I need information on ADD, not ADHD! Do you have any information on ADD?
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ADD, ADHD, hyperkinesis? It gets confusing, doesn't it?
This condition has been known for more than a hundred years, but it hasn't always been called the same thing. In the past, different labels have been used for what we now call attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Why the change? The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes the official guidelines for naming and diagnosing mental disorders. This book (called the DSM, or "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders") is periodically updated as scientists increase their knowledge. Research in the 1970s and 1980s began to show there are different types of attention deficit. Although they have major differences, the types are more alike than different. Doctors began to see that the different types are all part of the same major condition. In 1994, the DSM changed the name from ADD (attention deficit disorder) to ADHD because of the advances in research.
There are three sub-types of this one condition called ADHD. They are:
- predominantly inattentive
- predominantly hyperactive/impulsive
Some doctors and mental health professionals still use the term ADD. If you or someone you know has been given this diagnosis, it most likely means you or they have the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD. This is not the individual who is "bouncing off the walls" or "simply can't sit still." Rather, it's the person who seems to be always daydreaming, is forgetful, is easily distracted, is disorganized, or just can't seem to pay attention.
The DSM is currently being reviewed and a new edition ("DSM-5") will probably be published in the next several years.
The information on this Web site applies to all types of "attention deficit disorders." For more details on the formal symptoms of all three subtypes, please see Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria.