The diagnostic path – a puzzle

There is no single test or examination that alone can diagnose ADD/ADHD - and certainly not in 5 minutes.

Diagnostics can be understood like a jigsaw puzzle and must therefore take into account different parts. However, when put together they form a whole. You can get an overview of this here.

As you know, ADD/ADHD is a neurobiological disorder, so it's a congenital disorder, not an acquired one in the course of one's life, and it can drag many a problem or even disease behind it. If someone is only sometimes inattentive and forgetful, or only a little chaotic, or only sometimes flies off the handle when under a lot of stress, that is not ADD/ADHD. Of course, it doesn't even occur to you to go to a doctor or psychologist to have yourself examined.

But if the problem leads to a considerable personal restriction and one suffers from it, one seeks help.

Our task now is to determine together with you whether it is still a "variant of normal behaviour" or already a diagnosis of "ADD/ADHD".

There are the following pieces of the puzzle that we pay special attention to in order to do this:

  • The life story so far with all its ups and downs (biographical anamnesis)
  • The how and when of the development steps
  • Behaviour in different situations (school, workplace, home, ...)
  • The illumination of favourable and unfavourable conditions that can compensate, negatively or also positively influence the ADD/ADHD problems
  • The compensation strategies used so far
  • The concrete work and action strategies (e.g. when solving tasks)
  • The result profile of the psychological tests
  • The neurological-psychiatric examinations
  • The neurophysiological examinations such as the measurement of the electrical brain activity (EEG) and among other things the evoked potentials (EP)
  • The clarification of possibly existing comorbidities

On the way to a diagnosis, the pieces of the puzzle must be put together to form an overall picture. This prevents individual aspects of behaviour from being put into a "diagnostic drawer" too quickly. Only with a comprehensive picture of the ADD/ADHD-specific problems, the life situation and the individual abilities can a well-founded diagnosis and thus also an individual therapy plan succeed. Such an approach helps to ensure that ADD/ADHD does not fall into the disrepute of a fashionable disorder and that not everyone who is perhaps somewhat hectic, sometimes quick-tempered and chaotic is immediately given the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD.

As you can see from this list alone, such a thorough examination naturally takes time and must be planned.

For this reason, we can only make appointments after the patient has first checked with a Questionnaire has registered with us. Usually we need two morning appointments (each approx. 3-4 hours) for the tests and examinations as well as a further appointment for the final discussion of all results (approx. 1 hour).