"I think my friend has ADHD, but if so, he hasn't shared his diagnosis with me. He's late all the time, and doesn't remember what we talked about last time we went out. How do I tell him to get some help?"
by Melissa Orlov
According to Russell Barkley, Ph.D., 80 to 90 percent of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed, so it's possible that he has ADHD but doesn't know it. Some who are diagnosed are sensitive about the topic, fearing they might be stigmatized. If you approach him, I suggest starting with the behaviors that bother you. You may say, "I am upset when you are late for our dinners, and I am concerned when you have trouble remembering what we've talked about. Sometimes these traits are part of ADHD. Have you ever considered that you might have it?" This may start a productive conversation about the topic.
Another approach would be to let a book do the talking. Give him a book on ADHD. Your friend may notice that he has some ADHD symptoms, and he may decide to be evaluated for the condition. In either case, tread softly: Don't tell him to get help.