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Difference Between ADHD and Conduct Disorder

ADHD Vs Conduct Disorder

People sometimes confuse Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) for conduct disorder (CD) and vice versa. This is most likely because the two conditions are related to one another. Both fall under Axis-I of the DSM-IV categories (a manual for mental disorders). The two are part of the bigger cluster of disorders that are generally grouped as Disruptive Behavior Disorders.

Aside from ADHD and conduct disorders, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is also included in the cluster. These conditions are usually found early in infancy, in childhood or even during adolescent years. All of these are characterized by certain behavior deviations from what is supposed to be expected from a normal developing child.

ADHD has episodes of impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity. In this regard, the child becomes easily disturbed as he shifts focus from one thing to another very quickly. By doing such, they become disorganized and fidgety ‘“ they can’t simply wait for their turn nor can they stay seated at ease. It is also important to note that this condition is about 5 times more prevalent among school-age boys than in girls.

Experts attribute this condition to certain defects with the child’s CNS (central nervous system) but if the newborn or child has already been predisposed with many risk factors then he is more apt towards having the condition.

The nature of ADHD is a big problem to the parents of the patients because the latter will eventually face many social and psychiatric challenges in the future, most especially when the patient reached adulthood. Moreover, many stereotypes have been connoted to ADHD which are all untrue like regarding them as mentally retarded when in reality they aren’t.

Conduct Disorder has four groupings namely: (1) aggressive conduct (causing damage or proving to be a threat to living things including humans), (2) non aggressive conduct (yet still leads to damage to something), (3) theft and being deceitful, (4) always violating rules

Conduct disorder must meet certain criteria for it to be claimed as present in a person or child. According to the CD manual, there are many listed behaviors that warrant examination for CD which fall under its four main groupings. Having three or more of these behaviors of misconduct during the past year and having at least one of those during the first half of the year would rule in CD.

If you come to think of it, conduct disorders look more normal than ADHD because it’s a matter involving the person’s conduct and having the right amount of discipline. You’ll usually see conduct offenders at school especially those that repeatedly do the same unruly behaviors like stepping over the rights of other people or not recognizing the rules that are duly set by common society.

1. ADHD has impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity while conduct disorders are characterized by repeatedly doing damage or being a threat to others (people, things and to the set rules).

2. ADHD may be considered as a more serious mental disorder because it can be connected to certain defects to the CNS unlike conduct disorders.


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