Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
The difference
avatar
Khodea posted:
Whats the difference between ADD and ADHD?
Reply
FirstPrevious12NextLast
 
avatar
Chris_WebMD_Staff responded:
That's a good question, maybe one of our health care professionals can answer that.
Chrissy~

He who has hope has everything.
- Proverb
 
avatar
Gina Pera responded:
Hi Khodea,

Technically, there is no ADD.

Rather, the official term is AD/HD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).

The slash indicates that hyperactivity is optional to the diagnosis. In other words, some people with AD/HD have hyperactivity and some don't.

Officially, there are three sub-types of AD/HD:

1. Primarily hyperactive
2. Primarily inattentive
3. Combined

Some people use the term ADD to mean NO hyperactivity or the inattentive subtype. But since the condition in general used to be called plain old ADD, that's confusing and inaccurate.

I hope that's clear. It's gotten confusing over the years, because as we learn more about ADHD the name keeps changing a bit.

g
 
avatar
tresvick replied to Gina Pera's response:
That's a great answer. From my experience, I think you will find people who have the "ADD" vs. the "ADHD" diagnosis are often referred to as slow, lazy, dumb, tuned out, and not doing well at school or work.etc. This is not true. People with ADHD/ADD are generally smart, but they have a hard time focusing on things or projects they are not interested in. On the other hand, if they find a subject they like, they can focus on that particular interest or activity for hours and know every detail about it., The labels they hear as children (lazy, stupid, slow, etc.), become part of how the perceive themselves and they then live up to that image, even though the potential to do better is in them. So, even as adults they continue to feel they aren't capable of doing better. I think the ADHD type knows they are smart, and could do much better at what they are doing, if they would just apply theirselves. The problem is, this seems to take so much time and so many distractions come up or something more interesting or fun can be done, that it is no problem for them to leave their projects undone or half done, or to put if off until later. For instance, I will stop any housecleaning project the minute a friend calls and wants to know if I want to do something or go somewhere. Those who have the hyper ADHD can do very well in life if the find a career that excites and interests them. I do like the third classification of Combined ADHD/ADD as there are many crossover symptoms between two. I also have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), which makes life even harder to manage. My OCD side is demanding perfection in all I do; unfortunately my ADHD side hasn't the patience to stay in one place for very long, especially doing something I don't particularly like to do, like housework. When I first found out I had ADHD, I was so excited. At last I understood why I couldn't keep my house clean or follow a schedule, It was great! I wasn't laze or a slob! I had ADHD and just naturally found it hard to do things I didn't like, preferring to do more interesting or exciting activity, or to sit and read or watch my soaps, get on the comptuer or work in the yard or doing things with my kids.everything, ignoring the dishes that were piling up in my sink or the floor that needed to be vacuumed. It wasn't until I was in my 50's that it began to occur to me that having ADHD wasn't an excuse to not do certain things, although it explained why it was so hard for me. However, I began to realize how much stress and interference my behavior was causing me and, therefore, my family. I can't take any of the ADHD meds because of my heart, I really like the third option for ADD/ADHD - the Combined version. That makes the most since as both types seem to be present in a person with this disorder at one time or another. It is something new for me to think about and apply to my life. I am working very hard to stay in one place until I am done with that activity and am making progress by setting a time-limit for me to work, and then I can go do something I enjoy for awhile.
 
avatar
tresvick replied to tresvick's response:
I am so sorry for my previous long post. I was trying to rewrite it and edit some of it out, but I must have hit the wrong button. Well, I guess it proves my point about overdoing something I am interested in. I promise to keep things shorter in the future.
Vickiei
 
avatar
oooSophia replied to Gina Pera's response:
I beg to differ Gina. My daughter was diagnoised with ADD- Attention Deficit Disorder just a few days ago, and it is a real diagnosis. No one can truely understand what it is to live with a child with this disorder unless you have one. So to say there is no ADD, well I live with it everday and have for the last 3 years not knowing what was wrong with my child. She is a smart girl, she bring home A's on all of her homework when she turns it in. But the problem was loosing everything, and not knowing what was due and when, from homework to projects. Constant late slips every week for late homework, conferences with teachers all year long, we tried everything and it only got worse. At home she always lost her things, made the biggest messes all over the house & was constantly disorganized. I have to keep on her like she is 5 when she is actually is 11 years old. It is extremely frustrating for the whole family, imagine how the child feels. It's one thing to be a little messy & loose things (everyone does that) but when it severely impacts your daily life at home & school there is a problem. No hyper activity thank goodness, but yes there is such a thing as ADD.
 
avatar
oooSophia replied to oooSophia's response:
Oh and by the way I would never use the term ADHD or AD/HD for my daughter. I don't care if it is an old term or not... ADD. It is what my daughter has, and she does not have the hyperactivity so why would I even use that term. I understand what you are saying, but I would not label my child with something she does not have. Also this is the term her doctor uses.

