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Adhd Assessment And Diagnosis – How Important It Is?
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All over the web, sites are popping up which allow you to enter your symptoms and then determine what potential problems or disorders you have. The problem with this is that attention problems are one of the most common problem you can have with any other medical problem. Feeling tired? There goes your attention skills! Problems with digestion? There goes your attention skills! Got headaches? There goes your attention skills! Feeling depressed or anxious? Goodbye attention!… and so on. So when it is worthwhile getting an ADHD assessment?
The first thing it is important to understand is that ADHD is a developmental disorder. If you have ADHD it should have been present pretty much for as long as you can remember. If you think to yourself that you have only had problems concentrating since you were fired, since you got depressed, since you started having panic attacks, since you developed irritable bowel syndrome and lost 10kg, then this is not likely to be anything related to ADHD. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t receive help to manage your issues, even your attention issues, it just means the root cause isn’t a neurodevelopmental disorder. Many of the ADHD strategies may be applicable to you, especially if you find your condition long-term. For example, mindfulness strategies are very helpful in people with not only ADHD but any type of attention weakness.
True ADHD is actually a long-term disorder that affects a person in two or more setting to a very significant degree. To be diagnosed with a clinical “disorder” the impairment needs to be significant. The lack of understanding of this factor is what makes ADHD an overly- and mis-diagnosed disorder. Many people with attention problems are being put into this category even though functionally they are able to hold down long-term jobs and relationships. Most people at some point struggle with their job and changes positions, but a person with ADHD will struggle to maintain most jobs and will be fired for either inappropriate behaviour or poor attention to detail and many careless errors. Again, many people have problems with relationships (and we know the divorce rate is at 50%), but a person with ADHD will have much more severe issues and have constant complaints of interrupting, not listening, being inappropriate, and being too intense for their partner. They also may be highly forgetful and disorganised, to the point that they struggle to maintain a household (including organisation and paying bills). ADHD people are known for being chronically late to the point that they alienate family, friends and work colleagues. Of course not all people with ADHD will chow all features, but all people with ADHD according to the diagnosis criteria must have significant impairments.
Before you have an ADHD assessment it is therefore worthwhile trying to rule out any potential medical factors, and then if nothing is found, it will be worthwhile getting a formal assessment.
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