ADHD often exhibits comorbidity with other disorders, hence the importance of a comprehensive assessment:
About 20 to 30% of children with ADHD also have a learning disability and/or learning difficulties. ADHD itself is not considered a learning disability, however it often causes academic difficulties.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) are both common in people with ADHD. These disorders are characterised by antisocial behaviours such as aggression, tantrums, lying, and theft.
Adults with symptoms of ADHD sometimes have undiagnosed bipolar disorder. The symptoms of both disorders can be similar.
- Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Depression:
These disorders can often occur simultaneously with ADHD and can be missed or undertreated.
Adolescents with ADHD and adults with undiagnosed ADHD are at increased risk of substance abuse.
Assessment of ADHD
To evaluate whether an individual suffers from ADHD, it is necessary to use psychological tests designed to measure the symptoms related to ADHD. The tests focus on measuring the individual’s attentional processes. They also evaluate the individual’s performance in the areas of memory, intelligence, processing speed, self-control or self-regulation, reasoning, and problem solving, among others. In addition to specialised tests used to assess ADHD, it is also necessary for the psychiatrist or psychologist to perform observation evaluations, interviews with parents and teachers, and symptom checks.