LEIDEN PSYCHOLOGIST

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Testing ADHD

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TESTING ADHD

In this page we provide information to you how we could help you in diagnosing and treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Adults with ADHD are easily distracted, struggling with poor planning and organizational abilities, and suffer mood fluctuations and fits of temper. They seek out excitement and risks in order to be better able to concentrate, they often use drugs and alcohol, and they are impulsive and restless. Furthermore, they almost always have one or more additional disorders, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, a sleep disorder, a bipolar disorder, or a personality disorder. All this results in problems with functioning at school, at work, and in relationships

TESTING ADHD

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING FOR ADHD in ADULTS

If you are struggling with symptoms like inattention, being easily distracted and restless, and impulsivity, you might want to consider being tested for adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is often thought of as a childhood condition that is “outgrown” by the teenage years. However, ADHD can span a lifetime and may be something that was overlooked earlier on.

DSM-5 Criteria for ADHD

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)

People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivityimpulsivity that interferes with functioning or development:

  1. Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
    • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
    • Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
    • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
    • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
    • Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
    • Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
    • Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
    • Is often easily distracted
    • Is often forgetful in daily activities.
  2. Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
    • Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
    • Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
    • Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
    • Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
    • Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
    • Often talks excessively.
    • Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
    • Often has trouble waiting his/her turn.
    • Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
In addition, the following conditions must be met:
  • Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age 12 years.
  • Several symptoms are present in two or more setting, (such as at home, school or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
  • There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.
  • The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder (such as a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder). The symptoms do not happen only during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder.
Based on the types of symptoms, three kinds (presentations) of ADHD can occur:
  • Combined Presentation: if enough symptoms of both criteria inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity were present for the past 6 months
  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: if enough symptoms of inattention, but not hyperactivity-impulsivity, were present for the past six months
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: if enough symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, but not inattention, were present for the past six months.

Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.

Our service for treatment of ADHD

At our practice we strive to establish a client-centered tailored therapy for your specific ADHD challenges and difficulties. We begin with a diagnostics research process which is done in a relaxed attentive and thorough manner. The testing process enables us and you to get a detailed in-depth understanding of how ADHD symptoms have manifested themselves specifically for you, and how and when they have accompanied you over the course of you life. This always provides our clients and us with valuable insight and understanding regarding life areas and challenges in your life to be further addressed in the following phase which is the intervention phase.
Based on the outcomes of the diagnostic research process we establish together with the client a realistic treatment plan comprised of specific realistic and measurable goals. The intervention (treatment) follows based on this treatment plan and is usually comprised of coaching strategies with directive gradual assignment of tasks. As necessary we may consider with you the combination of medication for ADHD that can be prescribed to you by your GP (huisarts) based on our assesment and your preference. The following phase is the assesment phase in which we evaluate the effectiveness of treatment thus far against the goals that we had established. Based on this evaluation we may then decide to continue into a maintanance phase in which we will acommpany you in the implementation and sustaining of the strategies you will have learnt and the new habits you will have established to deal better with the effects of ADHD. Treatment might come to an end at this time or continued as long as you would like our support of course. And in any case we are committed to be here for you if and whenever you might need further support and ‘a boost’ to your newly acquired coping strategies.