Difference between ADHD and ADD?

As an Attention and ADHD Coach I am often asked, “What is the difference between ADHD and ADD?”.  And then to add to the confusion, what about AD/HD?

In short, there is not a difference because all of the acronyms refer to the diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. For more details regarding why different acronyms are used, read on and check out the links below.

  •  The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) is defines Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder using a list of criteria. For a full criteria list, you can go to this link on the CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html
  • Since the official name is Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, the official acronym is AD/HD. 
  • ADHD is used by many people (including myself) because AD/HD can be cumbersome to read and type. 
  • The term ADD is an older term that was used before hyperactivity was included into the name. It is still used informally today to describe AD/HD when someone doesn’t have hyperactivity. 

For more information, I would encourage you to check out www.Help4ADHD.org and, more specifically, http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/what

 What acronym do you usually use?  What questions do you have about the acronyms?

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