ADD vs ADHD: What’s the difference in symptoms?
Traditionally uncomfortable symptoms of attention deficit such as hearing disturbances or time management were diagnosed as “ADD”. Overactive and impulsive symptoms were associated with the term “ADHD”.
Today, there is no ADD versus ADHD; According to DSM-5, ADD and ADHD are considered to be the same condition and a subtype of the same diagnosis. Similarly, the conservative caricature of a person with ADHD – a boisterous, vocal risk taker – is outdated. Many people with attention deficit disorder – especially girls and women – live with a calm, clear-cut form of the condition that is often misunderstood and undiagnosed. Here, we explain the differences between the 3 sub-types of ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the preferred medical term for a biologically based neurological condition that was once ADD. These symptoms come with one of three quantitative subtypes: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, or joint. They vary in severity from person to person, making diagnosis challenging. The group of behaviors that make up ADHD has been recognized since 1902, although the name has changed over time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11% of children and adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD is the official, medical term for the condition – regardless of whether a patient exhibits symptoms of hyperactivity. ADD is now an older term commonly used to describe heedless-type ADHD, with symptoms including disorder, lack of focus, and amnesia. Inattentive people with ADHD are not hyper or impulsive.
Inattentive ADHD is often written as spacey, egocentric behavior in children or mood disorders / anxiety in adults. People with this form of ADHD often lose focus, are forgetful, and have hearing difficulties. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-V), six of the following symptoms must be present and can cause serious effects at school or work to qualify a diagnosis.
Recognizing incompatible ADHD is important to prevent a lifetime of low self-esteem and shame.
The Hyperactive-Impulsive Type is the stereotype most people imagine of ADHD: a young boy, bouncing off walls, and the teacher interrupting the middle sentence. Nevertheless, this description fits only a small portion of the people with the condition. For this type to occur, a person must have 6 or more of the following symptoms: