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how is ADHD diagnosed and treated? by sanjana

there is no one specific test to diagnose ADHD, and several steps are involved. the first step in the diagnosis process is to talk to a healthcare professional. the healthcare professional will see if a person’s symptoms point to an ADHD diagnosis and if there are any other conditions that explain the symptoms better. some steps that will factor into an ADHD diagnosis are:

- gathering information: symptoms, individual and family medical histories, school records

- interviewing family members and others who know the individual well

- medical exams that a healthcare provider may conduct to rule out other possible

causes of symptoms

- ADHD standard criteria; healthcare professionals use the guidelines in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5)* to diagnose ADHD. these guidelines help provide a standard for ADHD diagnosis, and they take into consideration a person’s age, symptom type, and intensity of symptoms.

- therapies; the most common therapy for ADHD is behavior therapy. since ADHD is often first diagnosed in children, this therapy can help a child with ADHD pay attention in school, control impulses when necessary, and foster healthy relationships with family and friends. parents may also consult with the therapist in order to learn behavior management techniques to help reinforce the tools their child learns in therapy. behavior therapy can be a first step before medication or used in combination with medications in order to get full benefits.

- medications; ADHD medications can be extremely helpful, making it easier to manage symptoms. stimulants are the most commonly used ADHD medications and are fast-acting. non-stimulants can also be used. while they don’t work as quickly, their effects can last up to 24 hours. some examples of ADHD medications (brand names) are Adderall**, Concerta, Dexedrine, and Ritalin.




* for more information on ADHD diagnostic standards, you can visit http://images.pearsonclinical.com/videos/032218-ADHD/ADHD-Overview-Webinar-Handout-032218.pdf

** for information on the current Adderall shortage, you can visit https://www.fda.gov/drugs/ drug-safety-and-availability/fda-announces-shortage-adderall and https:// www.everydayhealth.com/adhd/the-adderall-shortage-why-its-still-happening-and-what- to-do/?scrlybrkr=ce093410


thank you to these sources for providing information used in this article:


nothing in our articles are medical or professional advice. the writers at NTC are not professionals and should not be treated as ones. our blog was created only for educational purposes and raising awareness.


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