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What the Differences are Between ADD and ADHD

Aug 17, 2007
Many people do not typically understand much about the complex manner of Attention Deficit Disorder. While the disorder is based on many physiological things, it carries a great deal of other ramifications. Many people do not really understand the differences between ADHD and ADD. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is basically the lack of attention in the patient. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) is a condition in which the patient has visible impulsivity or hyperactivity. While, there are many other symptoms that come with any type of ADD, the above are the two most common symptoms and features.

Over the years, the picture painted of ADD was of a child that is driving his or her parents and teachers crazy, bouncing off the walls. Of the two types of disorders, ADHD is most commonly diagnosed, for the simple reason that those with ADHD have more visible symptoms than those with ADD. ADHD is very noticeable because it comes with the creation of a good deal of distractions within the classroom. Therefore, it gets a good deal of attention and can be recognized easier. This does not mean that ADD is not destructive; it is, just less visible.

When a person is suffering from ADD, they will often seem disorganized and spacey. You may often find them simply staring out a window while in the classroom, and seem like they are never really there. This is the hardest form of the disorder to diagnose and patients who have ADD often go for many years, unknowingly having it. However, with a wandering mind, the results can be detrimental.

Because boys are typically more hyperactive than girls are, it was believed that ADHD only affected boys. This is a myth that has recently been shattered, now it is realized that that children of any gender can have ADD and it does not always go away as they reach the age of adult. One thing that has been noticed is that girls will more often have ADD instead of ADHD, and it is often diagnosed wrongly as depression instead of the disorder.

ADD does not cause problems and distractions that are obvious, therefore, it is not widely recognized and could go on for many years before the problem is ever realized. Early diagnosis with either disorder is extremely important. There are many symptoms parents, teachers, and doctors should be watching for, such as academic issues, though this is not always the case. Some children have no problems in getting good grades and doing their work. One thing that should be carefully watched is their social and emotional interactions. Things to watch for are how well they get along with other children, how organized they are, if they are overly messy, or if they cannot sit still.

It is important to understand that these symptoms do not necessary mean they have ADHD or ADD, however, they should be watched closely and discussed with a doctor. Mental and psychological health of your child is just as crucial as any other part of their health. If something just does not seem right, have them checked out as soon as possible.
About the Author
You can learn more about ADHD at ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
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