"How helpful are online tests in diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD)? I took an online test and it indicated I might have ADHD. What should I do?"
by Michele Novotni, Ph.D.
Online tests can be helpful for individuals who wonder if they should see a professional to be assessed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD). Only a mental health specialist or a doctor can diagnose ADD/ADHD.
In addition to having symptoms of ADD/ADHD, such as a fluctuating attention span, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, it is important to rule out problems that have similar symptoms to ADD/ADHD or to diagnose other comorbid conditions that coexist with it -- learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), for instance. Diagnosing ADD/ADHD is often complicated and time-intensive.
If the online test did not indicate that you probably have ADD/ADHD, it would still be a good idea to speak to a professional. If you were concerned enough to take the test, it would be beneficial to better understand your challenges and to get strategies to help.
Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is the former president and CEO of the national Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), a best-selling author, a psychologist, a coach, a parent of a young adult with ADD/ADHD, an ADDitude magazine writer, and a contributor to ADDitude's new ADHD Experts Blog.