A Frustrated Moms Point Of View.
 
avatar
An_245562 replied to oooSophia's response:
Sophia, sounds like your daughter's dr. is old school Nowadays, that would be considered AD/HD, primarily inattentive, which is what i have.
 
avatar
cornbreadkiller responded:
After reading all the discussion listed here I am more confused than ever. I not sure if I had ADD ADHD or OCD or 2 or 3 of all.
 
avatar
kkdexter replied to An_245562's response:
so what have you found to be most effective?
 
avatar
jamalj replied to cornbreadkiller's response:
Go see your doctor (easiest way to find out).

You can also check out the DSM to see if one diagnosis fits you better.

Also, to let you know, there is currently a shortage of ADHD medication .
 
avatar
HelloKitty219 replied to oooSophia's response:
I agree with you oooSophia that ADD does exist. My son who is 9 was diagnosed as ADHD 2 years ago and he does not have the hyperactivity either. He does all the things your daughter does and also the post from tresvick explaination about if there is something you are interested in you know it all and anything else is just not as important...That is my son. However now that he is entering 4th grade the other boys don't seem to understand him. While they want to run around the playground and play sports my son likes to re-enact his favorite video game, Sonic. Yes I know video games are bad, but it what he LOVES and enjoys, why should i take that from him? I am just struggling with this change in him and want to help him before he goes to the middle school next year. He is a sweet outgoing boy but not up to speed with his own age piers. Any suggestions?
 
avatar
tinkerEnchantedbell replied to oooSophia's response:

I agree I'm 24 and also have ADD. There certainly is ADD, but I don't believe Gina was saying it doesn't exist. My fianc? majors in psychology and this is a big debate on how it should be classified. If you or a loved one has ADD or ADHD there is no doubting this is a true disorder. When I take my meds the difference is day and night. Uneducated people try talking about this saying it's all in your head so I just tune them out that is a blessing with this disorder lol. the biggest tasks I have is organization remembering important dates , and staying focused on one thing at a time I tend to jump all over going from one unfinished project to another. As foroooSophia you said "she bring home A's on all of her homework when she turns it in". I had the same problem I did my homework but since I was so unorganized and couldn't remember where I put it. I would get so irritated getting F on something I know I did. I also would never say I have ADHD the two are so different and don't agree that it should be called the same name. ADD is more like Dory from finding Nemo ADHD is more like Hammy the Squirrel from over the Hedge.
 
avatar
tinkerEnchantedbell replied to HelloKitty219's response:
HelloKitty219 just keep on him with everything that helped me through school. With ADD we need people constantly keeping us on task otherwise our attention drifts to something more interesting to us. I had to have two sets of text books one for my house and one at school since I would forget to bring home my books I would need. Teachers now are a lot more understanding and will work with you and your son as a team Also what helped for me was relating school work topics to something I like doing. Like I love baking so all math word problems I would change to baking word problems. hope this helped you
 
avatar
HelloKitty219 replied to tinkerEnchantedbell's response:
Thank you for the words of encouragement. That is a great idea about two sets of school books/work at home and school. I have him meeting with the school counsler for social skills. He seems to like it and hopefully it will help me also. Thankfully he is doing well in math, science and social studies, just that the reading and comprehension is a real problem. This site has been WONDERFUL, I have been able to read more information then I was ever provided with from the doctor. THanks for taking the time to answer my quetions!


Featuring Experts

My foray into the field of ADHD began by chance. In 1999, I picked up a library book about the brain. And what I read changed my life and my husband&#...More

Helpful Tips

How I explained ADHD tardiness to my angry wife
The back story here is my wife and I had been in a "discussion" for about a week. It was pretty intense. She was upset that I got home over ... More
Was this Helpful?
31 of 33 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.