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Unofficial ADHD Symptoms: Is This an ADHD Thing?
Before we begin discussing what didn't make the list of the most common ADHD symptoms, let us first have a brief refresher regarding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 😉.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition affecting a person's executive function or how they process information, regulate behavior and emotions, focus attention, and prioritize tasks. Until now, there's no definite reason what's the cause of this mental health disorder. However, according to the World Health Organization, ADHD can be caused by numerous factors such as genes, environmental toxins, neurological differences, or trauma. But among these choices, heredity might be the most widely accepted cause 👌.
Heredity might be one of the reasons why ADHD symptoms can manifest early in school-age children 🧒. The early onset of symptoms of ADHD in children can include difficulties in paying attention, hyperactive behaviors, or even struggles in remaining seated in class. However, those are not the only things that someone should have to be diagnosed with ADHD.
Things You Should Know About ADHD Diagnosis Process
To have an official diagnosis, a mental health professional should be the one to assess you 🧑⚕️. Depending on your country, these mental health doctors may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, or social workers 👩⚕️. They hold interviews and ask questions regarding your experiences and, later, come up with an initial diagnosis. Though an ADHD diagnosis can be based on your doctor's judgment, it may be hard to have an accurate diagnosis.
To further improve the method of diagnosing a person suspected of ADHD, the American Psychiatric Association included ADHD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders. By using this guide, ADHD diagnoses are more accurate and specific.
By setting the official symptoms of ADHD, your healthcare provider can have clear guidelines for all your questions. There are three ADHD categories 3️⃣that you can fall under, with nine official symptoms of inattentive ADHD and nine official symptoms of hyperactive-inattentive ADHD. The third ADHD category is the combined type, where symptoms listed in both categories are present.
To know more about the entire ADHD process, you can visit this article.
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The Lapses in Diagnosing ADHD
As ADHD is a complex neurodivergent condition, not everyone gets to experience everything found on the list. All the symptoms mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual are only what the majority of people with ADHD may experience. Also, the last update for this guideline happened in 2013, and many experts believe it needs revision to meet the demands of the ever-changing world 👍. More research emerged, and many of these studies discuss symptoms not mentioned in the diagnostic criteria.
As Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder gains the attention it deserves, more possible symptoms are being revealed. There's still a broad range of the unknown yet to be discovered. The consequences of having an inaccurate and outdated ADHD diagnosis can lead to unfair treatment and even misconceptions 🙁. Self-assessment and personal struggles may be invalidated whenever an individual doesn’t fit the diagnosis.
Whenever you try approaching a healthcare professional to diagnose ADHD, and you don't get one, it's alright. Remember that your struggles are valid, and you aren't “hopeless”. Maybe, what you are feeling is part of the unofficial symptoms of ADHD and you are not alone with your struggles.
The Unofficial List of ADHD Symptoms
Have you asked yourself: I've been experiencing low daily motivation my whole life; does that mean I have ADHD? I've read elsewhere that stimming can be an ADHD characteristic to confront your short attention span. Is it a symptom of ADHD? 😕
As we have said, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a complex neurodivergent disorder that can affect your day-to-day experiences. Many people are fortunate their ADHD symptoms are found on the DMS-V list, and they can be officially diagnosed. But how about those people who are still finding their grounds when it comes to ADHD diagnoses?
If you are wondering how come that there's a list of unofficial symptoms of ADHD, I think that it's because of the same experiences that all sound familiar for everyone suspecting of this neurodivergent disorder. Sometimes, not everyone gets to experience an adult life full of careless mistakes or poor time management. There are ADHD symptoms that aren't really "ADHD symptoms" in the sense that they are not in the official list.
Apart from the inattentive ADHD presentation and being in the hyperactive type or impulsive ADHD, those with ADHD may experience several traits related to their neurodivergent disorder and their symptoms. In other words, they might not experience the official symptoms per se, but things that are only related to them. These ADHD symptoms can be felt as well by plenty of people who suspect that they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The following ADHD symptoms aren't included in the DSM-V but are still experienced by many people.
Find Out the Unofficial Symptoms of ADHD
Reading through the list of articles in this category, you'll understand more about the experiences felt by other people with adult ADHD. Apart from inattentive ADHD, and hyperactive/impulsive ADHD symptoms, you can see how some struggles are so common among everyone who is affected by this disorder.
To know more about ADHD's Unofficial Symptoms, click each topic below, and hopefully, you'll find all the answers you seek.
Unofficial ADHD Symptoms FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What does it mean when you say “official” ADHD symptoms?
Official ADHD symptoms are the ones found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association.
Why do many people acknowledge the “unofficial” ADHD symptoms?
The main reason why a lot of people acknowledge the presence of unofficial symptoms is because many experience them and the majority suspect they are related to ADHD. Also, the last time some changes were made in DSM regarding ADHD was in 2013. While there’s a DSM-5 TR version published in 2022, reports say “the definition and diagnostic criteria for ADHD remains identical to DSM-5”
With the possibility of unofficial or silent symptoms, is it still worth it to get a diagnosis?
Yes, it is still of utmost importance because it’s the only way you can receive guidance from a board-certified or trained mental health expert.