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How do I know if I have ADHD and need medication ?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
medicationhow do i know if i have adhd and need medication? I was told in highschool i needed it but my mother denied it. Though college i self medicated with help from a friend also with add. Now as an adult i want to get tested i just do not know how. also how much it costs?
Posted Fri, 25 May 2012 in ADHD
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 10 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurobiological condition affecting 5-8 percent of school age children,with symptoms persisting into adulthood in as many as 60 percent of cases (i.e. approximately 4% of adults).
There is no single medical, physical, or genetic test for ADHD. However, a diagnostic evaluation can be provided by a qualified mental health care professional or physician who gathers information from multiple sources. These include ADHD symptom checklists, standardized behavior rating scales, a detailed history of past and current functioning, and information obtained from family members or significant others who know the person well. ADHD cannot be diagnosed accurately just from brief office observations, or just by talking to the person. The person may not always exhibit the symptoms of ADHD in the office, and the diagnostician needs to take a thorough history of the individual's life.

Some common symptoms and problems of living with ADHD include:

Poor attention; excessive distractibility
Physical restlessness or hyperactivity
Excessive impulsivity; saying or doing things without thinking
Excessive and chronic procrastination
Difficulty getting started on tasks
Difficulty completing tasks
Frequently losing things
Poor organization, planning, and time management skills
Excessive forgetfulness

Ask your personal physician for a referral to a health care professional in your community who is qualified to perform ADHD evaluations for adults. It may also be helpful to call a university-based hospital, a medical school, or a graduate school in psychology in your area. If there is an ADHD support group in your area, it may be very helpful to go there and talk with the people attending the group. Chances are that many of them have worked with one or more professionals in your community and can provide information about them.
The cost of the test can only be decided by your treating doctor as it is very variable rangeing from few hundreds to thousand dollars for a complete diagnostic evaluation.
But remember self medication is not advisable and you may cause much harm to yourself than benefit if you take medications without prescription or those prescribed for someone else.You don't have to feel guilty for something which is inherited and not your fault at all.
So kindly consult your gp or psychiatrist without hesitation for the best result .
Hope I have answered your query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How do I know if I have ADHD and need medication ? 30 hours later
thank you for the advice. I made an appointment with a local psychiatrist. although i have moved to a new state for a job that could turn into a career if i can actually get my act together enough to keep it. im scared and overwhelmed and can balance everything which is why im trying to be responsible. although in a new place i do not have my medical history unless i contact my physician from my family. so i guess with proper medical history it is a waste of my time and i should focus my energy on the support groups? i just cant mess up and i guess i just want some kind of help becuase i know i can be a sucssful funtioning adult
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 30 minutes later
Thanks for the follow up.
I appreciate your positive attitude and your efforts to lead a healthy life.
It's good to know that you have consulted a psychiatrist . An experienced psychiatrist can assess you thoroughly and confirm the diagnosis ,though past medical history is important it's not mandatory for diagnosis.
Please do not be scared . The most important step is to seek medical help and since you are moving in the right direction , positive results will definitely follow.
The treating doctor is the best person to gauge the severity of your problem and can refer you to appropriate support group in your vicinity .
I wish you all the best in your professional and personal life.
Kindly accept my answer if you have no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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