What’s the Difference between ADD and ADHD?

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Often times people will use both ADD and ADHD interchangeably and incorrectly. For starters, ADD is the acronym for Attention Deficit Disorder, while ADHD refers to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Now that we have provided the basic meaning behind the acronyms used for this disorder, we will dig a bit further to evaluate the difference between ADD and ADHD as a means to help guide you to understanding the diagnosis you or a loved one have been given.

difference between add adhd

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that is reported to affect nearly 6.4 million children in the United States alone according to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention. ADHD in its simplest form refers to the physical and mental exertion of energy as well as inability to focus. A child with ADHD may be fidgety, lose concentration and not be able to sit still. 

While ADHD and ADD are both very similar in nature, the first creates a physical issue, while ADD is more of a brain or neurological issue. Since the H stands for hyperactivity, usually persons diagnosed with ADHD cannot sit still for long periods of time, while a person with ADD may not be able to hold a long conversation and may not be able to focus on a task at hand all the way through.

The funny thing about adults and kids that have either an ADHD or ADD diagnosis, is that if a subject interests them, they can focus for long periods of time. You see, most ADD or ADHD children love video games. This makes sense as the ADD and ADHD brain enjoys that quick reward and constant changing that occurs in any video game playing. While an ADHD or ADD diagnosis may seem scary for you, there are ways around it.

Those diagnosed with ADD tend to be full of creativity and can be extremely stubborn in nature, more so than your average stubborn human being. They can actually focus on something until it’s finished and since they lack the hyperactivity portion of the ADHD diagnosis, they can sit still for long periods of time. They may even be great multi-taskers and have the ability to be quite successful so as long as they have the right environment to support their condition.

Since ADHD is more physical in nature, those with the condition can be worked with by training their brain to respond appropriately and giving them ways to cope with that need to exert energy. Many ADHD people will pick up running as a hobby or brisk walks as this type of physical exertion can actually help to ensure they use up some energy to focus on work at hand later.

We hope that you have now developed a bit of knowledge about the differences between ADD and ADHD, as there are so many people diagnosed with these disorders, it’s normal to want to learn more and get educated so you can help others focus in life!

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