Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) Checklist

March 21 2018 · 5 minute read · by NavJack27

In conjunction with other diagnostic techniques use the following general adult ADHD checklist to help further define ADHD symptoms. No ADHD adult has all of the symptoms, but if you notice a strong presence of more than 20 of these symptoms, there is a strong likelihood of ADHD.

Read this list of behaviors and rate yourself (or the person who has asked you to rate them) on each behavior listed. Use the following scale and place the appropriate number next to the item.

IMPORTANT: This is not a tool for self-diagnosis. Its purpose is simply to help you determine whether ADHD may be a factor in the behavior of the person you are assessing using this checklist. An actual diagnosis can be made only by an experienced professional.

  1. Past History

    1. [*]History of ADHD symptoms in childhood, such as distractibility, short attention span, impulsivity or restlessness. ADHD doesn’t start at age 30.
    2. History of not living up to potential in school or work (report cards with comments such as “not living up to potential”)
    3. History of frequent behavior problems in school (mostly for males)
    4. History of bedwetting past age 5
    5. Family history of ADHD , learning problems, mood disorders or substance abuse problems
  2. Short Attention Span/Distractibility

    1. [*]Short attention span, unless very interested in something
    2. [*]Easily distracted, tendency to drift away (although at times can be hyperfocused)
    3. Lacks attention to detail, due to distractibility
    4. Trouble listening carefully to directions
    5. Frequently misplaces things
    6. Skips around while reading, or goes to the end first, trouble staying on track
    7. Difficulty learning new games, because it is hard to stay on track during directions
    8. Easily distracted during sex, causing frequent breaks or turn-offs during lovemaking
    9. Poor listening skills
    10. Tendency to be easily bored (tunes out)
  3. Restlessness

    1. Restlessness, constant motion, legs moving, fidgeting
    2. Has to be moving in order to think
    3. Trouble sitting still, such as trouble sitting in one place for too long, sitting at a desk job for long periods, sitting through a movie
    4. An internal sense of anxiety or nervousness
  4. Impulsivity

    1. Impulsive, in words and/or actions (spending)
    2. Say just what comes to mind without considering its impact (tactless)
    3. Trouble going through established channels, trouble following proper procedure, an attitude of “read the directions when all else fails”
    4. Impatient, low frustration tolerance
    5. A prisoner of the moment
    6. Frequent traffic violations
    7. Frequent, impulsive job changes
    8. Tendency to embarrass others
    9. Lying or stealing on impulse
  5. Poor Organization

    1. Poor organization and planning, trouble maintaining an organized work/living area
    2. Chronically late or chronically in a hurry
    3. Often have piles of stuff
    4. Easily overwhelmed by tasks of daily living
    5. Poor financial management (late bills, check book a mess, spending unnecessary money on late fees)
  6. Problems Getting Started and Following Through

    1. Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started
    2. Starting projects but not finishing them, poor follow through
    3. Enthusiastic beginnings but poor endings
    4. Spends excessive time at work because of inefficiencies
    5. Inconsistent work performance
  7. Negative Internal Feelings

    1. Chronic sense of under achievement, feeling you should be much further along in your life than you are
    2. Chronic problems with self-esteem
    3. Sense of impending doom
    4. Mood swings
    5. Negativity
    6. Frequent feeling of demoralization or that things won’t work out for you
  8. Relational Difficulties

    1. Trouble sustaining friendships or intimate relationships, promiscuity
    2. Trouble with intimacy
    3. Tendency to be immature
    4. Self-centered; immature interests
    5. Failure to see others’ needs or activities as important
    6. Lack of talking in a relationship
    7. Verbally abusive to others
    8. Prone to hysterical outburst
    9. Avoids group activities
    10. Trouble with authority
  9. Short Fuse

    1. Quick responses to slights that are real or imagined
    2. Rage outbursts, short fuse
  10. Frequent Search For High Stimulation

    1. Frequent search for high stimulation (bungee jumping, gambling, race track, high stress jobs, ER doctors, doing many things at once, etc.)
    2. Tendency to seek conflict, be argumentative or to start disagreements for the fun of it
  11. Tendency To Get Stuck (thoughts or behaviors)

    1. Tendency to worry needlessly and endlessly
    2. Tendency toward ADHD ictions (food, alcohol, drugs, work)
  12. Switches Things Around

    1. Switches around numbers, letters or words
    2. Turn words around in conversations
  13. Writing/Fine Motor Coordination Difficulties

    1. Poor writing skills (hard to get information from brain to pen)
    2. Poor handwriting, often prints
    3. Coordination difficulties
  14. The Harder I Try The Worse It Gets

    1. Performance becomes worse under pressure.
    2. Test anxiety, or during tests your mind tends to go blank
    3. The harder you try, the worse it gets
    4. Work or schoolwork deteriorates under pressure
    5. Tendency to turn off or become stuck when asked questions in social situations
    6. Falls asleep or becomes tired while reading
  15. Sleep/Wake Difficulties

    1. Difficulty falling asleep, may be due to too many thoughts at night
    2. Difficulty coming awake (may need coffee or other stimulant or activity before feeling fully awake)
  16. Low Energy

    1. Periods of low energy, especially early in the morning and in the afternoon
    2. Frequently feeling tired
  17. Sensitive To Noise Or Touch

    1. Startles easily
    2. Sensitive to touch, clothes, noise and light

When you have completed the above checklist:

More than 20 items with a score of three or more indicates a strong tendency toward ADHD. Note: The three items with [*] and a score above three are essential to make the diagnosis.