The Difference Between ADD and ADHD


ADD and ADHD are both deficit disorders that mostly affect children, even though grown-ups can also show signs of these. Even though the two might look like one and the same to the untrained eye, they do differ on several points.


In this article, we will see exactly what ADD and ADHD stand for, and the main differences between them.


What is ADD?

Generally speaking, when people refer to ADD (or Attention Deficit Disorder), they really mean ADHD.

However, ADD does exist but only in relation to ADHD, as it represents 1 of its 3 subtypes. In 1994, the designation was changed in the DSM-IV(the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition) to ADHD-PI, in order to reflect that kinship.

The main symptoms of ADD or ADHD-PI are:





What is ADHD?

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is the general designation for all mental as well as neurobehavioral disorders which show symptoms of impulsiveness, inattention and hyperactivity.


As we mentioned in the previous slide, there are 3 subtypes of ADHD that distinguish themselves by the dominant features of their syndrome:

-ADHD-PI: where the main deficit is inattention

-ADHD-HI : where the culprits are hyperactivity and impulsiveness

-ADHD-C : a combination of the first two. A child who is diagnosed with ADHD-C presents all three symptoms in (almost) equivalent proportions


Differences between ADD & ADHD

As we just learned throughout this presentation, to ask what the differences between ADD & ADHD are is skewed. You can’t compare the two because one is a subtype of the other.


What we should do instead is determine the difference between ADD and the other two types of ADHD (not the syndrome as a whole).

Here is what we can say:

• While ADHD-HI and ADHD-C are determined by high levels of hyperactivity, ADHD-PI sufferers will show no sign of impulsivity

• Compared to the other subtypes, ADHD-PI (or ADD)…

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