Getting the right diagnosis isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Symptoms of ADHD often overlap with other conditions. This is why finding the right diagnosis makes things challenging.
ADHD shares similarities with conditions such as bipolar disorder, autism, sensory disorder, anxiety, depression, just to name a few. For this reason, people may be diagnosed with another condition when in fact they have ADHD, or vice versa.
Same symptom, different conditions.
One common symptom of ADHD is mood swings. Kids and adults with ADHD are very passionate and our moods can change dramatically. However, these mood swings are more commonly associated with bipolar disorder. Those suffering from bipolar shift moods without a ‘trigger’.
Sometimes signs of distraction can lead to a misdiagnosis as well. As we know, distractibility is a sign of ADHD. We can be distracted by anything. On the other hand, those suffering with anxiety can also be distracted. Mainly by the worries and concerns that they have going in their lives.
If a child struggles at school, it can be difficult to know if ADHD is the issue, or if another learning disability may be the cause for the struggles. In this case, it does take time to discover what the cause may be. It could be just ADHD, or just a learning disability such as dyslexia. It could be a matter of one or the other. At times, it could be a combination of both ADHD and a learning disability, as some kids and adults struggle with both.
These are just things that can make a diagnosis challenging. There are different variables that can come into play, when diagnosing someone.
Sure, in some cases, it may be easier to diagnose. It may be quite clear what’s going on. However, in some cases, there are several different possibilities. It is certainly important to ask questions, observe and reflect.