescribed me wellbutrin for first time, it made a huge difference in a short time like 2 weeks. Then my doctor decided to prescribe me concerta and ritalin for first time. It made incredible difference my GPA rose to 1.30 from 0.15
my grades were always D or F. I started getting B and C for first time. I was able to solve my own problems etc.

Now my GPA is 2.00 , i pass all lessons with good grades like A , B without faling any of them.
Hopefully i will graduate in 2 years.

Lunacie
09-10-17, 10:49 AM
I self-diagnosed at the age of 53 when someone suggested my oldest grand-
daughter might have it. After doing some reading I realized we both do.

Family therapist had me do a Connor's evaluation at age 58 which confirmed
ADHD, along with PTSD, Anxiety and Depression. Since then I've self-diagnosed
with mild Autism as well. My youngest granddaughter inherited that from me.
We are alike in many ways.

aeon
09-10-17, 12:09 PM
I was diagnosed at age 41 by my doctor. He has a specialty in ADHD, but I didn't choose him for that reason, nor did I even know when I chose him.

He asked me if anyone had ever suggested that I might have ADHD. I said no, and he gave me some Likert-scale questionnaires and asked me to return in a month, with report cards from my youth, if possible.

I did so. I was diagnosed as ADHD, primarily inattentive presentation, severe.

That was 7 years ago.


Cheers,
Ian

PoppnNSailinMan
09-10-17, 05:13 PM
About 7 years ago when I was 49, a friend of mine who was 60 then told me that he had ADHD and I was kind of surprised since I had always thought of ADHD as having something to do with hyperactive children who can't pay attention and can't sit still in class and are given Ritalin. That's basically all I knew about ADHD.

So, being somewhat intrigued, I decided to see what I could find out about ADHD on the Internet and was startled to read that some people with ADHD are not hyperactive and that sometimes they can actually pay attention even for hours when it's something that interests them (i.e. "hyperfocus"). A lot of what I read about ADHD sounded like things that I do.

Then about a year later, when I was visiting my mother, she gave me an envelope in which she had saved all of my old report cards from Kindergarten through middle school and from the very beginning, they were marked unsatisfactory for things like "Completes Work," "Listens and Follows Directions," "Self Control," “Punctuality,” "Begins Work Promptly," etc., and they often had teacher comments such as, "He has difficulty getting started," “He does not complete assignments," or (my favorite) “Slow and uncertain in his approach. Works well in a structured situation. Interested, but dreamy, lack of concentration gives results below his ability”.

All of this stuff I had been reading about ADHD and the information from my old report cards kind of percolated in my mind for another year until I finally decided (at age 51) to bring the issue of ADHD up with my primary care physician and he referred me to a clinical psychologist for evaluation and possible therapy. I brought copies of my old report cards with me to my first appointment and my partner also came to some of my subsequent appointments to describe my behavior to the psychologist/therapist.

The therapist diagnosed me with ADHD - Predominantly Inattentive presentation and referred me to a psychiatrist who started me off on Wellbutrin. But it didn't work, so he then gave me a prescription for IR methylphenidate. Oddly enough, I later discovered that the psychiatrist had diagnosed me with Combined presentation, and when I asked the therapist about this, she said that she and the psychiatrist sometimes reach different conclusions and didn't seem to think that it was all that important.

TheGreatKing
09-10-17, 05:56 PM
Hi There,
Well i was diagnosed at 26 years of age about 2 years ago, i was talking to a Councillor about my life and she suggested i might have ADHD, so i followed up with my family doctor and she printed out a few pieces of paper and then i filled them out, at that point she referred me to a psychiatrist and then i went there a few times and got labelled with ADHD.

Worriedoldie
09-11-17, 05:47 AM
I wonder how that report card thing works... I mean, one could still wing it couldn't they and end up with a false positive? I was the class star in maths and always overdid it so I could reap the praise finishing 5-10 minutes before anyone else.
But when it came to our native language classes, I hated doing it... hated putting my hand up and always ended up being somewhat forced to answer when not putting my hand up. I remember though that my answer then would be somewhat weak and inconclusive or guesstimating. I really didn't like the attention....

But regardless, I ended up with around a B- average with a A or two in math and English (2nd language).

