Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I think I have ADD/ADHD because I have read up on it and can relate to most symptoms. As I am near to taking my exams (have just gone into year 11), I am wondering if its a good idea to ask someone (a teacher or my mum) if I can have a test done. But I don't know who to ask, my mum or teachers? or both? and what to I say?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter.

It sounds like you’ve done a lot of research into ADD/ADHD and that now you’re seriously wondering if you might be affected. You haven’t mentioned which particular signs of ADHD you can relate to, but if you’re experiencing any symptoms that are making life difficult, then it is certainly worth looking into it further.

It’s really good to hear that you’re thinking of talking to someone about the possibility that you having ADD/ADHD. It’s important not to give yourself a diagnosis without getting expert advice. There’s a lot of different information on the internet, and not all of it is correct, so it’s easy to end up reaching the wrong conclusion.

Talking to your mum or a teacher sounds like a really good idea. Once you’ve decided who you’d like to talk to first, perhaps you could choose to speak to them when they will have time to really listen to how you are feeling. You could show them what you’ve read about the symptoms and how they relate to you. Also you might want to ask for their support to talk to your doctor. If your doctor thinks you might have ADD/ADHD, they can refer you to a specialist (such as a paediatrician or psychiatrist), who would be the one to diagnose you. There’s no simple test for ADD/ADHD, so the specialist would need to ask you and the adults in your life lots of questions about any difficulties that you’ve been having at home and in school.

If you are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, there is various types of support available. The doctors should talk these through with you. Even if the doctors don’t think you have ADHD, they should still listen to the things that are worrying you, and discuss whether you need any extra help.

You might find it helpful to see what other young people say about ADD/ADHD on our learning difficulties message board. Young Minds also have a lot of information about ADD/ADHD.

If you would like to talk about this further, you could speak to one of the ChildLine counsellors by calling 0800 1111 (this is a freephone number) or logging in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,


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