An ADHD Test Made For Adults

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A businessman and woman

This is an informal test with 33 items designed for adult ADHD – that focuses on the way the condition manifests specifically in adults.

What distinguishes it from most ADHD tests is that a) it is written for adults b) it is behaviorally based.  That means it asks if you have behaviors associated with ADHD.

The limitation to this approach is that it may miss something or that some behaviors may not be restricted to ADHD.

That said, as you read each item, mentally note if, “yes, that’s me.”  If you think “yes” more than a few times, then you may have ADHD.

1)         You sit down to study something you don’t want to.  Five minutes later, you’ve decided that it isn’t worth doing, that it’s not important, that you’re not interested in it – whatever.  You come up with a reason so you don’t have to study.

2)         Someone can be talking directly to you, but you get either really irritated – you want to talk about something else – or start to zone out and not really hear what they’re saying.

3)         Is something boring? If something is boring, then doing it feels like your mind was put into a blender and then sucked through a straw. If something is interesting, however, you can do it for hours without getting tired or losing interest.

4)         You tend to get lost while driving.Additionally, you tend to lose your temper or get frustrated with the other people on the road.  Why do they drive so fast?  Or so close to your car?

5)         You are really excited about a new idea until someone points out a flaw in it.  Then you lose enthusiasm like a deflated balloon.  Many of your great ideas die when they turn out to take more work than expected.

6)         Over the course of a day, you may go from one extreme mood to another.  You may feel like things are great, lose excitement, get bored, get excited and so on – all in the course of a day.

7)         You can watch television, talk on instant message, and do crossword puzzles – all at the same time.  You actually find it relaxing, or that you focus better.

8)        People can sit at the dinner table and talk for hours.  Say it’s just a plain old dinner and not on one of your favorite topics do you leave the dinner as fast as possible?

9)         Are there periods where you get really excited about something and just slip into a zone where that is all you think about? Hours go by like seconds.

It’s called hyperfocus, and if that name “clicks” with you, than it’s likely you have it.

10)       You’re playing video games or doing something fun, when someone you know starts talking to you.  “Why don’t you take out the garbage, please?”

“I said I’ll do it – after I finish doing what I’m doing.  Why don’t you trust me?”

“Because I need it right now.  Please!  You’re not even doing anything right now!”

A fight ensues.

Sound familiar?

11)       You’re in math class.  The teacher is talking: “So if you add 3 + 4 and..”

“it’s 7!” you call out.

The teacher coughs, gives you a black look, and goes on -“So if you add 3 + 4 and multiply by 2…”

12)       Sometimes you can just zone out.  Time flies by, you’re deeply relaxed and thinking about things that have absolutely nothing to do with what or where you are – like life in general.

13)       You’re in Paris with some friends, and deciding what to do.  “Okay, first we’ll see the Louvre, then hit the National Museum, then see a juggling show, then…”

Sound like you?  When you’re in the groove, you’re a powerhouse of energy.

14)       Sometimes you get really angry for no reason, or shout at someone for stupid reasons.  The anger doesn’t make that much sense and it goes away really quickly too.

15)       You’re supposed to do something, but you forgot or lost the things you need to do it.

16)       You notice things all over the room that are extremely random or irrelevant.  Like, for instance, in a meeting, you may notice the clicking of pens, the leaves falling outside, and so on – all while you should be paying attention.

17)       You are wondering if you could be doing something more interesting than reading this list.

18)       When  you start getting bored, you have to move physically or do something different.  Now!  And if you sit still for too long, you almost feel physical pain in your head.  It’s hard to describe.

19) Hitchhiking through the amazons while writing a book and making new friends with the natives – does that sound like an ideal trip?

20)       You’re at the coffee shop with a friend, and you’re ordering.   “That’ll be a triple shot espresso, please!”

Your friend looks at you.  “How are you going to fall asleep?  And…umm, aren’t you a little hyper already?”

You smile.  “It actually makes me think better.”  (Friend in the back of her mind mumbles, It makes everyone think better…)

You down the coffee and feel calmer.  Then you have an hour long conversation about the new dynamics at work, take a walk and really connect.

21)       You are the first to start new things, like wearing multicolored socks. When things start to become cool, you can be among those who make it so – adopting them before everyone else.  You might find yourself ahead of trends because you’re always looking for something new.

22)       When you love someone, you think nothing of spending hours on them, noticing what’s really important to them, and being very romantic.  Your ability to focus can make you an irresistible charmer – when you’re interested.

23)       “We’re going to have to start using this new program.”  One week later, you’ve pretty much figured everything about it, while everyone else is complaining about the change.  When you have to update all your files to the new format, however, you don’t get round to doing it for a long, long time.

24)       You’re always interested in making new friends.  Frankly, they’re usually more interesting than your old friends!

25)       Since you’ve gotten lost so many times, as long as nothing important is happening, you just enjoy getting to see something new.  It sometimes is fun.

26)       You can be very loyal, sticking with someone when everyone else abandons them

27)       When you find something interesting, you can learn everything about it.  When someone tells you something about it, you don’t forget it, either.  For that one thing, you are a supergenius.

28)       You just finished a lecture and you are the first to start clapping.  Are you among the first to react to things?

29)       Someone walks up behind you, shouts “boo!” You hardly flinch.  You just have a feel for what’s going on in a room, and aren’t easily caught off guard.

30)       Do you quickly forget what happened or the past, or not feel like it’s important?  Are you always doing something new?

31)        Your new boss wants to try a marketing method you feel is highly immoral.

Everyone else in the office tells you to wait, that the approval process for sure will make it cleaner and more appropriate  But you feel you have to do something right away.

When you next bump into your new boss, you blurt out how you feel.

32)       You’re in a meeting when you can’t wait anymore.  You blurt out,  “But why don’t we try doing this?  Am I the only one who noticed we don’t have a real marketing plan?”

Sometimes you seem to notice things others don’t.  That said, sometimes you might say something impulsively that everyone kind of laughs at.  It can be embarrassing.  Because even if you have a good point, if not delivered the right way, it can be taken the wrong way.

33)       When you want to get something done, you get it done.  The way you get there might be totally bizarre, strange, exotic – whatever.  But you get there.

Wow, that described me pretty accurately!

Some people read this test and are amazed at how accurate it is.  They wonder, maybe I have ADHD – what are the next steps, or how can I improve my life?

You may also be interested in the 4 Secrets to Success with ADHD, which tells you the 4 things you just need to know if you have ADHD.

Life with ADHD

What Sucks & What Rocks About ADHD – what is good about having ADHD, and what is bad?

Medications

In 70-80% of people, when combined with therapy, medication works fairly well to treat ADHD.  See a Full List of ADHD Medications to learn what the most commonly used treatments are and how well they work.

10 Things You Should Know About Vyvanse

Vyvanse vs Adderall XR – Benefits, Problems

Adderall vs Ritalin – Benefits, Problems

A Full List of ADHD Medications

Long Term Effects of Adderall

Concerta vs Adderall XR for ADHD

Intuniv for ADHD: Efficacy, Side Effects

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Pharmaceutical analyst who loves blogging about health and medical issues. Has written more than 150 articles and a book on attention deficit disorder. Correctly predicted delayed approval of Bydureon, approval of Provenge by FDA, and the non-approval of Acthar on June 11.

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75 COMMENTS

  1. I got to about #11 before my attention drifted to something else. Would that be a good indication?

  2. looks like #17 should have been listed a little closer to the top hehe

  3. WOW! I am not sure if this list is medically tested or not, but this list seems to be a near accurate representation of me. THANKS! CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!

  4. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a young child and teachers kept telling me I had it throughout my school years. Because I had to deal with it my whole life without medicine I had learned ways of focusing without it, but there are still times that I melt down like #14 which definitely makes life more difficult. I was only just put on ADHD medicine yesterday, because throughout my childhood my mother (who is a doctor) was afraid of the side affects, but now that I am working full time and in college I need to be able to concentrate. Every single item on this list describes me very well and I am glad that I am finally on medicine for my condition. I am looking forward to the results and am glad that I am on it after looking at this site and seeing that every item fits me perfectly. I often repeat myself about things that I am very exicted about, which I realize that I did in the last two sentences but I will leave them because that is how I would have said it in person.

  5. I would also like to add that because of all of the bad side affects of ADHD, I was diagnosed with depression in high school and put on meds (which made me more suicidal). I then got off the meds, lying that I was better but continued to be depressed. I thought that I had bipolar disorder for a long time because of the drastic mood swings and quick anger (also because my dad was diagnosed bipolar, although after reading this I think he just had ADHD). Because of the mood swings, and overall low self esteem, I have not been able to keep a romantic relationship longer than about two to three weeks. I thought this meant I was gay or that I was just not attracted to other people but now I can see that I just had ADHD all along. I am so proud that I finally made the choice to get help.

  6. Some of the items really hit the nail on the head, but there are many ways in which I don’t fit the cIassic ADHD profile: I hate multi-tasking, I don’t like big adrenaline rushes, I have a terrific sense of direction (i.e. I rarely get lost) and I’m rarely bored. I’m “ADHD – Inattentive Type”. Does that fit?

