No, we haven't forgotten about ADD.
First of all, ADD and ADHD actually refer to the same condition. “ADD” stands for “Attention Deficit Disorder”, which was its previous name before it was changed to “ADHD” in 1987.
That definition was further revised in the 1990's to include three subtypes of ADHD: predominantly inattentive (ADHD-PI), hyperactive-impulsive (ADHD-HI), and combined (ADHD-C). As confusing as that sounds, it’s actually still an upgrade on what was used in 1968: “Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood”. Nowadays, when people say “ADD”, they are usually referring to the inattentive type of ADHD. However, clinical use of this term has been almost entirely phased out — it’s all ADHD these days.
“ADD”, or predominantly inattentive ADHD, typically causes problems with organization and concentration. This type is not always as obvious as hyperactive ADHD, and symptoms usually appear in a person’s work or school life.
Someone with inattentive ADHD may have trouble keeping their focus on their work, becoming easily distracted and often making careless mistakes. Other symptoms include:
Alternatively, the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD is typically easier to spot. It is characterized by restlessness, high energy levels, and impulsivity. A person with this type of ADHD may show some or all of the following symptoms:
Some people with ADHD find that their symptoms reflect a mix from both the inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types — leading to a diagnosis of combined type ADHD. This is the most common presentation of ADHD.
While ADHD has these distinct subtypes or presentations, people with ADHD can show any number or combination of these symptoms throughout their lifetime. As for the terminology, "ADHD" is the official name - but depending on your diagnosis, maybe you feel “ADD” suits you better.
Looking for support?
Inflow can help you thrive with ADHD and reach your full potential. Start your journey now by taking our quiz.