ADD And ADHD Are Not The Same!
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are two conditions that are often used interchangeably. However, they are two separate disorders with distinct symptoms and diagnostic criteria. In this article, we will explore the differences between ADD and ADHD and how to tell them apart.
What is ADD?
ADD is a subtype of ADHD that is characterized by inattentiveness, distractibility, and difficulty focusing on tasks. People with ADD may struggle with organization and time management, often losing track of deadlines and appointments. They may also have difficulty completing tasks and following through on instructions.
Unlike ADHD, people with ADD do not typically exhibit hyperactivity or impulsivity. They may appear to be daydreaming or “zoning out,” and may seem lethargic or unengaged. As a result, ADD can often go undiagnosed, as the symptoms may be less noticeable than those of ADHD.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning. The three subtypes of ADHD are predominantly inattentive type, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined type.
People with ADHD may struggle with attention span, focus, and executive functioning skills. They may also exhibit hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsivity. These symptoms can lead to difficulties in social, academic, and occupational settings.
The Differences Between ADD and ADHD
The main difference between ADD and ADHD is the presence of hyperactivity and impulsivity. People with ADHD exhibit these symptoms, while people with ADD do not. Additionally, people with ADHD may have difficulty sitting still or engaging in quiet activities, while people with ADD may appear sluggish or disengaged.
Another difference between ADD and ADHD is the gender distribution. ADHD is more common in males, while ADD occurs equally in males and females. This may be because hyperactivity and impulsivity are more noticeable in boys, while inattentiveness may be less noticeable.
How to Tell Them Apart
To determine whether someone has ADD or ADHD, a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified mental health professional is necessary. The evaluation may include a clinical interview, behavioral observations, and rating scales completed by the individual, their family members, and teachers or coworkers.
The evaluation will assess for the presence of symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, as well as any associated impairments in daily functioning. It will also rule out other conditions that may mimic the symptoms of ADD or ADHD, such as anxiety, depression, or learning disabilities.
Treatment for ADD and ADHD
Treatment for ADD and ADHD typically involves a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate and amphetamines, are commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms of ADHD. These medications work by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain, which can improve attention and focus.
Behavioral therapy may include individual or group therapy, parent training, and social skills training. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps individuals with ADHD develop coping skills and strategies to manage their symptoms.
In conclusion, while ADD and ADHD are often used interchangeably, they are two distinct disorders with different symptoms and diagnostic criteria. The main difference between ADD and ADHD is the presence of hyperactivity and impulsivity. To determine whether someone has ADD or ADHD, a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified mental health professional is necessary. Treatment for both conditions typically involves a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of ADD or ADHD, seek the help of a mental health professional. With the right treatment and support, individuals with ADD and ADHD can lead successful and fulfilling lives.