3 Conditions That Can Be Mistaken for ADHD
In order for someone in Farmingdale to be accurately diagnosed with ADHD, it is important that other possible causes of the person’s symptoms are ruled out first. ADHD is largely characterized by inattention, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory problems, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, depending on what subtype of ADHD the person has. In some cases, other psychological conditions can produce similar symptoms, even though the underlying cause of inattention or hyperactivity is different than in ADHD. This is important, because for other conditions with similar symptoms, treatments that work well for ADHD may be ineffective or even exacerbate the problems. Three conditions that could be misdiagnosed as ADHD include Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder.
#1: Oppositional Defiant Disorder
ADHD in children and teenagers, especially the hyperactive-impulsive subtype, is often mistaken for a behavioral problem. This can go the other way as well, with a behavioral disorder being mistaken for attention deficit disorder. In ADHD, hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and inattention in school can be misattributed to defiance. In reality, children and teenagers with ADHD do not act disruptively and fail to complete assigned schoolwork because they are refusing to, but because they have genuine difficulty controlling their behavior and keeping track of things. Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Farmingdale is a behavioral disorder that is characterized by persistent and pervasive patterns of defiance of authority. Like ADHD, ODD is associated with poor impulse control and poor academic performance. Children and adolescents with ODD are angry and resentful toward authority, and often deliberately act out or disobey the demands of parents, teachers, and other authority figures. It is important for therapists in Farmingdale who treat ADHD to make sure that the real problem is not actually ODD. Medications and neurofeedback techniques that work well for hyperactive-impulsive ADHD could be ineffective for ODD, and prescription stimulants could even exacerbate the disorder.
#2: Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania, a state of overactivity and elevated mood that could be mistaken for the hyperactivity and impulsivity that are often seen in cases of ADHD. It is rare for bipolar disorder to be diagnosed in children or adolescents in Farmingdale, but in adults, symptoms of mania or hypomania could be mistaken for ADHD symptoms. Manic episodes in bipolar disorder represent a differential diagnosis when dealing with a possible case of adult ADHD, so it is important to determine whether there is a manic-depressive cycle that could indicate a mood disorder rather than an attention deficit disorder.
#3: Major Depressive Disorder
Like Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder. Children or adults with clinical depression often experience difficulties with attention, concentration, and short-term memory, which could be mistaken for ADHD. Major depressive disorder in Farmingdale can also cause a person to experience psychomotor retardation, an overall fatigue and slowing of mental and physical processes that could be mistaken for the predominantly inattentive subtype of ADHD. Depression can also result from ADHD, when poor academic or occupation performance creates or exacerbates feelings of guilt and low self-worth. Because depression can affect attention, concentration, and mental capacity, it could be considered to be among the differential diagnoses for ADHD in Farmingdale.