What is the difference between ADD and ADHD? The answer may surprise you: nothing!
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the current name for a condition that, in the past, has had a variety of names including Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Hyperkinetic Impulsive Disorder, and Minimal Brain Dysfunction (MBD) just to name a few. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) diagnostic criteria currently refer to all of these conditions as ADHD, while older literature will commonly use ADD. The common misconception that there is a difference between them arises due to the fact that ADD is still a commonly used name for ADHD in the medical community.
ADHD is broken down into three types:
ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: considered "classic ADD," the patient shows symptoms of inattentiveness, but little to no hyperactivity-impulsivity.
ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: greater instances of hyperactivity and/or impulsivity, but little to no problems with inattentiveness.
ADHD, Combined Type: patients show both inattentive and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms.
If you think that you or your child may be suffering from ADHD, your health-care provider can examine the symptoms, come to a correct diagnosis, and recommend treatment, which is often a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.