Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder characterized by issues such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It affects millions of individuals worldwide, impacting their ability to focus and concentrate. ADHD can also interfere with the results of certain tests, like a polygraph. In this article, we delve into how ADHD could affect polygraph tests and discuss potential solutions for those finding themselves in such situations.

ADHD: A Brief Overview

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that can impact an individual’s cognitive and psychological functioning. Symptoms may vary among individuals, some exhibiting inattentiveness, while others may display more hyperactivity and impulsivity. This variability can make it difficult for the person to manage everyday tasks efficiently, affecting their academic performance, employment, and social interactions.

It’s crucial to understand and acknowledge the complexities of ADHD. Ignoring or minimizing this condition can lead to increased frustration, stress, and a heightened risk of developing co-morbid disorders such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.

Understanding Polygraph Tests

Polygraph tests are used extensively in various professional settings, such as law enforcement agencies and private companies, to gauge the integrity and reliability of individuals. The test collects physiological data through sensors placed on the subject’s body to ascertain the level of truth behind their responses.

Polygraph questions often cover aspects of an individual’s character and past experiences, such as employment history, drug or alcohol use, criminal history, and personal integrity. The procedure plays a crucial role in maintaining a high level of trust and honesty in various sectors.

The ADHD-Polygraph Intersection

ADHD can manifest in ways that may influence polygraph results. Heightened anxiety associated with ADHD might lead to physiological responses on the polygraph that could be misinterpreted as deceptive. Furthermore, individuals with ADHD may have difficulty concentrating and maintaining a consistent train of thought, making it challenging to focus on the questions during the examination.

Polygraph examiners should be aware of these potential issues and approach individuals with ADHD with sensitivity and understanding. Modifying or adapting testing methods as needed can ensure accurate and reliable results.

Preparing for a Polygraph Test with ADHD

Preparing for a polygraph test with ADHD can be challenging due to the need for sustained focus. However, familiarizing oneself with the testing process can significantly reduce anxiety on the day of the test.

Incorporating relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or progressive muscle relaxation can assist in maintaining composure. Ensuring adequate rest and nutrition, along with taking prescribed medications, can optimize focus and attentiveness. Lastly, seeking guidance from a qualified professional, such as a therapist or ADHD coach, can provide tailored strategies to manage the unique challenges and symptoms during the polygraph test.

Workarounds for Taking a Polygraph Test with ADHD

Individuals with ADHD who need to take a polygraph test have several strategies at their disposal. Consulting with a medical professional who can provide an evaluation of their ADHD and recommend suitable coping strategies is crucial. Informing the test administrator about the ADHD condition could also allow for special considerations or adjustments during the examination.

Practicing relaxation techniques can help regulate the nervous system and minimize involuntary responses. Anxiety management is essential to avoid increased physiological reactions, which could be interpreted as deceptive behavior. Finally, seeking legal advice and guidance ensures the individual’s rights and needs are adequately protected.

Employer Accommodations for Polygraph Test Takers with ADHD

Employers can implement measures to ensure that applicants with ADHD are not unfairly disadvantaged during polygraph tests. By understanding the specific challenges associated with ADHD, employers can adapt their polygraph testing techniques to create a more comfortable environment.

Offering additional time for preparation and rest breaks, investing in special training for the polygraph examiners, and proactively engaging with applicants to discuss their needs can foster an inclusive and supportive atmosphere.


Individuals with ADHD have often been unfairly stigmatized, but with the appropriate support and understanding, they can rise to any challenge. Employers should explore alternative approaches for those with special considerations to treat them with respect and consideration. With these measures in place, individuals with ADHD can excel, even when it comes to taking polygraph tests, whether in Maidstone or elsewhere.