Suggested Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD in Adults
Hallowell and Ratey, 1994, felt that ADHD expressed itself differently in adults and developed this diagnostic rating scale.
For a positive diagnosis, the behavior must be considerably more frequent than most people of the same mental age
A chronic disturbance in which at least 12 of the following are frequently present:
- A sense of underachievement, of not meeting one’s goals (regardless of how much one has actually accomplished).
- Difficulty getting organized.
- Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started.
- Many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow-through.
- A tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark.
- A frequent search for high stimulation.
- An intolerance of boredom.
- Easy distractibility, trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or a conversation, often coupled with an ability to hyperfocus at times.
- Often creative, intuitive, highly intelligent.
- Trouble in going through established channels, following “proper” procedure.
- Impatient; low tolerance of frustration.
- Impulsive, either verbally or in action, as in impulsive spending of money, changing plans, enacting new schemes or career plans, and the like; hot-tempered.
- A tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly; a tendency to scan the horizon looking for something to worry about, alternating with intention to or disregard for actual dangers.
- A sense of insecurity.
- Mood Swings, mood lability, especially when disengaged from a person or project.
- Physical or cognitive restlessness.
- A tendency toward addictive behavior.
- Chronic problems with self-esteem.
- Inaccurate self-observation
- Family history of ADD or manic-depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.
- Childhood history of ADD. (It may not have been formally diagnosed, but in reviewing the history, one sees that the signs and symptoms were there.)
- Situation not explained by other medical or psychiatric condition.