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It can be difficult to sort out what exactly is causing what. I think that, in reality, due at least in part to the nature of meds for adhd, pdocs tend to kind of give people with attentional issues a med trail, and if the meds work, keep going with them. The meds tend to work pretty well, pretty quickly. There's usually not a lengthy titration, not a ton of switching around between meds, in search of a result. And if they don't work, there's not really a need to taper, so a trial is pretty easy for them to do.

From what you're describing, it doesn't sound like an adhd dx would be much of a stretch. Not at all. Have you talked to your current pdoc about the possibility of an official dx? Would he and the doctor you see at school be willing to talk, to coordinate your care? That's probably a good idea, just generally. Anyway.

As far as that assessment, I really have no idea. If a score above 20 is suggestive of ADHD, then my score of 42 seems about right.

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If you want to get accommodations for ADD once you're back in school, you'll need a formal diagnosis anyway. Shell out $500 to a neuro-psych for a full battery of testing.

No, you really don't need to do all that for accomodations. At least at most schools, you'll just need your doctor to sign off on it. You can probably find their disability office online, and get more specific info., if that's something you're even thinking about.

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If you want to get accommodations for ADD once you're back in school, you'll need a formal diagnosis anyway. Shell out $500 to a neuro-psych for a full battery of testing.

No, you really don't need to do all that for accomodations. At least at most schools, you'll just need your doctor to sign off on it. You can probably find their disability office online, and get more specific info., if that's something you're even thinking about.

I was required to.

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I actually never claimed AD/HD as disability in college although I probably should have. Then again, I really had no means to, as my parents were against any form of psychiatric treatment and would have, at the time, made Tom Cruise proud. My depression wasn't even diagnosed until senior year of college (though I realized I was pathologically depressed since about age 9), and heck, I didn't even realize that I had any attention deficit at all until after finishing college and was never formally tested until after I graduated, and not diagnosed until a year later when my then-pdoc felt it "interfered with my job" (after I got fired from it, of course).

I don't know if I want to attempt claiming AD/HD for graduate school, I don't think they'd be too sympathetic to it; most instructors I've had issues with just lump me in as airheaded idiot-NOS. Just not sure if the headache is worth it for an extra 15 minutes on examinations.

Plus, I live in a state whose public health insurance program specifically has a coverage clause waiving any treatment for AD/HD (meds or therapy). As in, they deny the existence of the disorder. I claim otherwise. :smartass:

In any event, don't rely on random online tests, regardless of who developed them. AD/HD is AD/HD when it (as per aforementioned pdoc's definition) interferes with your life, and to get such a diagnosis, you need a clinician behind you... especially if your institution is skeptical of the disorder.

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I'd say in this day and age and in most institutions, a doctor's letter is usually enough for accomodations. but i'm guessing every school is different?

In any case, the first person to talk to about it would be the pdoc you have now, and getting that dx added to your current ones if it is not there already, so you do not have difficulties with new pdoc. he may or may not want to do some standard testing to be sure.

I don't ascribe high validity to most online tests but most of what you describe sounds pretty Adhd like so you would probably qualify for the dx if you need meds and accomodations. do NOT head off to college having to drop Adhd meds if they help you if you can possibly avoid that, would be my advice.

Anna

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If you want to get accommodations for ADD once you're back in school, you'll need a formal diagnosis anyway. Shell out $500 to a neuro-psych for a full battery of testing.

No, you really don't need to do all that for accomodations. At least at most schools, you'll just need your doctor to sign off on it. You can probably find their disability office online, and get more specific info., if that's something you're even thinking about.

I was required to.

I'm sorry, I meant to come back to this last night, but I apparently got distracted. Just because my school, and the random others I happen to have checked out, don't require the testing, that doesn't remotely mean there aren't plenty of others that do.

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Thanks for the advice everyone.

I have one more question: Can ADHD be worse during some points of your life than others, or is it always constant? Like, I've never had good attention and motivation, but it seemed so much worse my last semester in school, when I was dealing with some mania and depression.

In general, any kind of stress can exacerbate ADHD. Mood episodes are certainly included in that.

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To me, it feels like what's going on is that whatever coping mechanisms I've developed, more or less unconsciously, for dealing with ADHD kind of fall by the wayside when I'm manic or depressed, or otherwise stressed out beyond my capacity to deal.

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i feel like my ADHD sx get worse when I'm episodic but I haven't actually gotten to the point where I've figured out why. When manic, it's definitely because my evil docs (heh) always make me stop my provigil, just to be safe.... when depressed, not sure, maybe just because everything is harder when you are depressed...

Anna

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Just want to say that I am registered with my school's DRC (Disability Resource Center) for Depression. The paperwork my pdoc filled out notes concentration issues, and as such, I get extra time for tests and am allowed to take them alone. You don't necessarily need an ADHD dx to have ADHD considerations. Either way, it would be best to check with the disability office first to see what they require as proof of disability.

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  • 2 months later...

I wasn't diagnosed until my depression lightened up a bit with treatment. Then I sent my pdoc a note about something or other, and I couldn't seem to edit it. I threw in every relevant thing I could think of! (Most of the time I edit things before I send them. Even some editing on this note here.)Before that both my tdoc and pdoc thought I COULDN'T have it because of where I got my bachelor's. I don't think I had told them that it took me an extra 10 years to get it.

I think, in addition to the test, you should look up the diagnostic criteria for ADHD from the DSM IV. I don't recall where, but they are in several places on line. And maybe if you still have some report cards from when you were 7 or 8 you might learn something. Mine don't have much negative stuff, but there are notes about having trouble following directions. (Of course if they didn't do everything so SLOWLY.....)

Your history hints that you may have it. One of the criteria is that it has to show up by the time you're something like 7.

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I got a 31, which seems about right, but I think a lot depends on your mood when you're taking it. Hard to decide how much of a problem you have to have before answering a question positively. For instance, every few years I do something memorably impulsive. But almost never anything all that dangerous. Is that a yes or a no?

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If you suspect something is up, it usually is. The only real way to tell though is to go through the whole test (I went through 2 of them :( ) one was 4 hrs almost killed me lol. But my mom and I thought that I had it and I did. I tested for having it on both of the tests.

I took this test yesterday to take to my pdoc:

http://www.adhdaware...-checklist.html

My question is: How accurate are these online tests? I know they don't replace a pdoc's dx. But I score very high on every online test I take. On this one I checked yes for 60/70 questions.

I want to know if I have ADHD for sure before I go back to college. I have Adderall now for my concentration, hyperactivity and motivation problems, but I see a different pdoc at school and I do not know if he will continue an off-label script. Currently I have no official dx, but the Adderall is helping me so much.

I know that many things can mimic ADHD. Health problems, like my schizoaffective, and the meds for it can cause ADHD-like symptoms. But I know many things can mask ADHD as well. I'm fairly intelligent so I have always "pulled by" in school, but I never reached my full potential.

I had behavior problems in school (hyperactivity, impulsivity) from about 4-7 years old but lots of kids do.

Has anyone else had a hard time sorting out ADHD from other mental health symptoms? How does a pdoc go about doing that?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know I'm late to this thread, but many of the online tests are actually fairly accurate when it comes to "diagnosing" ADHD. If you compare the questions on them to the actual questions on the questionnaires that a pdoc will ask you to fill out, they're pretty close.

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