Do you have adhd quiz

ADHD in adults: All You Need to Know

While the public discussion around attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often centers around school aged children, many adults in the United States have ADHD.

About 2.5% of U.S. adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Increasing awareness about adult ADHD has helped expand understanding of how it presents in adults and how to treat it.

ADHD is defined as a persistent pattern of trouble with attention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that gets in the way of your daily functioning or development.

If you are an adult with undiagnosed ADHD, one challenge is recognizing the symptoms. You might chalk your symptoms up to fatigue, disinterest in work, or poor time management skills.

A diagnosis of ADHD can be a relief because there’s an explanation for your symptoms and treatment options.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), symptoms of inattention can include:

  • difficulty sustaining attention in tasks, like classes, lectures, or reading
  • difficulty paying close attention to details or making careless mistakes at work or during other activities
  • not seeming to listen when spoken to directly
  • difficulty following through on instructions or finishing duties in the workplace
  • difficulty organizing tasks and activities — for example, is messy and has difficulty with time management

Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity can include:

  • difficulty sitting still or feeling restless when sitting still is required
  • interrupting others during conversation
  • being socially inappropriate
  • rushing through tasks
  • acting without much consideration for the consequences

A combined presentation diagnosis occurs when enough symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity occur for at least 6 months.

We don’t know exactly what causes ADHD. We do, however, know several factors that can contribute to developing ADHD.

According to the NIMH, the following are risk factors for ADHD:

  • Genetics. If you have a parent with the condition, you are much more likely to develop ADHD than a person without that familial history. In fact, 3 out of 4 children who have ADHD have a relative who also has the disorder.
  • Maternal factors. Cigarette smoking, alcohol use, or drug use during pregnancy may contribute to a child developing ADHD.
  • Toxins. Exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy or at a young age, such as high levels of lead, may be a risk factor.
  • Low birth weight.
  • Brain injuries.

ADHD is more common in males than females. Inattention is especially common in females with ADHD.

People with ADHD may have co-occurring conditions, including:

  • anxiety disorder
  • conduct disorder
  • depression
  • substance use disorder
  • learning differences

Researchers began studying ADHD in children in the late 1970s and observed that many continued to experience the condition into adulthood. They assessed people using interviews to establish standardized criteria that helped specialists to diagnose ADHD in adults.

Over the years, researchers and experts expanded and refined these criteria. In 1980, ADHD was included in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the first time it had appeared in the guide.

DSM-III developed three symptom lists for inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

The current edition, DSM-5, outlines several requirements for an adult diagnosis of ADHD:

  • several symptoms must have been present before the age of 12
  • the adult must have at least five symptoms of either inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity
  • the symptoms must be present in two or more settings, such as at home and at work.
  • there must be evidence that the symptoms interfere with the person’s functioning in these settings

So how does a specialist decide you meet that criteria?

They’ll ask you about your history, especially regarding work and school, as well as their daily life and habits. The specialist will want to check for other undiagnosed conditions, such as learning disabilities, anxiety, or affective disorders.

To better understand your personal history, the specialist might ask to talk with relatives, friends, or co-workers as part of their evaluation. If that makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry. It’s not always necessary for a diagnosis, just helpful.

They also might give you a physical examination and ask about your medical history. According to the NIMH, “A person’s medical history is also important, as previous health problems, trauma, or injury can also be the cause of symptoms.”

Being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult can be liberating, as it can explain why certain things have been challenging throughout your life.

If you are diagnosed with adult ADHD, you have a variety of medical treatment options. Your doctor might suggest a stimulant like:

  • Strattera (atomoxetine)
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine)

Antidepressants can also be useful in treating ADHD, either alongside or instead of stimulants. Antidepressants that target dopamine and norepinephrine are the most effective in treating ADHD. These include venlafaxine (Effexor) and bupropion (Wellbutrin).

As always, you’ll want to tell your doctor about any other medications you’re taking, as these can interact with ADHD medications.

Counseling or therapy can also help people with ADHD better understand the condition and manage their day-to-day lives.

Looking for more? Check out our treatments for ADHD article here.

Coming up with structure and routine for accomplishing tasks can be really helpful for people with ADHD.

Productivity and time management tools can go a long way to improving your work and personal life. For example:

  • Using apps like Todoist can help you prioritize tasks and keep track of what you need to get done.
  • Keeping a productivity diary can help you visualize what you want to accomplish and evaluate how you did.

Along with therapy or counseling, many people find that having an ADHD coach helpful. These coaches can help you figure out what organizational and time management systems work for you.

