Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are related but distinct terms used to describe neurodevelopmental disorders that primarily affect an individual’s ability to focus, control impulses, and regulate their behavior. Here’s the key difference between the two:

1. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder):

  • ADHD is a more commonly used and recognized term in the field of psychiatry and medicine.
  • ADHD is characterized by two main subtypes:
    • Inattentive Type: Individuals with this subtype primarily struggle with inattention, distractibility, and difficulty organizing tasks and activities. They often appear forgetful and disorganized.
    • Combined Type: Individuals with this subtype exhibit symptoms of inattention as well as hyperactivity-impulsivity. They may be hyperactive, fidgety, and have trouble staying still. They also struggle with impulsivity, making it challenging to think before acting or making decisions.
  • To be diagnosed with ADHD, an individual must exhibit a specific number of symptoms from each category (inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity) for at least six months, and the symptoms should be significant and disruptive to daily life.

2. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder):

  • ADD is an older term used to describe a condition that is essentially the same as the inattentive subtype of ADHD.
  • ADD is not an official or commonly used diagnosis in contemporary medical and psychiatric literature.
  • The term “ADD” is often used informally to refer to individuals who primarily exhibit symptoms of inattention without the hyperactivity component seen in ADHD.

In summary, ADHD is the umbrella term used in modern clinical practice to describe the condition that can manifest in various ways, including inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, or a combination of both. While “ADD” was previously used to describe inattentive symptoms, it has largely been replaced by the more comprehensive and descriptive term “ADHD.”

It’s important to note that a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for ADHD or its subtypes should be carried out by a qualified healthcare professional, typically a psychiatrist or pediatrician, who can conduct a thorough evaluation and provide appropriate interventions, which may include behavioral therapy and medication.