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ADD / ADHD Message Board

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Hi, I'm 20 years old, and I strongly believe that I have ADD so I went to a hospital nearby to start taking the ADD test. I thought it would involve some heavy medical equipment, but it turned out to be 3 hours of questionaires and that's it.

After the result came back it turned out to be positive for ADD and negative for ADHD. I don't know if I can trust a decision made solely on questionaires! Is this how all of you get diagnosed usually? Or do you sit infront of an expensive medical test machine that monitors your brain or something.

I'm sure I have it because all my life, whenever I wanted to study I would doze off in 3 - 4 minutes. Unless the subject is interesting I usually wander off to dreamland. My parents, friends, teachers have always noticed my excessive daydreaming and lack of concentration. I always feel that doing an assignment or a project is one hell of an undertaking, and I'm not really organized in studying. I usually studied 5 hours before the exam because the anxiety/fear made me focus contrary to ordinary days where it is impossible for me to focus.

Can anyone please tell me how they get diagnosed?

My diagnosis consisted of a thorough interview (like 45 min) with an ADHD specialist. He basically wanted my life story (since ADHD is something you're born with) & inquired about family history, etc. Then I filled out the actual test thing (most likely the same questionaires you were referring to). From the interview/test he made his diagnosis - ADHD Combined Type.

Although we all hear the term "ADD", there is actually no such thing. According to the DSM-IV (Diagnostic Criteria for Mental Disorders used by psychiatrists), the proper term is ADHD. People are either ADHD Innatentive Type (also known as "ADD"), ADHD Hyperactive Type or ADHD Combined Type.

There are no "medical" tests to screen a person for the disorder. Although researchers have found that the brain mass of an ADHD patient can be up to 4% smaller than that of a "healthy" person. Basically ADHD is due to insufficient dopamine levels in the brain. That's why stimulants are often prescribed... to boost dopamine levels, leading to increased focus/concentration/productiveness.

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