Looking for an ADHD coach? The ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO) provides a directory to search by location.

Other organizations that can help you connect with ADHD coaches include:

  • ADD Coach Academy
  • National Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
  • Professional Association of ADHD Coaches (PAAC)

It can really help to talk with someone about how you’re feeling about having ADHD. Psychotherapy can help you explore emotions related to ADHD. A good therapist can also help you see the beneficial effects of high energy levels, spontaneity, and enthusiasm that ADHD can bring.

The important thing to remember is that an ADHD diagnosis opens a world of treatment possibilities that can greatly improve your life.

Looking for more? Read our main article on tips for living with ADHD here. Also, check out the ADHD Survival Guide by Sam Dylan Finch, a writer and positive psychology practitioner who lives with ADHD.

If you think you might have undiagnosed ADHD, contact your doctor. They can talk to you about your symptoms and refer you to a specialist for evaluation.

If you want to talk with other adults who have ADHD, you can find support groups through organizations like Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD).

If you want to read more about ADHD, we’ve included some resources below:

  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • CHADD fact sheets

Childhood/Teenage ADHD: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

ADHD affects millions of children and teens. These days, ADHD means more than just being ‘too hyper’ – it covers a wide range of behaviors.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common conditions diagnosed in children ages 2-17. It affects about 6 million (9.4%) children in the United States, according to the latest figures from 2016.

There’s a wide range of behaviors associated with ADHD. Many of which can look a lot like common childhood behaviors.

So, how do you know when your child’s symptoms are a sign they have ADHD?

Let’s take a deeper look at how ADHD looks in children and teens.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning it can affect the way a person behaves and learns. Its major symptoms are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

Like with any condition, symptoms can look different from person to person. Every person with ADHD has different needs. Some may need more support, while others may need less.

And having any of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that your child or teen has ADHD.

An evolving diagnosis

The term “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) was first introduced in 1980 in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — the reference manual used to diagnose mental conditions in the United States.

In 1994, the definition was revised to include three types of groups: the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type; the predominantly inattentive type; and the combined type (in the DSM-5, these are now referred to as “presentations”).

After this revision, ADD was considered outdated and no longer used.

You can find out more about ADHD facts and statistics here.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) has grouped ADHD into three types – predominately inattentive, predominately hyperactivity-impulsive, and a combination of both.

Predominately inattentive

This type of ADHD is characterized primarily by inattention and distractibility.

Children or teens with this type may be easily distracted and have difficulty staying organized, following directions, or completing a task.

Predominately hyperactive-impulsive type

Children or teens with this type of ADHD have symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. They may fidget, feel restless, interrupt others, talk a lot, and have a hard time sitting still (e.g., for a meal or doing school work).

Due to a higher chance of impulsive behaviors, children or teens with this type may be more likely to have accidents and injuries.

Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive

This is the most common type of ADHD. Children or teens with this combined type have both hyperactive and inattentive symptoms.

The type of ADHD your child or teen has will determine how they’ll be treated. The type can change over time, so treatment will likely change, too.

It’s normal for children to daydream in class, forget their homework, lose their toys, act without thinking, or have a hard time sitting still for long periods.

That’s why it can be challenging to tell whether your child has ADHD or if they’re acting like a “kid.” For some, these behaviors happen only in some situations and only occur every so often.

But for those with ADHD, these behaviors may be more severe and happen more frequently, often leading to problems at home, school, and with friends.

The impacts of ADHD on girls are different than boys, especially in peer relationships. The awareness of ADHD in girls is often missed as their symptoms generally are not as severe as they are in boys.

The symptoms of ADHD your child or teen has will depend on the type of ADHD they have. They may have some or all of these symptoms.

Some common ones include:

  • difficulty sitting still
  • easily distracted
  • trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks
  • forgetful in daily activities
  • loses things needed to complete a task/activity (e.g., school materials)
  • interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
  • difficulty waiting their turn

You can find out more here about symptoms of childhood and teen ADHD.

Although ADHD is a common condition, the exact causes and risk factors for the condition are unknown. Many doctors and researchers believe a variety of factors may play a role in its development.

Genetics is one of those factors. A 2018 review of family, twin, and adoption studies shows that ADHD may run in families.

Research from 2008 suggests that low levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine – which is associated with pleasure and reward – may also contribute to symptoms of ADHD.

More recent research suggests that children born prematurely or with a low birth weight have an increased chance of being diagnosed with ADHD.

Researchers are studying possible causes and risk factors of ADHD, such as brain injury and exposure to substance use during pregnancy.

