Difference between ADD and ADHD

ADD and ADHD are medical abbreviations that have almost the identical definitions. The difference between ADD and ADHD is that the ADD abbreviation is hardly used today.

Definition of ADHD and ADD terms can be found in the «Health Thesaurus» published by Australian Department of Health. In addition, ADHD and ADD abbreviations (and their definitions were published by the British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and in free encyclopedia – wiki.

Given the fact that ADD and ADHD are the international abbreviations of medical terms, there are no differences between the definitions of ADD and ADHD terms in different countries.

Differences between ADD and ADHD definitions

  • The ADD term is used in the cases if the symptoms of «attention deficit disorder» appear in a child or adult.
  • ADHD term is used in the cases if signs of «attention deficit hyperactivity disorder» are observed in children or adults.

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have the same symptoms and the same drugs are used for the treatment of these hyperkinetic disorders.

The difference between ADD and ADHD is only in that young physicians and their patients may not be aware that ADHD has an alternative term – ADD. Physicians, who have a lot of experience of ADHD (ADD) treatment, can use both these terms to diagnose behavioral disorder in children and adults.

Different types of drugs are used as drug therapy of ADD (ADHD). It is noteworthy that exactly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is indicated in indications for the use of such drugs.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the vast majority of patients using drugs for ADHD treatment are not even aware that there is no difference between ADD and ADHD diagnoses.

This review includes the subjective opinion about the absence of difference between ADD and ADHD medical abbreviations. Many doctors and their patients might not agree with this point of view. After all, theoretically, the difference between ADD and ADHD exists. However, this difference is insignificant, and does not affect the choice of effective and safe drug for the treatment of behavioral disorders.

The only difference between ADD and ADHD is that there is no a word “hyperactivity” in the ADD term. Modern drugs effectively reduce all symptoms of hyperkinetic disorder, including impulsivity, inattentiveness and hyperactivity.

Therefore, the use of such drugs helps to improve the psycho-emotional status, even if the patient has symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADD), but has no signs of hyperactivity.