ADHD: The Fine Line Between Self-Awareness & Self-Diagnosis

In a world where we hold a seemingly infinite amount of knowledge in the palm of our hands, it has become increasingly easier to self-diagnose mental conditions. Amid the chaos of working from home and shouldering the worldwide trauma of Covid-19, ADHD has come to the forefront as a possible answer for many people’s difficulty focusing. Whether it’s from information on Google or the endless amounts of personal stories found on social media, awareness around (and acceptance of) ADHD is on the rise. While this brings many benefits to those who would have otherwise gone undiagnosed, it is important to stay vigilant against taking health advice from someone who isn’t properly trained to give it.

The dangers of self-diagnosis

Some of the trendiest content creators on social media post about ADHD and garner tens of millions of views without any professional training. While their content can be helpful, it is no substitute for individual evaluation and care from a trained mental health professional.

Self-diagnosing ADHD poses a few problems:

You may have something else - and it may go untreated

There are quite a few conditions that share symptoms with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Some of these include:

Self-diagnosing without the input of a trained professional could have detrimental outcomes if the real problem isn’t treated. It is imperative to consult with your medical doctor and a mental health professional to be screened for all possibilities.

ADHD is not one-size-fits-all

ADHD may seem black and white on the surface, but the reality is that it’s a complex, multifaceted condition. Similar to varying types of cancer, ADHD encompasses several subsets of behavioral disorders. Symptoms can vary widely, ranging from mild to moderate to life-impeding. Though science is advancing, it is still impossible to trace the root cause in most cases.

With such a wide range of severity and symptom triggers, personalized evaluation and treatment is needed to reach the best possible outcome for each patient. There is a wide selection of medication and non-medical treatment options now available, so there is a high chance you’ll find a combination that works for you - if you have qualified professionals to help you adjust your treatment.

Your experience may not be clinical

Don’t be so quick to label your troubles as a mental health disorder. You may be judging yourself too harshly or comparing yourself to others. Labeling yourself with ADHD or with any mental or behavioral disorder can invalidate your feelings and experiences and can sometimes make mental health worse. These are unprecedented times, and it’s perfectly normal to have trouble focusing when stuck working from home during a global pandemic. Your reactions may not be entirely clinical. Only a trained professional can tell you if the behavior you’re experiencing is related to a mental health issue.

Increased awareness is never bad

Awareness is a wonderful thing; it is often our first realization that something needs further attention. Awareness around ADHD is also great for lessening the stigma that seems to surround it. The recent uptick in awareness about ADHD allows people who do have it to recognize it and seek support. The problem comes when people stop at awareness and attempt to treat themselves without the input of a trained professional.

While we recognize not everyone has the privileges to afford to get diagnosed or medicated, it is important to find support within your reach. Many practitioners offer discounted services and initiatives to fund testing for those who qualify.

Low-Cost Testing for ADHD in CA & NV

If you live near Las Vegas, NV, or Beverly Hills, CA, you can come to Medens Health for a comprehensive psychological assessment to accurately diagnose ADHD and any other mental illness or learning disorder. Our caring staff can explain the process to you and help you determine if your insurance will cover the assessment. We can also check your eligibility for our sliding scale payment system.

If you live anywhere else in the US, you can search Psychology Today for a Psychological Testing and Evaluation Therapist in your area. If you’re not currently being treated for mental health, your primary care doctor can also refer you to a therapist or mental health center that conducts psychological assessments. If you are currently working with a mental health professional, bring your concerns to your therapist or psychiatrist. Request that they administer a psychological assessment, or that they refer you to someone who can.

If you think you may need a psychological assessment in Las Vegas, NV or Beverly Hills, CA, get started here with Medens Health.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.