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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Download UHS' patient information sheet on ADHD here.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a pattern of persistent inattention and/or hyperactivity that follows a developmental course, with symptoms usually apparent during childhood or adolescence. It causes significant problems in multiple areas of daily living including academic and work performance as well as relationships.

This inattention and impairment affects up to 8% of the adult U.S. population. Many who go undiagnosed find it difficult to stay in school, keep a job, maintain relationships, or stay out of trouble.

Most students and adults will go through periods of restlessness and inattentiveness, with difficulty concentrating, focusing and completing work. Often these symptoms are related to stress and adjustment reactions associated with changes in a person’s life, rather than ADHD.

ADHD symptoms may also overlap with other mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and alcohol or drug abuse. These mental health conditions show up commonly during young adulthood. For this reason, a careful assessment is required before any psychostimulant medications are prescribed.

What should I do if...

I have ADHD?

If you have ADHD and appropriate documentation of this diagnosis (including medical and/or mental health records, or results of recent psychological testing) and are on prescription medication or have been in the past, you may choose to have your medications provided through a University Health Services (UHS) prescriber. For an appointment with a UHS provider, call (413) 577-5101.

Learn about medication management and UHS' policies.

Check out these strategies for managing ADHD at school.

Many students with ADHD have additional concerns such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues or psychiatric diagnoses and may require support in addition to medication consultation. For an appointment, call the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, (413) 545-2337.

Your medical records should be faxed or delivered before your first appointment with a UHS provider. Download and complete a Release of Information Form so your records can be forwarded from your previous healthcare provider.

Psychotherapy is also available at the university's Psychological Services Center,
(413) 545-0041.

Students with documented learning disabilities, ADHD, mental health or other conditions may benefit from accommodations. Contact Disability Services, (413) 545-0892, for information.

In instances where testing or documentation of ADHD is incomplete or unavailable, referral for evaluation and/or formal diagnostic testing will be required before psychostimulant prescriptions can be written. This might include students with a childhood history of ADHD where medications have not recently been prescribed, or for whom medication management had been suggested in the past.

I think I may have ADHD?

Diagnosing an adult with ADHD requires a sophisticated evaluation by trained psychologists or other mental health or medical professionals. If you suspect you may have ADHD but have never formally been diagnosed, tested, or treated, there are a number of on- and off-campus options available.

UHS' Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) provides assessment for ADHD and learning disabilities; for information or an appointment, call (413) 545-2337.

Formal evaluation and diagnostic testing for ADHD and/or other learning disorders or mental health problems can often take several weeks to months to arrange and complete, and may or may not be covered by your health insurance. Contact your insurance carrier before beginning any psychological testing or evaluation.