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ADHD – Diagnosis

May 3, 2021


"My approach is to do this in two parts. And firstly, I take a general psychiatric history and conduct a mental state examination. So that's the standard process in which as a psychiatrist, I would explore what the key issues are. I'll gather some background information and help to build the picture as to whether I think there's any form of mental disorder or not. Symptoms of ADHD can overlap with other conditions like mood and anxiety disorders. So it's really important that these are excluded in the first place. Having done so, and also recognizing that these symptoms can sit alongside an ADHD diagnosis, I will then do a more formal ADHD assessment. My approach is to use one of the recognized semi-structured interview questionnaires. And this allows me to do a really robust assessment. In addition to exploring whether there are ADHD symptoms that have been present from childhood and persistence adult life. I would usually ask my patients to bring along any school reports, because these can help to provide really helpful collateral information and also to speak to a relative or someone that's known them below the age of 12, to really support whether these symptoms were there from an objective source. So it's quite a detailed process and it is a very thorough one. I think that's really important because there are questions about how robust this diagnosis is. Interestingly, there's something that we can offer remotely. There are some considerations such as checking the blood pressure and weight of a patient, but these increasingly can be done at home as long as patients can access the relevant scales and blood pressure machine."

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