So, currently, doctors concerned about fake ADHD should look for objective indicators of impairment (e.g., documented traffic accidents; academic performance below expectation) and speak to a parent of the patient to document that impairing symptoms of the disorder were present before the age of twelve. Because the issue of fake ADHD is of most concern on college campuses, it can also be helpful to speak with a teacher who has had frequent contact with the patient. If an adult is self-referred for ADHD and asks specifically for stimulant medication, that raises the possibility of fake ADHD and drug seeking. Because the issue of stimulant misuse has been mostly a concern on college campuses, many doctors treating college students will require independent verification of the patients ADHD symptoms by speaking with a parent, even over the phone if an in-person visit is not possible. We teach that in our FREE online CME courses on ADHD in Adults. Using the Wisconsin card sorting test to detect malingering: an analysis of the specificity of two methods in nonmalingering normal and patient samples. Using the WMS-III to detect malingering: empirical validation of the rarely missed index (RMI).
For example, one study diagnosed ADHD in children and then contacted them many years later when they were young adults. Performance and specificity rates in the Test of Memory Malingering: an investigation into pediatric clinical populations.
For example, some college students seek special accommodations for taking tests; others may want stimulants for abuse, misuse or diversion.
Fortunately, doctors can detect fake ADHD in several ways.
ADHD is a serious disorder that requires treatment to prevent many adverse outcomes.
But, because the diagnosis of ADHD is based on how the patient responds to questions, it is possible for people to pretend that they have ADHD, when they do not. The Internet, it seems, is faking an epidemic of fake ADHD. The relationship of malingering test failure to self-reported symptoms and neuropsychological findings in adults referred for ADHD evaluation.
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That means that they can learn about the symptoms of the disorder and make up examples of how they have had them, when they have not.