But I feel like I was given leniency... because I was a quiet and well liked kid. So what good are report cards then? :( Ofcours when I moved on to highschool, I crashed... twice.

hutchie0109
09-11-17, 11:02 AM
First time 2010, and again this year at 46

TheGreatKing
09-11-17, 02:58 PM
First time 2010, and again this year at 46

I am just curious but why did you seek to re evaluate yourself ?

sarahsweets
09-12-17, 04:39 AM
I think that on the whole report cards can be helpful but I suppose that someone could do so well that they are completely overlooked. Usually you have other issues not related to grades that are present though.

PoppnNSailinMan
09-12-17, 02:30 PM
I wonder how that report card thing works... I mean, one could still wing it couldn't they and end up with a false positive? I was the class star in maths and always overdid it so I could reap the praise finishing 5-10 minutes before anyone else.
But when it came to our native language classes, I hated doing it... hated putting my hand up and always ended up being somewhat forced to answer when not putting my hand up. I remember though that my answer then would be somewhat weak and inconclusive or guesstimating. I really didn't like the attention....

But regardless, I ended up with around a B- average with a A or two in math and English (2nd language).

But I feel like I was given leniency... because I was a quiet and well liked kid. So what good are report cards then? :( Ofcours when I moved on to highschool, I crashed... twice.

One of the things that confounds people who don't have ADHD or don't understand it is that they can see that someone they know with ADHD can often do very well in some things or in some areas of their life and then do badly in others. Edward Hallowell lists the "contradictions" of ADHD in one of his books which includes, for example, "Passionate interests (coupled with an inability to arouse interest at other times)".

So, I did well in some classes in subjects that really interested me and less well in others that didn't interest me.

In the 7th grade, I received an award for "excellence in science" and my science teacher wrote in my report card, “He is a keen, intelligent, conscientious student. In his quiet, unobtrusive way he has gone through the course taking top marks in all the tests and posing incisive questions on the few occasions when he ran into difficulties. Well done!" And my 7th grade Social Studies teacher wrote about me, "He has been an excellent student. His work has been outstanding as far as comprehension of subject matter and research is concerned. However, he does need to...be more consistent in doing his daily assignments." In the 9th grade, I won the "9th Grade History Prize".

But even though I did well in some classes, my report cards are still littered with comments such as these:


"He seems to grasp a new idea only not to be able to recall it in a day or so."

"It is difficult for him to complete work on time".

"Progresses very slowly and with difficulty".

"He needs to be more organized".

"When interested in a topic, his comprehension is excellent".

"Sometimes he has a hard time making up his mind whether to do a project or which project to do."

"He has difficulty getting started".

"He has ability, but could apply himself better".

“There seems to be some perceptual difficulty. Work is slow, timid, seldom completed".

"Needed more sustained effort than he gave".

"Needs to be more conscientious about doing daily assignments".

"Sometimes has difficulty retaining skills of material studied previously".

"Written work is not always completed, however, and he is unprepared for class more often than he should be".

Herfleperf
09-18-17, 01:57 PM
I was diagnosed a few weeks ago at the age of 38. With my doctor, it was required to bring letters/testimonials from friends and family. Now I'm on a Concerta and trying to keep my eyes open. Lol

hutchie0109
09-18-17, 03:51 PM
I am just curious but why did you seek to re evaluate yourself ?

Circumstances where against me, I moved, then doctors tried to pin borderline personality disorder on me, I'd already in the past been assessed for this by psychiatrists and definitely not. I guess rumours being spread about me where the reason for this and the nature of the medication. Oh well never mind.

My attention span is causing me problems so need to see the doctor again. Also the anxiety as every thing is too much and really struggling.

aeon
09-18-17, 04:15 PM
With my doctor, it was required to bring letters/testimonials from friends and family.

It was the same with my doctor...but if possible, he wanted report cards too...and I had them.


Cheers,
Ian

MasterPain
09-19-17, 01:39 PM
New member here. I was diagnosed in elementary school...way back in 1993. I never took medication until I saw the positive effects it had on my son. I also thought I'd "grow out of it" but truthfully it just became more exhausting dealing with the symptoms. I always felt like you do when you misplace something. I'm going on 6 days of concerta 54mg and wondering why I didn't do this sooner. There's so much more I'd like to discuss on here since I'm not comfortable opening up to family or friends.

kimical
09-20-17, 08:17 AM
I was diagnosed at 19. I had an evaluation by a therapist and psychiatrist, both took around an hour. They asked me a lot of questions.

wild.onion
09-20-17, 12:55 PM
at age... 18ish? after a whole bunch of research I was pretty certain I had it. asked my gp if she could test me.

