Diagnosing ADHD in Adults


"I am told by my wife that she suspects I have ADD. How do I find a location where I can take a diagnostic test? (I suspect I may also have depression.)"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

If you suspect you might have ADHD, it is important to see a professional who knows and understands about this disorder. There is no formal test to make the diagnosis. The process is to first establish that a person meets the criteria for the kind of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity that characterize ADHD. Then, if one or more of these behaviors exists, it is necessary to demonstrate that these behaviors have been present since childhood and that they impact on two or more areas of life (work, family, social relationships, school etc.).

If you are depressed, it is important to determine if the behaviors your wife observes are due to the depression or an underlying ADHD. I cannot give you the names of specific people who can help you, but you can contact your local chapter of CHADD (Children and Adults With Attention Deficit Disorder).

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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