Scott Shapiro, MD – Adult ADD + ADHD NYC Psychiatrist


Perhaps you often know exactly the “what” and “how” of what you need to do, but can’t make it happen.

You have always needed to work three or four times harder than everyone else just to keep up.

And you have always wondered why. 


Source: iStock photo










What is ADHD?

Diagnosing adult ADHD is challenging and best done by an expert. Many people with the symptoms of ADHD often struggle in their personal and professional lives.

The prevalence of ADHD in the childhood and adolescent population is between 8-15% and the prevalence of adult ADHD is approximately 4%. So do I have ADHD? 

ADHD has a classic triad cluster of symptoms including inattention, restlessness, and impulsivity.

There are two subtypes of ADHD including the hyperactive type and inattentive type. Most often, adults present with the inattentive type even if they had symptoms of hyperactivity as children.

The diagnosis of adult ADHD can be challenging since many other psychiatric and medical illnesses can mimic many of the same symptoms such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, dementia, seizures, post-chemotherapy, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse and side effects of medications.

What Are the Symptoms of Adult ADHD?

The diagnosis of ADHD is determined based upon a cluster of symptoms from the DSM-V.

Here is a useful link for Adult ADHD testing:

The patient must have 6 out of 9 of the following:

  • Organization Difficulty
  • Loses things frequently
  • Leaves tasks unfinished
  • Poor focus
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty listening
  • Easily forgetful
  • Careless Mistakes
  • Avoids tasks that require concentration

and 6 out of 9 of the following:

  • Impulsivity/hyperactivity
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out answers
  • Interrupts frequently
  • Can play or work quietly
  • Fidgets
  • Leaves one’s seat
  • Restless
  • Always on the go
  • Can’t wait for his/her turn

This is a screen, not a test or diagnosis for ADHD. A doctor, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, or experienced therapist collaborates with the person to determine if the diagnosis is ADHD.

What Are My Next Steps in Diagnosing Adult ADHD?

If you suspect that you have ADHD, speak with your doctor or contact a mental health professional trained to diagnose ADHD.

Effective treatment may include medications and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Also, coaching with a certified ADHD coach can be extremely helpful with skills-training such as time management, goals, procrastination, and organization.

Having adult ADHD can be very challenging. However, seeking a professional and valid assessment as well as effective and comprehensive treatment can help people with ADHD achieve their goals, feel calmer and more confident.


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