Want to know more? You can find out more about causes and risk factors of childhood ADHD here.

Parents are usually the first to notice signs of ADHD in their child. If you notice symptoms of ADHD in your child or teen, you can talk with your pediatrician about an evaluation for the condition.

There’s no medical or blood test for ADHD. But doctors will look at your child’s behavior to help them make a diagnosis.

Your doctor will likely gather information about their behavior in different settings – at school, home, or with friends – from teachers, family members, and any other adults involved in their care.

A rating scale and other sources, such as a checklist, may be used to document symptoms and make sure that specific guidelines for diagnosing ADHD have been met.

The average age of diagnosis is 7 years old. But severe ADHD can be diagnosed as early as 5 years old.

During the evaluation, the doctor will also work to determine if another condition may be causing the symptoms or if another condition is occurring simultaneously. Among children ages 2-17 diagnosed with ADHD, nearly two-thirds (64%) also had another co-existing condition, such as anxiety or depression.

If your doctor suspects ADHD, they may refer you to an ADHD specialist. Before your appointment, it may helpful to make a list of your child’s behaviors and gather any observations or notes from teachers and counselors to provide to your doctor.

If parents can, consider an independent evaluation by a psychologist who specializes in these conditions. Depending on the diagnosis, you may also be referred to a child psychiatrist or neurologist for additional testing.

Given the amount of information available about ADHD and its stigma, it’s not uncommon for parents to have concerns after their child receives an ADHD diagnosis.

But the good news is that ADHD is treatable, and with the right treatment plan, you can learn to manage those behaviors and improve symptoms.

The most common treatments for this condition include medication, behavioral therapies, or both.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends behavioral therapy as a first-line treatment for children younger than 6. For children 6 years and older, a combination of behavior therapy and medication is recommended.

Behavioral therapy is often used to help you and your child or teen learn to monitor and manage their behavior. It typically also involves parent training in behavior management.

Another type of therapy, psychotherapy or talk therapy, may also be used to help manage behavior. In talk therapy, you and your child or teen will talk about how ADHD affects your daily lives, and the therapist will give you tools to use to help manage it.

Medication, such as stimulants or non-stimulants, may also be helpful in managing behavior and improving symptoms. These medications work by acting on chemicals in the brain – dopamine and norepinephrine.

You can take a deeper dive into ADHD treatments in children and teens here.

After a diagnosis of ADHD, many parents can feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next.

And that’s OK. You’re not alone. If you work closely with your child’s doctor, you can learn to monitor your child’s behaviors and make changes along the way to help manage those behaviors.

Your child’s school may also be a part of your management plan. ADHD qualifies for a 504 plan, which schools developed to support kids with disabilities. In fact, the AAP recommends adding classroom intervention strategies and school support to a behavioral therapy plan for ADHD.

Finding the right management plan can take a little trial and error, but once you find one that works for you and your family, it will be worth it.

Remember, not every child with ADHD has the same needs and routines, and what works for one may not work for another.

For some, it may be helpful to make a daily to-do list to help them stay organized and on track throughout the day. For others, creating calendar reminders and alarms helps them stay on task.

It’s important to find the approach that fits you and your family and helps make managing daily tasks and activities easier for you.

If you want to know more, you can find more tips for living with ADHD here.

If you think your child or teen has ADHD, you’ve already taken the first step — educating yourself about the condition.

The AAP recommends talking with your child’s doctor as the next step. They can refer you to a specialist who will provide an in-depth evaluation and make a diagnosis.

There are also organizations that can provide additional information, support, and resources to help you and your family manage the tasks of everyday life.

Some organizations that can help include:

  • Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
  • ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
  • National Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

If you want to find out more about resources for ADHD, click here.

ADHD symptom test

The ADHD test includes many different symptoms that in one way or another indicate the presence of this mental disorder. However, the severity of the disease and its symptoms can vary greatly.

This test incorporates the results of previous studies to ensure the validity and reliability of the results for identifying symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Do you have symptoms of ADHD? For each following statement, indicate how much you agree with it. nine0003

The ADHD test (IDR-ADHDST) is owned by IDRlabs. It builds on the work of Dr. Lenard Adler and colleagues who created the ADHD Questionnaire (ASRS). This test is not affiliated with any particular researcher or organization in the field of psychopathology.

