The difference between ADD and ADHD, in short, is a simple “nothing.” But since I’m sure you want a more of a detailed explanation, I will elaborate.

Through the years ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder) has had many names. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is one of those many names. ADD has been used so recently and so frequently that many people still use it instead of ADHD. This has naturally created confusion among adults with ADHD and parents of children who have ADHD. It raises the question “Which one do I have?”

Imagine there is a new disease in San Francisco. The doctors study it and call it “Disease A.” Later that week, in Denver, doctors discover that same disease and not knowing that disease already exists, call it “Disease B.” Everywhere this disease shows up it is called by a different name. No one has made the connection that Disease A is the same thing as Disease B and C and D and etc… One day all the doctors get together at a conference and decide that all these alphabet diseases are the same thing. They call it by one name since twenty names for the same disease is confusing.

Now, try to relate the fictional story to ADHD, previously known as ADD, brain damaged syndrome, minimal brain dysfunction (MBD), hyperkinetic impulsive disorder, and so on. Since all of these have no major differences and are almost exactly alike, they are given one name. While the diversity is not as substantial, there are different types of ADHD just as there are different types of cancer. Could you imagine if lung cancer was called something totally different than colon cancer? It would get very confusing.

Some professionals still use the term “ADD” but it is the same as if they used “ADHD.” To sum it up, ADD technically is ADHD and vice versa.

There are two main types of ADHD: Inattentive andHyperactive. Both are considered ADHD. If someone is diagnosed with ADD it’s the same as “ADHD: Predominately inattentive.” Predominately inattentive means that the hyper-active elements of ADHD are not as relevant but not totally excluded with that individual.

The Inattention Symptoms of ADHD

A person with ADHD might do any or all of these things that display a lack of attention chronically for more than six consecutive months:

  • Loses things
  • Seems not to listen
  • Has difficulty keeping attention on something
  • Avoids tasks requiring focus for any sustained amount of time
  • Gets easily distracted
  • Is very un-organized
  • Has problems following instructions
  • Is forgetful in the short-term
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • The Hyper-Active Symptoms of ADHD

A person with ADHD might do any or all of these things that display Hyperactivity, chronically for more than six consecutive months:

  • Interrupts without noticing
  • Talks too much
  • Can’t stay still or fidgets
  • Has problems with doing activities quietly
  • Difficulty waiting in line or taking turns
  • Very impatient
  • Runs around or climbs excessively

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