she sat down and read a 10ish question thing that I think was a "screening". questions were like "do you have difficulty finishing projects?" "do your thoughts wander when people are talking" pretty typical (though generic) stuff. basically if I entered "often" or higher more than like, 6/10 times it was pretty likely I had it.

then I took a "severity" test that was similar, but had more questions and the questions were more specific. "do people often yell at you for interrupting them before they finish talking?" "do you stand up and walk around in situations (such as meetings or classes) when you should remain seated?". there were like 20-25 of those.

after that we discussed my research, history and her experience working with adhd patients. she told she was fairly certain I had it and was willing to prescribe me meds to treat it. she advised wellbutrin (although I had already tried that as an antidepressant and noticed no effect on any of my behavior) or a very low dose of short release adderall. she said adhd meds are a lot of trial and error and we'd probably have to adjust doses and maybe try different things.

for various reasons, I didn't actually start meds until about 2 and half years later. but I went to the same dr and had a similar talk. only difference was updated history and she discussed advances in adhd medication research. ultimately she started me on adderall short release 10 mg pills, 1-2 (as needed) daily. one more appointment to get a higher dose (20 mg instead of 10) and since then I've been awesome.

TLDR at 18 i took a screening (approx 10 questions) and severity test (approx 20, more specific q's) with my gp. after some discussion she concluded I definitely had it. suggested wellbutrin, low dose of adderall and also encouraged me to continue my therapy.

goldsprinkles
09-20-17, 01:13 PM
I just got diagnosed at 30 years old.

Lunacie
09-20-17, 03:23 PM
at age... 18ish? after a whole bunch of research I was pretty certain I had it. asked my gp if she could test me.

she sat down and read a 10ish question thing that I think was a "screening". questions were like "do you have difficulty finishing projects?" "do your thoughts wander when people are talking" pretty typical (though generic) stuff. basically if I entered "often" or higher more than like, 6/10 times it was pretty likely I had it.

then I took a "severity" test that was similar, but had more questions and the questions were more specific. "do people often yell at you for interrupting them before they finish talking?" "do you stand up and walk around in situations (such as meetings or classes) when you should remain seated?". there were like 20-25 of those.

after that we discussed my research, history and her experience working with adhd patients. she told she was fairly certain I had it and was willing to prescribe me meds to treat it. she advised wellbutrin (although I had already tried that as an antidepressant and noticed no effect on any of my behavior) or a very low dose of short release adderall. she said adhd meds are a lot of trial and error and we'd probably have to adjust doses and maybe try different things.

for various reasons, I didn't actually start meds until about 2 and half years later. but I went to the same dr and had a similar talk. only difference was updated history and she discussed advances in adhd medication research. ultimately she started me on adderall short release 10 mg pills, 1-2 (as needed) daily. one more appointment to get a higher dose (20 mg instead of 10) and since then I've been awesome.

TLDR at 18 i took a screening (approx 10 questions) and severity test (approx 20, more specific q's) with my gp. after some discussion she concluded I definitely had it. suggested wellbutrin, low dose of adderall and also encouraged me to continue my therapy.

I'm not sure I'd have met the criteria based on those kinds of questions ...
I also have ASD and tend to take things rather literally. Like the one about
people yelling at me for interrupting ... I got called on that one a LOT but no
one ever yelled at me so I'd have had trouble answering it.

mkejnes
10-05-17, 06:07 AM
Diagnosed this year & 6 weeks before turning 59.
I went through over 3 hours of testing with a psychologist at the V.A. hospital

10mg Adderall XR was life-changing. However now it only lasts about 5 1/2 - 6 hours before a hard crash.

Gypsy Willow
10-12-17, 05:47 PM
I was diagnosed at age 34. I filled out a long questionnaire. I suspected I had it long before I was diagnosed though.

Cory_S
10-14-17, 11:44 AM
I was diagnosed this year at 32. Had a feeling I had it for a long time but never did anything about it. My gf at the time pushed me to find out as she was getting annoyed with my attention problems. Glad I did, the meds helped though it wasn't enough to save my relationship. She's packing up her stuff as I type this.

WhiteOwl
10-14-17, 02:29 PM
I was just diagnosed at the age of 33, though I have known I had it for the past few years.. I finally saw a therapist for the first time, told her about my suspicions, and after some testing and talking about it, she diagnosed me and referred me to a psychiatrist. After more testing and talking with the psychiatrist, she confirmed the diagnosis.