The ADHD symptom test is based on material that has been published in the following sources: Kessler RC, Adler L, Ames M, Demler O, Faraone S, Hiripi E, Howes MJ, Jin R, Secnik K, Spencer T, Ustun TB , Walters EE. The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS): a short screening scale for use in the general population. Psychol Med. 2005 Feb;35(2):245-56. doi:10.1017/s0033291704002892. PMID: 15841682; Adler LA, Spencer T, Faraone SV, Kessler RC, Howes MJ, Biederman J, Secnik K. Validity of pilot Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) to Rate Adult ADHD symptoms. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2006 Jul-Sep;18(3):145-8. doi: 10.1080/10401230600801077. PMID: 16923651; Adler, L., Faraone, S., Sarocco, P., Atkins, N., Khachatryan, A. (2018). Establishing US norms for the adult ADHD self-report scale and characterizing symptom burden among adults with self-reported ADHD. The International Journal of Clinical Practice. nine0003

The work of Dr. Adler and colleagues looks at the main symptoms of ADHD. This work also describes certain diagnostic criteria that are intended for clinical use by trained mental health professionals. This test provides information for educational purposes only. IDRlabs and this test are in no way affiliated with the above researchers, organizations or institutions.

The ADHD symptom test is based on known research on the condition and other psychiatric disorders. However, all free online tests like this one are only introductory materials that will not be able to determine your inherent qualities with absolute accuracy and reliability. Therefore, our test provides information for educational purposes only. Detailed information about your mental state can only be provided by a certified specialist. nine0003

As the authors of this free online ADHD symptom ratio test, we have made every effort to ensure that this test is reliable and valid through numerous validations and statistical data controls. However, free online tests like this provide information "as is" and should not be construed as providing professional or certified advice of any kind. For more information about our online tests, please see our Terms of Service. nine0003

ADD(H) test for adults


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Adult ADHD Test

ADD(H) test for adolescents and adults 17 years of age and older, in accordance with the methodology of the American DSM-V guide.

Number of questions: 18 .

For more information, see the article from the Notes. nine0003


To answer "Yes", the symptom must be:

- Stable during the last 6 months .

- Was expressed in measure not corresponding to the level of development .

- Had a negative impact on academic performance and/or professional activities .


The test is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose any disease. nine0003

Consult a doctor for diagnosis.



Often makes nervous movements with hands or feet, or fidgets and wriggles while sitting in a chair.




Often interrupts or annoys others.

For example, breaks into conversation, games or activities without invitation; can use other people's things without asking; for teenagers or adults - they can interfere with someone else's work or continue someone else's work themselves. nine0003




Often has difficulty waiting in line.

For example, in the shop or at the game.




Often blurts out an answer before the question has been fully asked.

For example, completes sentences when others are speaking; cannot wait for their turn to join the conversation. nine0003




Often too talkative.




It is often in constant motion and behaves as if a motor was attached to it.

For example, absolutely unable or unable to stay comfortably in one place in restaurants or meetings; perhaps people around him consider him a restless person or a person with whom it is difficult to deal with. nine0003




Often has difficulty playing or spending leisure time quietly.




Often runs back and forth without restraint or climbs in situations where this is unacceptable.

Note: Teenagers and adults may not be running, jumping or climbing but may be restless and out of sorts. nine0003




Often leaves his seat in class or in other situations where the person is expected to be seated.

For example, leaving one's seat in a classroom, in an office or other place of work, or in other situations where one is expected to be seated.




Often fails to pay due attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, and other activities. nine0003

For example, does not notice or skips details, the work is not done accurately.




Often forgetful in daily activities.

For example, forgetfulness in housework, while doing errands; for older teenagers and adults - they forget to return calls, pay bills, come to a meeting or appointment (to a doctor, for example).




Often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. For older teenagers and adults, this includes thoughts that are inappropriate for the time / place.




Often loses things needed for lessons or classes.

For example, notebooks, textbooks, pencils, books, tools, keys, paper forms, glasses, mobile phones.




Often avoids, dislikes, or reluctantly takes on things that require sustained mental effort.

For example, schoolwork or school homework, for older teens and adults - preparing reports, filling out forms, studying long texts.




Often has difficulty organizing lessons and classes. nine0003

For example, trouble moving from one task in a chain to another, difficulty keeping materials and personal belongings in order, sloppy, unorganized work, poor time management, failing to complete work on time.




Often does not follow instructions to the end and does not complete class work, chores, or duties in the workplace.

For example, starts work, but quickly loses focus and easily wanders off topic.




Often it seems that he does not listen to the speech addressed to him.

For example, his mind wanders somewhere else, even if there is no obvious distraction.




Often has difficulty maintaining attention when performing tasks or during games.

Learn more