I think I have ADHD now what?

I think I have ADHD – now what? If you have focusing difficulties, you may have been thinking about this question for some time.

Maybe you’ve been wondering this since getting some pointed comments from a teacher. Or maybe your friends won’t stop joking about your “high energy.” Perhaps you’ve taken an online quiz, or noticed how the lists on Buzzfeed, or the stories on TotallyADD.com sound eerily familiar.

Whatever your hunch may be, thinking you have ADHD and knowing you have ADHD are two different things.

This is why the answer to “now what” is, and always will be, get a formal assessment. That is the next step. 

Having signs and symptoms that look like ADHD, such as trouble focusing, might not actually be ADHD. There are many other potential reasons for your difficulties – poor diet, a sleep disorder, depression, anxiety…the list goes on.

For that reason alone, a formal assessment (a good one) is necessary to rule out other potential causes for your difficulties. Not only that, it provides concrete data on your diagnosis, and helps to outline the areas of your health and well-being that are currently being impacted.

Some important things to consider:

    • Seek out a professional who knows what ADHD is, and what it’s not. ADHD can be diagnosed by either a medical doctor or a psychologist, but either way make sure they know their stuff and have a proven track record. Unfortunately, even within the medical and psychological community, ADHD continues to be misunderstood.

    • Before you book the assessment, make sure you ask the right questions. Check out: What to ask before booking an ADHD Assessment.

    • Make sure that the assessment is more comprehensive than just “do I have ADHD or not?” Simply confirming a diagnosis is not necessarily helpful in and of itself. Beyond the diagnosis, an assessment should help you better understand what may have been affecting your well-being and ability to follow through on goals and good intentions. Check out: Why it’s important to get a thorough ADHD assessment.

Getting an ADHD assessment is not an arbitrary next step. It should be viewed as the first stop in a journey to get to where you want to be. Yes, there may be turbulence along the way, but the only way to truly move forward is to first and foremost understand where you’re coming from.

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