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Do I Have ADHD?

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From a 14 year old girl in the U.S.: I have had to rewrite this twice due to me going off topic so much so I’m not sure if that says anything.

I have never been diagnosed with adhd, but my cousin has. I seem to have more inattentive symptoms but still some hyperactive ones. I’ve taken dozens of online tests and I relate to posts about adhd but my family and a few friends say that I don’t have it. Although my friend who actually has adhd says that I have it.

My mom says that I’m constantly in my head and my aunt says that I only listen when I care. My mom constantly gets mad at me for not listening or following instructions fully. She says that I never change and that those traits will negatively impact my future but I’m not sure how to fix them.

My writing lacks organization and it seems as if I never proofread (although I do.) Despite that, I get mostly As and some Bs, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. I forget things a lot but I can remember information to pass tests. I just can’t remember small things like to bring my book to class or if the period should go inside or outside the parentheses. These aren’t just one time occurrences either. I often fidget, which my mom HATES so I have to have safety items to keep me stimulated (i.e. my phone, something to draw on, or just sit there in pain since I can’t move.)

I can sit still while I draw or watch something I enjoy though. I find it VERY hard to look people in the eye while they talk and I can never sit still on calls. I often fidget or get up in the middle of classes and I can only truly focus if it is a discussion based class where I occasionally talk excessively and the teacher had to stop me. I do hyperfocus but I cant remember a lot of what I research.

One night I was up until 4 am playing a game and researching the 5 stages of grief since that’s what the game was about. I drew fan art for it and watched numerous game reviews. Could I recite that information to you now? Probably only a surface level amount of what I read tbh. I only doubt me having it since no one has said anything. It’s probably just me blowing it out of proportion. It could just be anxiety or maybe that’s just a comorbidity. Idk. Help.

Do I Have ADHD?

Answered by on -


You are clearly smart and sensitive. Some of this sounds like usual early teen anxieties and behaviors. You are just beginning to come into being the person you will be. It can be confusing and even upsetting at times. It’s normal to be preoccupied. It’s normal to be somewhat distracted.

One common explanation for difficulty with attention and memory among teens is that they aren’t getting anywhere near enough sleep. If you aren’t getting 8 hours or more sleep every night, that could account for your distractibility.

I can’t tell on the basis of a short letter whether you meet the criteria for ADHD or if there is another physical or emotional reason for your concerns.

The way to answer your question is to get an evaluation by a real professional instead of searching internet sites. Ask your mom to get you an appointment for an evaluation. If you do have ADHD, you’ll get some recommendations for how to manage it. If you don’t, you’ll get the peace of mind of knowing — and perhaps some suggestions for life style changes that could make life easier for you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Do I Have ADHD?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Do I Have ADHD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 20 Aug 2020 (Originally: 21 Aug 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 20 Aug 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.