How Are ADD And ADHD Different



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.

For many years, it was thought that only boys had ADHD. This myth has been shattered recently, though. It is now known that both boys and girls can have attention deficit disorder, and many do not grow out of it in adulthood. One difference that has been noted is that girls tend to have the inattentive version of ADD, and many times it is misdiagnosed as depression. Because inattentive ADD does not cause obvious problems and distractions to the surrounding environment, many suffer in silence for years before they find out the real cause of their troubles.

With both ADHD and ADD, diagnosis early is very important. Although problems with academics is the most obvious symptom, some sufferers do not have significant issues with getting school work done. Keep track of your children, not just academically, but socially and emotionally as well. Do they have trouble with other children? Does it seem as if they have trouble organizing or are excessively messy? Do they have trouble sitting still for a period of time? Are they excessively quiet or excessively talkative? Now any of these symptoms do not specifically signify ADD or ADHD, but they do point to asking for outside help from a counselor or therapist. Your child's psychological health is just as important as their physical health and how they do in school. Check it out if you feel like something is off. If left for years undiagnosed, ADD can cause lots of other secondary problems that can take a long time to undo and can be prevented.


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