If you’re interested in being evaluated for ADHD, you’re probably wondering what it will be like. While it's likely unfamiliar territory for you, it doesn't have to be a daunting process, especially when you use our simple and convenient approach at Done. Here’s a guide to how it works and what you can expect as you seek an ADHD diagnosis.
Complete a Self-Assessment
Typically, the first step in being assessed for ADHD as an adult is filling out a self-assessment. Once you contact an ADHD specialist to make an appointment, they may have you complete this step before you meet in person. This gives the healthcare provider a better sense of who you are and what you're struggling with and creates a document that's helpful to reference later on if you do end up needing ADHD treatment.
There are a few options that are commonly used among healthcare providers, including:
- Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale
- Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scale-IV
- Adult ADHD Clinical Diagnostic Scale
- Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scales
Most self-assessments focus on your behaviors and symptoms, covering topics like inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness, and other key ADHD symptoms. Questions about work, school and your social life are often integrated to provide a more comprehensive look at possible ADHD symptoms in different settings. These self-reporting devices are a good starting point that helps you detail your symptoms in an organized way so your specialist can more accurately evaluate your situation.
Interviews and Questionnaires
After an initial assessment, the next step is a one-on-one interview. At your appointment, the specialist will interview you in more detail about your ADHD symptoms and your concerns. You’ll be able to convey what has caused you to suspect that you may have ADHD and explain how your symptoms have affected different areas of your life.
Your healthcare provider will take note of what you're experiencing now as well as how long you've struggled with certain behaviors. This is important as the diagnostic criteria for ADHD in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) states that symptoms of ADHD must have been evident before age 12.
In addition to asking you directly about your experiences with symptoms and behaviors related to ADHD, most specialists will want to gather information from some of the people you’re closest to, such as your partner, your parents, your siblings or your friends. In many cases, a specialist will simply provide questionnaires for these individuals to fill out to gather the information they need. However, others prefer to conduct in-person or phone interviews. In either case, this additional step can help your healthcare provider get more information about your possible ADHD symptoms from the people who experience them from a different perspective.
Medical History and Exams
Screening for conditions that have overlapping symptoms with ADHD is an important part of the diagnostic process. Your ADHD specialist will likely ask about your medical history and conduct a physical exam, including hearing and vision screenings.
This helps to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, which could include learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, or autism spectrum disorder. People with ADHD often have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder which may share some similar symptoms with ADHD, so it's important to determine the most likely cause of your symptoms in order to determine the appropriate treatment.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you do have ADHD, the specialist will diagnose you with one of three types of the disorder: hyperactive/impulsive, inattentive, or combined. They’ll also go through some ADHD treatment options with you, which may include medication, therapy, or getting an ADHD coach. You should work closely with your healthcare provider to find the right treatment plan for your unique needs.
Can You Get an ADHD Diagnosis Online?
When you visit a specialist in person, it can be difficult to get an ADHD diagnosis in a timely manner. You have to find someone who’s taking on new patients, wait for an available appointment, and then take time off work and travel to their office to complete the assessment. This can be a frustrating process, especially since current ADHD provider shortages often lead to long wait times for appointments.
Done offers a better way to get an ADHD assessment for adults. Our process is 100% online, and we have a number of licensed ADHD clinicians ready to help you. It’s more convenient, it’s faster, and it’s also affordable. If you’d like to learn more about how to get an online ADHD assessment, get in touch with us today.