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The Difference Between ADD & ADHD

Introduction ADD and ADHD are both deficit disorders that mostly affect children, even though grown-ups can also show signs of these. If the two might look like one and the same to the untrained eye, they do differ on several points. In this presentation, we will see exactly what ADD and ADHD stand for and the main differences between them.

What Is ADD? Generally speaking, when people refer to ADD (or Attention Deficit Disorder), they really mean ADHD. However, ADD does exist but only in relation to ADHD, as it represents but 1 of its 3 subtypes. In 1994, the designation was changed in the DSM-IV(the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition) to ADHD-PI, in order to reflect that kinship. The main symptoms of ADD or ADHD-PI are : 

Procrastination Inattention Disorganization Distractibility

What Is ADHD? ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is the general designation for all mental as well as neurobehavioral disorders which show symptoms of impulsiveness, inattention and hyperactivity. As we mentioned in the previous slide, there are 3 subtypes of ADHD that distinguish themselves by the dominant feature of their syndrome : ADHD-PI: in this case, the main deficit will be inattention ADHD-HI : here, the culprits will be hyperactivity and impulsiveness ADHD-C : this subtype is a combination of the first two, so a child who's diagnosed with ADHD-C will present all three symptoms in (almost) equivalent proportions 

What Is ADHD? In what ways does ADHD present itself? What are the general signs and how to determine whether your child is affected by this disorder or not? The problem with ADHD lies in the fact that the symptoms that define its diagnostic are very hard to detect because a large part of the population exhibits similar traits. So, where exactly to draw the line ? As a rule of thumb, we will consider that there is ADHD probability if the erratic behavior of a person starts to strongly interfere with his/her learning or relationships. Here are some common signs that might act as giveaways: Not being able to sit still or wait for one’s turn Having trouble focusing on one thing at a time Showing boredom very quickly if not playing or doing something fun 

Differences between ADD & ADHD As we just learned throughout this presentation, our initial question was skewed from the start. You can't compare a subdivision to the category that includes it; this wouldn't make much sense. So, what we should do instead is determine the difference between ADD and the other two types of ADHD (not the syndrome as a whole). Here is what we can say : While ADHD-HI and ADHD-C are determined by the high level of hyperactivity that they cause, ADHD-PI sufferers will show no sign of impulsivity, on the contrary... Compared to the other subtypes, ADHD-PI (or ADD) is characterized by fatigue and lethargy on the patient's part ď‚—


Different but Similar in the Treatment? If every subtype of ADHD possesses its own set of symptoms, can they all – under the cover of a shared group – be treated the same way? Looking at recent studies, it does seem like effective techniques to manage one type of ADHD will also work for another. Those proven methods are: Medication I: the use of stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall can help in making the person feel calmer and more able to focus Medication II: antidepressants like Zoloft or Prozac might achieve the same result if, for one reason or another, the patient can’t take stimulants Therapy: psycho or behavioral therapy are good candidates as they improve the different organizational skills of the child 

Conclusion ADD, ADHD, if those terms are interchangeable in everyday speech, they do however represent different disorders and realities. We hope that, with this small presentation, you will now understand the differences between the two and that you will also have learned how to recognize their symptoms as well as how to deal with them.

For more information, tests and tips on ADHD, check out our site of reference:

The Difference Between ADD & ADHD  

Helping those with ADD or ADHD become successful and well-adjusted individuals.

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