Psychological testing for ADHD in adults

To diagnose ADHD, your healthcare provider will use the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a guide. This is a diagnostic reference guide used by healthcare professionals.

The DSM-5 guidelines provide a standardized set of instructions to make it more likely that diverse healthcare providers will reach the same conclusion

Three possible patterns are listed in these recommendations.

ADHD Information from a Reliable Source:



both at the same time

The inattention pattern has nine criteria, while the hyperactivity pattern has nine. Adults must have five of each pattern's symptoms to be diagnosed with ADHD, while children must have six.

You have at least five symptoms from both the inattention and hyperactivity patterns if you have the mixed pattern.

The DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing ADHD are as follows:


1.a persistent inability to pay attention to details or a proclivity for making mistakes at school or at employment

2.Having problems focusing on chores or activities on a regular basis

3.When spoken to, he frequently does not listen.

4.Frequently disobeying orders or failing to complete tasks

5.Having a lot of difficulties with organization

6.a reluctance to accomplish tasks that require prolonged mental effort on a regular basis

7.prone to misplacing items

8.being easily distracted

9.Frequently forgetting responsibilities or regular activities


1.When you're seated, you're probably fidgeting or wriggling a lot.

2.When it's time to get up from your seat, do so frequently.

3.I'm always restless.

4.Frequently unable to participate in things silently

5.frequently "on the go"

6.Excessive chatting

7.Answering inquiries before they're finished is a common occurrence.

8.Having problems waiting for your turn on a regular basis

9.interrupting others regularly

What tests are used to diagnose adults with ADHD?

When making an ADHD diagnosis, qualified healthcare practitioners use the DSM-5 guidelines. Although the tests used by healthcare practitioners may vary, the following tools are frequently used.

Interview with a diagnostician

The diagnostic interview is the most crucial element of your ADHD evaluation.

It might be organized or unorganized. Your healthcare provider will ask you standardized questions about your present and prior behavior, regardless of how they perform the interview.

The themes covered by the questions are diverse. To obtain as much information as possible, your healthcare provider will ask follow-up questions.

Your healthcare provider must find evidence of ADHD symptoms in you from childhood to the present in order to get an ADHD diagnosis.

If at all possible, your healthcare provider should conduct the interview while you are accompanied by a family member or partner. The interview should take between 1 and 2 hours to complete.

The interview employs standardized questions to increase the possibility that a different interviewer would reach the same conclusion.

Each question is linked to one of the nine features of ADHD's inattentive or hyperactive patterns.

Family or close friends are interviewed.

Your healthcare provider may also conduct interviews with family members or others who are familiar with you. This step in the diagnosing process allows your doctor to gather further information and confirm your replies.

Your parents, for example, may be able to recall events from your childhood that you have forgotten, or your spouse may be able to recall details from your relationship that you have overlooked.

Scale for grading standardized behavior

Standardized questionnaires are frequently used in ADHD evaluations to compare the behavior of people with ADHD to that of those who do not have ADHD.

These questionnaires will not be utilized to make a diagnosis on their own, but they can help with the diagnostic interview. Your healthcare provider may also request that your partner complete the surveys.

Additional examinations

Additional tests to screen for other conditions may be ordered by your healthcare provider. Tests to measure academic accomplishment, intellectual capability, or to assist your healthcare practitioner in identifying comorbid conditions are some of the tests available.

At least one comorbid condition affects up to 80% of patients with ADHD, according to reliable sources. The following are the most common:

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects people in

  • a substance abuse problem

  • abnormalities of the personality

  • Examination by a physician

If you haven't had one recently, you may be subjected to one. This exam might help your doctor rule out other disorders that can cause symptoms that are similar to ADHD symptoms, such as thyroid issues or a seizure disorder.