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ADD and ADHD Differences

Aug 17, 2007
Attention Deficit Disorder is a very complex, often misunderstood disorder. Its basis is physiological; however, a host of ramifications may accompany 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 - which stand out to the objective observer. ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder; its main distinguishing feature is inattention.

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, simply because it is so much more visible than ADD. Since hyperactivity creates a lot more distraction and problems in the classroom, it is identified earlier and gets the most attention Unfortunately, even though ADD is not as visible, the results of the disorder can be just as destructive.

With inattentive attention deficit disorder, or ADD, the person suffering from it will seem spacey and disorganized. Most often, sufferers will be staring out the window during classes and appear as if they are never quite present. This type is much more difficult to diagnose; indeed, many individuals having this form of ADD are unaware they have it for years.

In the past, it was believed 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 outgrow it in adulthood. One difference that has been noted is that girls tend to have the inattentive version of ADD, which is often 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, early diagnosis is crucial. Although difficulties in learning are 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 though they find it difficult to be organized, or are excessively messy? Do they have trouble sitting still for a period of time? Are they excessively quiet or excessively talkative? It is important to remember that these symptoms do not necessarily signify one is suffering from ADD or ADHD, but they do indicate outside help from a counselor or therapist is needed. Your child's psychological health is just as important as his/her physical health and how he/she does in school. If you sense something is off, check it. If left undiagnosed for years, ADD can cause many secondary problems that could have been prevented, and that can take a long time to undo.
About the Author
Aliza Adar Levine,an RN,TCM Herbalist,and Medical Researcher,was part of the hospital research team that developed "Clarity", a safe, natural ADHD treatment, proven highly effective, in clinical trials. Watch
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