Health Team

What is Definitive Diagnosis Testing for AD/HD?

Posted April 9, 2013

If you or your child has been previously diagnosed with AD/HD, or if you suspect that you or your child has the condition, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. AD/HD is one of the most difficult conditions to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to a variety of other conditions, such as depression, anxiety or even sleep disorders.

Reasons for Getting a Definitive Diagnosis
Having an accurate diagnosis helps you get the treatment that will actually help your condition. For example, those with AD/HD often find counseling helpful because it teaches them behaviors that may help then to cope with and manage their symptoms. In addition, children and college students who have an accurate diagnosis of AD/HD have an easier time getting the help that they need in school, such as tutoring and extra time for tests and assignments.

Another reason why having an accurate diagnosis for AD/HD is important is because prescription medications used to treat AD/HD are often abused by those without the condition. If these medications are mistakenly prescribed for someone who does not have AD/HD, they may become a problem for the patient rather than the treatment they need.

Definitive Diagnosis Testing
There is no blood test or imaging exam a physician can conduct to determine if you have AD/HD. This is because AD/HD is a complex psychological issue, and its causes are often unknown. However, psychologists and physicians can conduct screening exams to provide a definitive diagnosis that AD/HD is, in fact, the problem.

During the testing process, the medical professionals conducting the testing look for specific markers of AD/HD. These markers are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. The medical professionals look for patterns of symptoms that are the hallmarks of AD/HD, and determining whether these symptoms are markers of AD/HD or some other condition is a complex process.

This testing usually takes many steps and procedures before a diagnosis can be made. For instance, your medical background will be examined to help rule out other medical issues that may be causing your symptoms. If the patient is a child, the family as well as teachers, social workers or other adults who have frequent contact with the child may be contacted for interview purposes. AD/HD rating scales are often used as well as a medical examination. Once the process is finished, the physician or clinical case worker will be able to say with a high degree of confidence that you or your child has AD/HD.

Where to Go for Help
If you or your loved one may be suffering from AD/HD, help is available. Carolina Partners in Mental Healthcare, LCC, can perform definitive diagnosis testing that can get you or your child the help you need. Click here or call us at 919-929-9610 to provide your information. One of our intake coordinators will call you to schedule your appointment.


Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare is an advertising partner of, but each article is intended to be educational and informative in nature.


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