  7. I just got diagnosed yesterday… I read this test and was laughing soo hard, because I do all of this things! I thought I was depressed because I just recently moved and rented out my house on a urge to to be on warmer weather. So I packed up my husband and my fashionable clothes! I hit the road to Florida with no money, job or friends. I no longer had any of my coping mechanism … I hit a downward spiral, lost all of my hair do to a lilttle demon by the name of alopica areata. After that I started drinking too much and sleeping all day, since there was nothing else to focus on. I got a job, that I hate. I am a certified teacher but couldnt find a job for this 1st time in my life. So I started to not be like my old self… No longer did I run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I didn’t have any of my coping mechanism. So I was lazy didn’t get up for nothing. I was anxious every minute of my day. But as of yesterday… I feel great! Not a hundred precent but I don’t think the medicine has kicked in just yet but I have to say… I have not cried yet today. Even after going to the store and not fitting into my bathing suites. I guess I need to add that for some reason prior to moving. I was working out with a personal trainer because I wanted to get down to my bridal weight and lose 10 lbs I had gained after three years of my beautiful married. However instead of losing 10 I gained 50 lbs!!! I didn’t understand what was going on! I gained this weight during the personal traing in only 5 months! So this along with the hair loss and the new addition of wearing a very uncomfortable wig.. I started to see a counselor. Shortly after this a doctor prescribe me a pychaitris . This was very hard for me.
    I saw the pysch yesterday after waiting 4 months to take action and see the pysch I realized my suicidal thoughts were not soo much depression, but ADHD !!! Wow I am soo much happier today! 

  8. This is hilarious, but I can’t help but notice that a lot of these don’t seem all that bad. Not being caught off guard? Getting upset if people drive too close to you? Being cool with getting lost so long as it leads to a new experience? Being the only one who notices that your plans suck?

    These don’t seem like problems to me. I think that’s where you get into the personality changing arguments with ADHD and medication. 

    To quote the incomparable William Ford Gibson, “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a$$**les.”

    I think the same is true of ADHD.

    • I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was about 15. I didn’t really start being medicated until freshman year of college though. It’s been about a year since I graduated. In these past five years of taking Vyvanse, my personality slowly changed that I know longer fit half of the questions I used to. I used to be an ENFP and am now an INTJ/P.

      The cool part is though, I maintained nearly all of the benefits of ADHD while eliminating the problems. I can now hold a conversation without day-dreaming. My procrastination problem is way better. Number 17 got me before, but not this time! I’m the first to notice something as I can think outside of the box. I rarely get angry or frustrated. No one can sneak up on me. The medication almost feels like a miracle drug that kept all my best attributes and eliminated the bad ones. The only part of my personality I still need to work on is my self-confidence which is not as good as it could be. I wish the best for all of you! Good luck!

  9. When I was of grade school all the teachers would tell my parents I got distracted easily. Indeed I did, all throughout my life I have gotten distracted easily. I got nearly straight A’s during middle and high school. A’s and B’s in college. I struggled so much. I could not study if my life depended on it, I could not open up a book and study. Luckily I have a photographic memory and that is how I got by. I love music, so when I play my guitar I get lost in ti and nothing else exists around me. I play video games, and I got super mario brothers for wii and passed it in one day. I am a mother of two boys, I am a college graduate, and it is so hard to focus without medication. Finally last year I started taking medication for my condition, I started off with IR medication then I switched to another brand XR. I have a very important job, and thans to my medication I am able to focus and not lose track of things. I am able to remember things more likely than without my medication. I took a break for two months and my boyfriend kept on saying I always repeated myself, but I never realized it, this is when I decided to go back on my meds. I have severe ADHD, but at the same time I have a mind of a genius. Is a medical condition, it does not imply that you are dumb. Medication does help, and honestly in the line of work I am in, I would not make it if it wasn’t because of it. I am 28 years old, and I am not ashamed to say that I have ADHD.

  10. @Ryan W

    While the questions asked above seem like an obvious list of things all people go through, it is not the same for a patient with ADHD. It’s more like these things are constant, marked and more than just something that we all go through “from time to time.” They define how we deal with and how we view entire swaths o our own personality, our quirky manners of thought structuring , and how most social interactions have and will continue to be…off. It seems like a hellish inability to be “normal” or dependable, to have a conversation without wanting to listen so much as waiting to speak (often with a lot of guilty feelings for being this way) and just having a tendency to act “ditsy”, “spastic”, “flaky” or even “unreliable” or “irresponsible” when we really just want nothing more than to be as dependable and grounded as anyone else. It’s like the mind keeps changing channels on us and that gets to be hard when we know what we want to watch. Or…conversely, like we can’t shut off the TV because, when we settle on a program, it happens to be a marathon of the most interesting show ever, and even though the DVR could keep it and it will be there tomorrow, it can’t wait and we’re glued to the set. LOL

  11. hahaha… 17) You are wondering if you could be doing something more interesting than reading this list

    …. So glad to know i definitely have ADHD lol

  12. I was taking this test and got to question 10, and then I realized it had 33 questions so I gave up lol. Didn’t even make it to question 17 lol

  13. Ok so yeah this probably what i have. Never once acured to me that adhd might be my problem. Not that i can realy do any thing about it even knowing that it might be my problem i wouldnt know how to convonce anybody to aggree 

  14. So apparently scientist make up this “disorder” called ADHD and any one who lacks interest in something and forced against their will cant “focus” on it has a chemical imbalance. Just let that soak in and embrace its utter stupidity. 

