Read This To Decide If You Think You Might Have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Then Choose What To Do

If you think, or if you have been told, that you may suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, read through this list of symptoms. Check off ones you can identify with. Show it to your doctor for an opinion on whether medication might help or not.

Yes or no, if you feel the need, bring your list to your next appointment and together we can create a plan to help you manage your symptoms (as well as your time) better.

SELF-TEST: Typical ADD - ADHD Traits

The traits listed below are typical of Adult ADD - ADHD. To strongly suspect ADD, a person should have at least 15 of these traits, and the symptoms should be:
  • Persistent - The trait is present more often than not, from an early age.
  • Pervasive - The trait is present in many different areas of a person's life.
  • Prohibiting quality of life - The trait interferes with several areas of life, including work success, relationships, and/or self-esteem.
    • Constantly distracted by thoughts or stimuli that interrupt actions or conversations
    • Needing to change physical positions often, getting out of chair, moving; history of childhood hyperactivity
    • Spacey or daydreaming, trouble concentrating
    • Many thoughts and ideas, seemingly all at once
    • Multi-tasking, often doing several things at once (such as TV, e-mail, talking on phone, reading)
    • Focusing so avidly on an interest that everything else is forgotten
    • Tactless, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time
    • Missing social cues, behaving or speaking inappropriately
    • Needing to write or doodle in order to pay attention in meetings
    • Inability to concentrate or sustain focus on reading (not necessarily dyslexia)
    • Poor short-term memory
    • Chronic lateness, poor time judgment
    • Inability to work within the rules of a corporate or bureaucratic structure
    • Inability to work effectively without imposed structure
    • Chronic clutter and disorganization
    • Inability to prioritize
    • Inability to get started on tasks such as bill-paying, laundry, mundane paperwork
    • Procrastination
    • Perfectionism
    • Poor follow-through on completing projects, leaving "loose ends"
    • Inappropriate anger responses, defensiveness, placing blame on self or others
    • History of fractured relationships, misunderstandings
    • Thinking in black / white terms; things or people seem either all good or all bad
    • Often taking on more than can realistically be accomplished
    • Thrill-seeking behavior, or enjoyment of risk
    • Intolerance of boredom, changing jobs or hobbies often

Source: Symptoms compiled from the Diagnostic and Statistical Disorder of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, American Psychiatric Association. This table comes from Mincu and Associates.