The tricky business of diagnosing adult ADHD

It's difficult for doctors to diagnose adult ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Traditionally, it's diagnosed during childhood. The thinking in the medical community is that about half of kids with the disorder will have it into adulthood.

But now, more adults are thinking they have ADHD despite not being diagnosed as a child.

ADHD diagnoses are becoming more popular as ways to explain things that aren't going well. For example, it could have to do with the modern expectation of constant multitasking.

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Of course, ADHD can be a severe debilitating condition.

So, Dr. Jon Hallberg, MPR News' regular medical analyst, has a policy for adults who come into his clinic and think they have ADHD. First, his clinic refers them to a psychologist to undergo comprehensive testing. Then they can talk treatment if necessary.

Combating ADHD isn't as simple as walking into the doctor's office and taking a pill, Hallberg said. "It really can and should be more complex than that."

To hear more from Hallberg on adult ADHD, use the audio player above.