Frequently Asked Questions About ADD



1. What is ADD?

ADHD is a neurobiological disorder located in the prefrontal cortex, and it is also a type of brain wiring different than the general population. It can be considered a disorder and a gift, and it affects all areas of functioning to a degree. But the main area of life it will affect is your executive function, or the area of the brain that organizes, plans and executes goals.

What is generally focused on with ADHD is a short attention span, or the inability to focus for long periods of time. People with ADD have minds that tend to wander, drift and get distracted by other things. What is very interesting about ADD is that sufferers can pay attention very well to things that are new, very stimulating, interesting or upsetting. These events provide enough stimulation in and of themselves that they activate the part of the brain that enables concentration. This is because people with ADD do not have enough adrenaline and need this in order to focus.

People with ADD have trouble paying attention to daily, routine activities that do not provide high stimulation such as chores, homework, and paperwork. Unfortunately, these activities are everywhere and are needed in order to function in society.

2. What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?

Attention Deficit Disorder is a very complex, and often times misunderstood, disorder. Its basis is physiological, but it can have a host of ramifications that come along with it. That aside, what are the differences between ADD and ADHD? ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, with the main symptoms being visible hyperactivity and/or impulsivity. These are the symptoms that stand out to the objective observer. ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder with the main symptoms being inattention. Now many other things can come along with both of these subtypes of ADHD, but those are the distinguishing features of both.

For many years, the typical picture of Attention Deficit Disorder has been the little boy that is bouncing off the walls and driving his teachers and parents crazy. ADHD is by far the most diagnosed of the two subtypes because it is so much more visible than ADD. Since hyperactivity creates a lot more distraction and problems for classrooms, it gets the most attention and will be picked up on a lot faster. Unfortunately, even though ADD is less invisible, the results of the disorder can just as destructive.

With inattentive attention deficit disorder, or ADD, the person suffering from it will seem spacey and disorganized. Most often, sufferers with this type will be staring out the window during classes and will appear as if they are never quite present. It is much more difficult to diagnose and many people with this form of ADD go years without even knowing they have it. But the results of the wandering mind can be just as destructive.


3. What about Adult ADD?

For many years, ADHD was thought to be a child disorder, and more specifically a disorder only found in young boys. But with medical technology and research evolving, it has been found that many children with ADD do not grow out of it when they become adults. Although some of the hyperactivity tends to decrease, the core symptoms of the disorder do not disappear. Hyperactivity can turn into impulsivity in adulthood, which can potentially be very destructive.

92 percent of adults diagnosed with ADHD who were treated after age 18 wish they had been diagnosed sooner, according to research done by Harris Interactive surveys. Research also indicated that 90 percent of teachers felt that late diagnosis affected both academic and social development in students.


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