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What’s the Difference Between ADD and ADHD?

What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD? ADD stands for “attention deficit disorder” while ADHD stands for “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.” There really isn’t much of a difference other than in ADHD, there is “hyperactivity.” Both are characterized by extreme deficits and/or inability to focus and pay attention.

Some would suggest that the term ADD has become outdated because the official diagnosis for someone without hyperactivity would be “inattentive” ADHD. When most people think of ADD, they are really referring to the “inattentive” subtype of ADHD.

ADD is considered the same as ADHD: Subtypes may vary

Is hyperactivity a symptom? If a person experiences attention deficits without any hyperactivity, then they would most likely fit being diagnosed with ADD. However, since the DSM-IV had been updated, all individuals that are diagnosed with ADD are classified as having “ADHD.” If the individual doesn’t have “hyperactive” symptoms or “impulsivity” to accompany the lack of attention, they would most likely be classified as being the “inattentive” subtype.

All individuals with ADHD have problems with paying attention. However, there are other symptoms regarding hyperactivity and impulsivity that are used to help diagnose a more specific subtype. When thinking about ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), think about inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Usually individuals are diagnosed based on these three attributes. If someone has strong hyperactive qualities and they cannot sit still, they may be diagnosed as having “classic ADHD.”

However individuals that may only have problems paying attention without hyperactivity may have “inattentive ADHD.” This particular subtype does not involve hyperactivity or impulsivity. Similarly, there may be a combined type of ADHD which includes a high degree of inattentiveness as well as hyperactivity and impulsivity – this is simply referred to as “mixed” or “combined-type ADHD.”

Getting diagnosed with ADHD

In order to find out if you have ADHD, you must get formally diagnosed by a medical professional. It is well documented that this condition is over-diagnosed and has symptom overlap with many other problems and disorders. It is important to make sure that an individual fits the specific criteria for this condition before they explore pharmaceutical treatment options.

If you are struggling with attention deficits, you may want to look into some natural remedies for ADHD. Many natural treatment options can significantly improve the condition without psychiatric intervention. If your symptoms are making school, work, or family life difficult to deal with, it may be time to consult a psychiatrist. They will help you determine the subtype of ADHD that you have and help you review various treatment options.

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