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        Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Checklist
                                          by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
 
This educational material is made available courtesy of the author and Attention Deficit Disorder Resources.  In conjunction with other diagnostic techniques, Dr Amen says he, "uses the following general adult ADHD checklist to help further define ADHD symptoms. No ADHD adult has all of the symptoms, but if you notice a strong presence of more than 20 of these symptoms, there is a strong likelihood of ADHD."  Read this list of behaviors and rate yourself (or the person who has asked you to rate him or her) on each behavior listed. Use the following scale and place the appropriate number next to the item.
        0 = never 1 = rarely 2 = occasionally 3 = frequently 4 = very frequently
 
IMPORTANT: This is not a tool for self-diagnosis. Its purpose is simply to help you determine whether ADHD may be a factor in the behavior of the person you are assessing using this checklist. An actual diagnosis can be made only by an experienced professional.
***Note: The three items with * and a score above three are essential to make the diagnosis.
 
Past History
 
1.__*History of ADHD symptoms in childhood, such as distractibility, short attention span, impulsivity or restlessness. ADHD doesn't start at age 30.
2.__History of not living up to potential in school or work (report cards with comments such as "not living up to potential")
3.__History of frequent behavior problems in school (mostly for males)
4.__History of bedwetting past age 5
5.__Family history of ADHD , learning problems, mood disorders or substance abuse problems
 
Short Attention Span/Distractibility
 
6.__*Short attention span, unless very interested in something
7.__*Easily distracted, tendency to drift away (although at times can be hyperfocused)
8.__Lacks attention to detail, due to distractibility
9.__Trouble listening carefully to directions
10.__Frequently misplaces things
11.__Skips around while reading, or goes to the end first, trouble staying on track
12.__Difficulty learning new games, because it is hard to stay on track during directions
13.__Easily distracted during sex, causing frequent breaks or turn-offs during lovemaking
14.__Poor listening skills
15.__Tendency to be easily bored (tunes out)
 
Restlessness
 
16.__Restlessness, constant motion, legs moving, fidgeting
17.__Has to be moving in order to think
18.__Trouble sitting still, such as trouble sitting in one place for too long, sitting at a desk job for long periods, sitting through a movie
19.__An internal sense of anxiety or nervousness
 
Impulsivity
 
20.__Impulsive, in words and/or actions (spending)
21.__Say just what comes to mind without considering its impact (tactless)
22.__Trouble going through established channels, trouble following proper procedure, an attitude of "read the directions when all else fails"
23.__Impatient, low frustration tolerance
24.__A prisoner of the moment
25.__Frequent traffic violations
26.__Frequent, impulsive job changes
27.__Tendency to embarrass others
28.__Lying or stealing on impulse
 
Poor Organization
 
29.__Poor organization and planning, trouble maintaining an organized work/living area
30.__Chronically late or chronically in a hurry
31.__Often have piles of stuff
32.__Easily overwhelmed by tasks of daily living
33.__Poor financial management (late bills, check book a mess, spending unnecessary money on late fees)
 
Problems Getting Started and Following Through
 
34.__Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started
35.__Starting projects but not finishing them, poor follow through
36.__Enthusiastic beginnings but poor endings
37.__Spends excessive time at work because of inefficiencies
38.__Inconsistent work performance
 
Negative Internal Feelings
 
39.__Chronic sense of under achievement, feeling you should be much further along in your life than you are
40.__Chronic problems with self-esteem
41.__Sense of impending doom
42.__Mood swings
43.__Negativity
44.__Frequent feeling of demoralization or that things won't work out for you
 
Relational Difficulties
 
45.__Trouble sustaining friendships or intimate relationships, promiscuity
46.__Trouble with intimacy
47.__Tendency to be immature
48.__Self-centered; immature interests
49.__Failure to see others' needs or activities as important
50.__Lack of talking in a relationship
51.__Verbally abusive to others
52.__Prone to hysterical outburst
53.__Avoids group activities
54.__Trouble with authority
 
Short Fuse
 
55.__Quick responses to slights that are real or imagined
56.__Rage outbursts, short fuse
 
Frequent Search For High Stimulation
 
57.__Frequent search for high stimulation (bungee jumping, gambling, race track, high stress jobs, ER doctors, doing many things at once, etc.)
58.__Tendency to seek conflict, be argumentative or to start disagreements for the fun of it
 
Tendency To Get Stuck (thoughts or behaviors)
 
59.__Tendency to worry needlessly and endlessly
60.__Tendency toward ADHD ictions (food, alcohol, drugs, work)
 
Switches Things Around
 
61.__Switches around numbers, letters or words
62.__Turn words around in conversations
 
Writing/Fine Motor Coordination Difficulties
 
63.__Poor writing skills (hard to get information from brain to pen)
64.__Poor handwriting, often prints
65.__Coordination difficulties
 
The Harder I Try The Worse It Gets
 
66.__Performance becomes worse under pressure.
67.__Test anxiety, or during tests your mind tends to go blank
68.__The harder you try, the worse it gets
69.__Work or schoolwork deteriorates under pressure
70.__Tendency to turn off or become stuck when asked questions in social situations
71.__Falls asleep or becomes tired while reading
 
Sleep/Wake Difficulties
 
72.__Difficulty falling asleep, may be due to too many thoughts at night
73.__Difficulty coming awake (may need coffee or other stimulant or activity before feeling fully awake)
 
Low Energy
 
74.__Periods of low energy, especially early in the morning and in the afternoon
75.__Frequently feeling tired
 
Sensitive To Noise Or Touch
 
76.__Startles easily
77.__Sensitive to touch, clothes, noise and light
 
_______________________________________________________________
When you have completed the above checklist, calculate the Total Score: _______
Total Number of Items with a score of three (3) or more: _______
Score for Item #1: _______
Score for Item #6: _______
Score for Item #7: _______
Dr. Amen suggests: "More than 20 items with a score of three or more indicates a strong tendency toward ADHD . Note: The three items with * and a score above three are essential to make the diagnosis."
Editor's Note: If you believe your score indicates possible ADHD, then you might want to read these articles at our website: Tips for finding an ADHD Clinician and ADHD Support and ADHD 101.
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Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a child and adult psychiatrist, brain-imaging specialist, best-selling author, and medical director of The Amen Clinics in Newport Beach and Fairfield, California as well as Tacoma, Washington. He is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of "the brain and behavior" and "brain imaging." Dr. Amen has pioneered the use of brain imaging in clinical psychiatric practice. His clinics have the world's largest database of functional brain scans for neuropsychiatry. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Amen is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior in the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine. Email: docamen@aol.com. Website: www.amenclinic.com.
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