Testing for ADHD: Is it ADHD, OCD, or both?

When testing for ADHD, we often get asked about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and how it might overlap with ADHD symptoms. When is it ADHD, OCD, or both?

We came across an article addressing this issue from a non-medical perspective, asking that exact question: Is it ADHD, OCD, or both?

For some background, OCD is characterized by recurrent unwanted thoughts (e.g. obsessions), often in conjunction with specific compulsive behaviours. These compulsions are motivated and intentional in response to obsessions. The intention of a compulsion is to reduce obsession-related distress.

So, when testing for ADHD, an important question to ask is: What is the intention underlying the behaviour?

With ADHD, what often looks like a compulsion tends to have a different motivation. As described by the article, people with ADHD often develop compulsive tendencies to overcompensate for their symptoms. For example, they over-check things knowing they can be distractible and make careless mistakes.

Check out the article for more about this!

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