Taking online ADHD tests but I already have a formal diagnosis

I thought this would be fun, after 9 years, medicated, to see how I rank myself and self report versus my results from “free online tests”. I used google search to see the top results. I will share my results below, plus my reflections on what I know now about ADHD, diagnosis statistics for undiagnosed inattentive type women and lived experience of being a diagnosed ADHDer.

ADDitude online test:

How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people say to you, even when they are speaking to you directly? Often.

Reflection: This definitely improved a lot with medication.
Before I would really struggle with this especially at work and it was really busy. I worked at an open office situation in my last job as much as the busy atmosphere was stimulating, it was also distracting. I thrived and also got very anxious at that job and struggled to maintain a good attendance record from so many sick days.

I would get anxious about my performance and how painfully bored some tasks made me. They actually did a lot to accommodate me even though I had no diagnosis. Now I know what I would ask but I only really knew what I needed for accommodations after actually living with the knowledge of my diagnosis and actively seeking and recognising what those needs are.

And even now I am still unsure exactly how to ask for help or the kind of help I need because my symptoms of frustration have become less intense with medication, it is still present with certain things. That is literally the ADHD brain I think and it’s a more of a navigate with than a work around.

How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which you are expected to remain seated? Sometimes.

Reflection: This question is so broad, is it literal or not – because literally, I would not be “so untypical” as to actually leave my seat – I know some ADHDers hyperactive presentation would make this a literal thing.

But this “Busyness” which needs to be described here really should be asking something like: Do you get restless in a setting where you are supposed to be quiet or still. Do you feel you need to be always doing something? Because that is as much an internal mental conflict for me with a more inattentive presentation.

There is also the issue of ADHD masking, where I know it is inappropriate so I exhaustively ‘play-act’ (where I focus more on not being distracted than actually paying attention). I half knew I did this but I definitely did not know it was ADHD related pre-diagnosis.

So I answered sometimes because of that. But I think this question is a slip up when there is so very few actual questions in this test! This is one question which leaves out certain ADHD people.

How often do you have difficulty unwinding and relaxing when you have time to yourself? Often.

Reflection: It can take me considerable amount of time to unwind and relax and then get back from that space because of how long getting to recover is also extra time I need to recover from.
There is not really many spaces in every day life that allows that luxury in reality for many people. Even with extra time I have had the improvement came from getting better at energy management.

I often find gaming which engages me and gives out dopamine rewards a way to relax. I find a quick shower relaxing even though I don’t like soggy skin so when it’s brisk, that’s refreshing. Going for long walks I also find relaxing.

I actively use all these measures now and find myself able to get relaxed sooner, but I also make time for these things. If I don’t, I crash eventually which is harder to recover from.

When you’re in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing the sentence of the people you are talking to before they can finish it themselves? Sometimes.

Reflection: Sometimes, again, because I don’t typically do this, but interruption yes, interjecting with “I relate because this” before they have finished speaking yet. But not finishing a persons sentence for them, I would either be actively masking that or not doing that at all because I find it rude. Although I am sure and know there are other ADHDers who do struggle with this so the question would be relative to them.

Answering sometimes is even a stretch for me but with the context of my experience then yes. This is the kind of question you would have further assessment on with a psychiatrist as part of the diagnostic process to discover and identify these things (hopefully).

How often do you put things off until the last minute? Very Often.

Reflection: This is my whole life even with medication although it has improved a lot, but only while I am on medication regularly and I struggle with that too no matter how hard I try. Luckily stimulant medication for me anyway is instant release so I can get back on board with a good couple of days and I bounce back. My follow through with tasks also improved.

But either way this is kind of the core part in ADHD for me with executive function and working memory. I struggle to do anything without incentive or accountability that is rewarding or novel or moral. But recognising this also came from therapy and self-reflection.

How often do you depend on others to keep your life in order and attend to details? Sometimes.

Reflection: Again, sometimes, this question kinda misses the mark for me. Do I depend on others to keep my life in order – well I do rely on making up for what is happening in my brain in an external way, sometimes I need others for accountability, other times I am ferociously independent and I don’t need that kind of help. Executing details on something I am enjoying, I am fine. On something that is tedious and mundane, no. So could I answer yes to this question – Kinda.

RESULTS:

Thank you for taking the ADHD Symptom Test for Adults
Please share and review these results with your medical provider. The ADDitude team has also suggested next steps and further reading below. 
Your Score: 16 (Out of 24)
The higher the point total, the greater the likelihood that you show signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

This screener is designed to determine whether you demonstrate symptoms similar to those of attention deficit disorder (ADHD). A high score does not necessarily mean you have ADHD or another disorder. That being said, if your score 18-24, that means you answered “Often” or “Very Often” to most of the questions and should see a trained health care professional as there is a possibility that you may be experiencing symptoms of ADHD. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation.

This questionnaire was adapted from the ASRS Screener developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Workgroup on Adult ADHD. It is intended for people ages 18 and older.

