I think I may have ADHD. Is a Neuropsychological assessment for me?
People who experience difficulties with attention, memory, and executive problems may be ideal candidates for a neuropsychological evaluation. Although such problems are frequently attributed to conditions such as ADHD, one should recognize that deficits in these domains can be caused by other factors such as sleep difficulties, a medical condition (e.g., thyroid disorder), mental health condition (e.g., depression, anxiety, among others), sedating medications and substances (e.g., sleep medications, benzodiazepines, marijuana), or neurological condition (e.g., traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, stroke, among others).
Regardless of origin, difficulties in these domains can lead an individual to remain unfocussed in the classroom, at work, or during leisure activities. One may experience difficulties following directions, forgetfulness, the inability to organize or complete tasks, and general distractibility.
In contrast to other forms of assessment, a neuropsychological evaluation objectively measures domains such as attention, memory, and executive processes rather than relying solely on self-reported complaints. Moreover, this type of assessment breaks down areas of strength and difficulty for the individual and demonstrates the impact on the individual’s life. The goal is to assist in clarifying diagnosis and determining whether medical (i.e., medication), behavioural, or school-based interventions will prove useful. For example, anxiety can often mimic some of the aspects of ADHD, including difficulties with attention, concentration, and fidgeting. It is important to know why attention problems exist because both psychological treatment and medications differ depending on the disorder. Further, an individual can suffer from more than one condition. Often individuals with ADHD have co-morbid learning, emotional (anger, anxiety), and behavioural problems. It is important to know whether these issues are due to ADHD or whether a second disorder is involved. If only the ADHD is treated, then it is less likely that the other problems the individual faces will go away or be dealt with in a proper manner.
The impact of conditions, like ADHD, can be quite significant. Often social relationships suffer; academic performance is below expectations, and work-related difficulties present themselves. There is also a greater risk of developing addictions, other mental health conditions, and risk of accidental injury. Therefore, a neuropsychological assessment is highly beneficial for individuals experiencing the symptoms that have been listed above.