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Difference Between ADD and ADHD

adhd_brainscanMost often people get confused with ADD and ADHD. ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Earlier ADD was used as a synonym for ADHD.

The term ADD was used for the disorder in people with problems in concentrating, staying still, focusing, and some more symptoms. Later it was revised and in 1987, ADD was changed to ADHD. So ADD was done away with and ADHD is now broken down into the following three categories:

  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
  • Predominantly Inattentive Type
  • Combined Type

In the Inattentive Type ADHD, the symptoms are lack of attention to details that depict carelessness, concentration and listening problems, difficulty in following conversations, and losing toys and forgetting about homework. In Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD, the children find it difficult to be quiet, always may be fidgety, interrupt when it is not appropriate, grab things from people, and may be very restless without patience for anything. And in the combined type ADHD, the symptoms of the both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive may be there. Children may show carelessness or inattentiveness due to their age but when many of these symptoms come together, it can be a disorder.

ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder affecting children and adolescent people and is not a psychiatric disorder. This disorder can hinder the functional abilities of a child and can carry over into adulthood if not treated properly. The treatment for this disorder includes behavioral therapies, support at home, exercise, proper nutrition, and medications.

One of the primary differences between ADD and ADHD is the added component of hyperactivity in ADHD. And earlier what was ADD is now the Inattentive Type ADHD. The symptoms of ADD are more common in females. The symptoms appear in children before the age of 7. Sometimes differentiating the symptoms from the behavior of the child may be difficult. But when these symptoms are visible always, it can be ADHD.

The reasons for this disorder can be learning disabilities, traumas, psychological problems, or even medical conditions. Usually the children with the inattentive type ADHD are overlooked as they are not problematic. But this can lead to problems like underperformance in school, getting in hot water by not being able to follow directions, clashing with other kids when playing games, and so on which can prove dangerous at times. Sometimes kids with hyper-impulsive type appear moody and may overreact emotionally. This may make us think that the kid is disrespectful or arrogant.

There are some other aspects in children with ADD or ADHD. They can be marvelously creative and imaginative. They can be flexible and are enthusiastic. They have lots of energy in them. Many children with this disorder are marvelously talented intellectually or artistically.


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3 Comments

  1. Great article…thanks for your insight. I have a strong interest in the area of ADD and APD. Please visit our site and read my article Attention Deficit Disorder Verses Auditory Processing Disorder – A Big Difference at http://www.learningsolutionsathome.com. Thanks and take care, Lucy Barlow

  2. Would you care to tackle this one? What’s the difference between a Neurotransmitter and an Endorphin?

    Great website, BTW. Thanks.

  3. “ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder affecting children and adolescent people and is not a psychiatric disorder.”

    You make it sound like only children and adolescents are afflicted with this disorder. I am one of many adults with ADHD (PI, in my case.) It isn’t something that just goes away at adulthood, though some symptoms may have lessened by that point.

    Visit http://addforums.com and you’ll find many people, mostly adults, with this problem. Many of the posters do have kids with ADHD, but people need to stop thinking that it’s ONLY the children.

    Thanks for your time, and I do enjoy this website. Keep up the good work.

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