    • You shouldnt speak on something you obviously havent experienced. You have no clue what its like to have to do something, while feeling like it is physically impossible. I go out and work 5 days a week, with 2 jobs to pay for college, while 3 days a week I attend classes. My money is being wasted because I dont have the will to complete any assignments, because they dont interest me. However I can easily maintain a good work ethic, and make it on time to work, every day. Not being able to understand, or do school assignments when I put so much effort into them, and watching other people do them easily, is actually painful to me. I want to amount to something in life, and I will, but ADD is a real thing. Your opinion is utter stupidity.

      • Oh so true. The flip side is most non ADD sufferers don’t know what it’s like to learn things so easily for the most part, even when bored stiff or inattentive. Your mind just races along and gets it done. Now putting that into use is another story ha ha. The dangers of medication are played up too much, they’re exaggerated. All Adderall did for me was allow me to concentrate almost as well as a normal person, and it let me get through the work day with less problems losing concentrate over what I considered boring, mundane tasks that are in fact quite necessary. ADD is a real problem. I go along with the crowd who feel the frontal lobes are probably not performing correctly, combined with some sort of chemical imbalance. The worst part of it is the depression it can cause in some of us, the social angst. I was a social wreck, impossibly shy to boot, until diagnosed in my 30’s and put on medication.

    • Walk a day in my F#*&@#G shoes then talk about how a scientist just made this shit up you stupid F*#K

  15. Wow, this article helped me a lot. I struggle with these symptoms and I am 18 my whole life I have done average work throughout grade school. Going into college (Community College), it really became a problem. I want to do well, but feel that I actually can’t, I feel like I am just not cut out for college, and I am currently debating just joining the military. Now after reading this article I feel I can go to a physician with more confidence, while speaking to him/her about the subject. Thank you!

  16. I just started Vyvanse today. 36 years old. Tired of not being able to follow conversations. Tired of not being able to follow instructions. And tired of being on the cusp of bein brilliant, but can’t seem to stay focused on anything long enough to get over the hump. It includes work, graduate school and my relationships. Hoping and praying it helps.

  17. I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry reading these – so I’m doing both!

    Ann White made a great point: it’s not that everyone doesn’t experience these things from time to time. it’s that I experience ALL OF THEM ALL THE TIME. It’s exhausting for everyone around me, it’s irritating for me to know they’re exhausted by me, and all I want is, like she said, to be as dependable and grounded as everyone else.

    Chris, I just started biphentin three weeks ago, and like you, I just want desperately to follow a conversation, to stop from sharing EVERYTHING I think, to stay on task, to finish what I started, to stop racing a mile a minute, and just for one day for nobody to say to me, “WOW. Where do you get all that energy?” like it’s a bad thing!

    I’ve started saying “If I wasn’t this busy/involved/doing this many things all the time at once, I’d be way more irritating to way more people – because I need to burn this energy off.”

    This list made me realize I’m funny, charming, and really really really really really really really good at things – when I like them. Way better than other people. I just can’t predict when that’s going to be.

    Here’s hoping meds help me to be the person I know I can be. But thanks for the really positive spin on how I think and feel. I feel a lot less crazy. :)

    • That is so true. I was at a local store the other day in line…talking a mile a minute, thanking the cashier for being so kind, etc., etc., I went outside and the lady that was behind me came out and said..” I don’t know what you are on but I want some.” I looked at her and said very nicely, It’s a natural and no you don’t. I’m like this every minute of every day and I wear people out just being around me and I am 56…go figure.

  18. Haha, sounds about right. I started on a prescribed dosage of Adderall today, so I found this website while doing some research. I’ve always been active in conversations, but I do tend to stop listening to what other people are saying if I think of something I want to say. Then I’ll just blurt it out because I am not aware that others are talking. I’ve always been into random hobbies, but it’s exploded over the last seven years since I started working full-time, got married, and started a family because all of my childhood downtime was poured into video games. Most recently, it was getting a pilot’s license (Only made it halfway. Got way discouraged because I was terrible at landings) and Astrophotography (I hope I never lose interest in that one– love it too much). Yesterday I started in Photomicrography and I have a 3D printer coming in April. Basically, the less popular the hobby the more likely I am to jump in on it.

  19. I have Asperger’s and ADD but not ADHD. Some, but not all, of these fit me and some, but not all, will fit other Aspies. If you or someone you know has Asperger’s and you see that they match some of these traits, welcome. You are not alone.

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