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Why is it difficult to diagnose ADHD in teens?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Teens don’t always show the same attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms as younger children, which can make diagnosis difficult. For example, teens may not be hyperactive, but they may have problems with organization and long-term planning that did not matter when they were younger. Now that their schoolwork makes greater demands on them, their ADHD symptoms are noticeable.

Another problem with diagnosing ADHD in teens is that symptoms such as low self-esteem can be mistaken for other disorders, such as depression.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.