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Getting an ADHD diagnosis has gotten easier online. Is that a good thing?


Getting an ADHD diagnosis has gotten easier online. Is that a good thing?

Carol Yepes/Getty Images

Has TikTok convinced you that you have ADHD? That you’ve probably had it since childhood, and only recently realized the source of your inattention or forgetfulness? 

In one video on ADHD TikTok, a creator tells us what it’s like to get a diagnosis later in life. 

“Imagine for a moment that you drive a crappy 1989 Chevette — stick shift,” she explains. “Then one day you come across an article about Teslas, and you go and test drive a Tesla. And it runs like butter.” 

Not only have other people had better “tools” to fix their cars when they break down, she explains, they’ve been driving Teslas the entire time. Unfortunately getting that Tesla, aka an ADHD diagnosis and treatment, isn’t always easy. Lack of access to care, cost or even having a doctor who won’t refer you for testing can stand in the way.

In response to a growing awareness of mental health, and the increasing demand for telehealth and better access to care, ADHD diagnostic and treatment services are popping up online, promising users a fast diagnosis through a quick consultation with a professional (or even just an online assessment). This allows them to skip the lengthy process of finding a provider that can diagnose ADHD, which can land them on a waiting list for weeks or even months, and can also cost nothing short of an arm and a leg. But while online ADHD tests are filling an important gap, they also come with notable risks — like misdiagnosis.

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