This questionnaire is designed to determine whether you demonstrate symptoms similar to those of adults with ADHD and is intended for adults ages 18 and older. If you answer yes to a significant number of these questions, consult a mental health practitioner. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation by a trained mental health professional.

Reflection: I highlighted most of what was in my thoughts or important in bold. So as a medicated, formally diagnosed woman of 9 years, I think scoring a 16 is indicative of treatment and inattentive type presentation. I think I hit the nail on the head in my reflection on how those questions are asked. Yes I could “technically” score higher in scenarios but not in the ones asked as I didn’t relate. Would I recommend this test or use it as a tool for self evaluation – for entertainment purposes yes but as something to share with a mental health practitioner – not really, but it’s something.

PSYCOM.NET test

Do you tend to avoid or delay getting started on a new important task? Often

Reflection: I do this more often than not, but definitely again improved with medication. Some tasks are just particularly difficult for me no matter what and I have other ways to go about getting them started but often they get done at the last minute even when they are important.

Do you find that the majority of your tasks (work/school assignments, etc.) are boring or repetitive, making them difficult to complete? Very Often

Reflection: I feel like as I am now in my 30s and my life is a lot different and the pressures I used to have are no longer there than not as often but still even in my every day life, just regular every day things, yes, I do this very often. It’s not productive and it’s been quite a shameful part of many of my work experiences. I feel bad about struggling to not be bored to literal tears that I almost have a meltdown for it which has made me feel pathetic and childish and weak.

Do you find yourself making careless mistakes when engaged in something you feel is boring, repetitive, or difficult? Sometimes

Reflection: Yea I definitely do this when things are difficult. I make frustrated or rushed mistakes sometimes. This is often why I do not start things at all as I am worried I will get bored of it or get frustrated and then make a silly mistake. I have skipped some steps in certain things in life because I have found them boring but not really to much detriment but depends so much on context.

How often do you feel restless or fidgety? Often

Reflection: As an more inattentive type presenting ADHDer then in my mind, yes, often. Physically. I stim a lot. I don’t really see this as “fidgety” as it is self soothing. I feel fidgety has some kind of negative connotation to it or requires more physical action but stimming is often at least for me more subtle. Restless makes sense. I am a prolific talker though so if that was seen as restless and fidgety it would make sense.

Do you regularly fail to remember important appointments or obligations? Sometimes

Reflection: Again, definitely less often now with medication. But I need alarms for most things and know to do that now. Reminder txt, phone calls still are not bullet proof. If I get preoccupied or hyper fixated with something and an important thing comes up I may still forget it no matter if I was thinking about it the night before.

Do you have difficulty unwinding and relaxing when you have time to yourself? Often

Same question as before, same reflection.

Do you have difficulty concentrating on people when they are speaking to you? Sometimes

Reflection: It really depends on so many things. Some moments for this I am terrible. Other times I am fully engaged and hearing everything they have to say. It really depends on what they are saying and where and when.

An example of this happening more often is if my partner asks me something and I am concentrating on something else and I will respond with “What?” while I process what he just said to me. And while he asks the question again, I start to reply to his original question. I wouldn’t be doing that in a 1 on 1 quick transaction based conversations with say when I am buying clothes (it has happened though, I won’t lie but much less likely to do so).

Do you frequently misplace things (or have difficulty finding them)? Sometimes

Reflection: Another one that I have post-diagnosis made accommodations for or has been improved with medication over time. I feel I do this much less often. But I still do it at least daily but nowhere near as chronically or bad as I used to.

Are you typically distracted (or find it hard to focus) when there is activity or noise around you? Often

Reflection: Something that has improved again with medication, I still struggle with this a lot to the point, especially noises are really off putting. I lose my train of thought often because of it. It will be the reason why I forget what I am about to say, or do, or was doing.
That quick to have my attention stolen elsewhere and not ignore it has only improved with my knowing that this is ADHD.

Do you have difficulty waiting your turn in situations where waiting is expected and appropriate? Sometimes

Another situational thing for me but yes I often struggle with this but more in an anxious way, like I had to be early to things because I am scared of being late. I don’t like waiting around for buses so I often walk, plus buses are like sensory hell for me but waiting around even 10 minutes is “a long time” sometimes. Time blindness definitely makes me vulnerable to all types of these of scenarios.

RESULTS:

Your Score: Moderate Indication of ADD/ADHD

Your answers suggest a Moderate indication that you have ADD/ADHD. However, this quiz is no substitute for a proper diagnosis from a health care professional and we would encourage you to schedule an appointment with your doctor or other mental health professional now. If you need help finding a mental health professional we suggest that you reach out.

Reflection: I found this test a bit better, as it went into some more detail, but “moderate” indication I suppose is still telling and worth investigation if I was an undiagnosed person.

Published by Jenn has ADHD

Jennifer Parker, New Zealand. ADHD Advocate and Peer. jennhasadhd.com

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