What is the Difference in ADD and ADHD?
The terms ADD to indicate Attention Deficit and ADHD to indicate Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity are often used. Some have used ADD and ADHD interchangeably to refer to the general concept of Attention Deficit Disorder.
Differentiating between ADD and ADHD is dependent on the domains in which the symptom criterion is met. According to the DSM V, if the criterion is met in the Inattention domain, then the diagnosis is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Inattentive Type.
In the symptoms domain of Hyperactivity and Impulsivity, if the criterion is met the diagnosis is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type. Complying with the terminology in the DSM V, the general reference would be ADHD whether the patient exhibited hyperactivity or not.
ADHD is a Deeper Developmental Disorder
Dr. Russell Barkley, a leading researcher and presenter, contributed another dimension to the definition of ADHD in his interview for Frontline. In agreement with the classification that the DSM V created for ADHD in the neurodevelopmental disorders chapter, he refers to the research in the last ten years that has defined ADHD as a developmental disorder that is a result of biology and genetics.
Then he addresses another aspect of ADHD that is not included in the DSM V definition. His extensive research and experience with children who have been diagnosed with ADHD has led to the awareness of a critical aspect of the disability:
“It’s now evolved to a point where we have begun to see ADHD as a deeper problem with how children develop self-regulation and self-control. These problems with activity level, and later, with attention span and with impulse control, are simply the more superficial manifestations of a deeper developmental disorder, and with how the children go on to develop self-regulation–the ability to control your own behavior for social purposes.”
Dr. Barkley, Dr. Hallowell, and Dr. Ratey are in accord about the relevance of self-control or inhibition as a critical element in understanding ADD and ADHD.
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