Friday, October 20, 2017

FAQ: A.D.D./A.D.H.D.

Frequently Asked Questions about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

What is ADD/ADHD?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) consists of two basic symptoms:

  • Poor attention span
  • Weak impulse control

Hyperactivity may or may not be present. ADD Without Hyperactivity, or ADD/WO is also known as “ADD Inattentive Type”. ADD W/O is more common in females. ADD with hyperactivity is more common among males and is called AD/HD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADD/ADHD is treatable (though not curable). Treatment usually includes medication and some form of behavior modification. See “What’s in a Name?” for more information.

How many people have ADD/ADHD?

According to the National Institute of Health, ADD affects between 3% – 5% of the population in the United States.

Do people outgrow ADD/ADHD?

While it was once thought that ADD was a childhood disorder, it is now believed that ADD lasts on into adulthood as well.

Is ADD a real disorder?

Nothing is a disorder unless it is messing up your life. If you are ADD and you are happy and are successfully accomplishing what you wish to be doing then ADD is NOT a disorder for you. Period. For some people, ADD is very real and very much a disorder. A recent survey found that the majority of parents, grandparents and teachers consider ADD/ADHD to be a serious condition. The question is not whether or not ADD exists, but is ADD/ADHD a disorder – or is it just a difference? There are many positive things about having ADD. There are also many successful people who were either ADD, ADD and something else, or otherwise “disabled”.

Is ADD a “new” diagnosis?

No. Although not known as ADD, this group of behaviors has been recognized since 1902. See “A Brief History of ADD” for more information.

Is there a biological basis for ADD?

Yes. ADHD shows up in brain scans, in genetic studies, and in response to medications – all of which would indicate a biological basis for the diagnosis. See “The Biology of ADD/ADHD” for more information.

What are the symptoms of ADD?

The short answer is inaffention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. See “The Symptoms of ADD/ADHD” for more information.

How do ADD symptoms effect the lives of people who live with ADD?

ADD symptoms affect people in various ways, ranging from an inability to get organized to an inability to stay employed. See “The Annotated Symptoms of ADD/ADHD” for more information.

Does ADD have different degrees of severity?

Yes. Some people who have ADD/ADHD symptoms are not affected at all by them. Other people are literally living in cardboard boxes or underneath a bridge because they can’t keep a job, have problems with addictions or have other visible signs of untreated ADD/ADHD.

Are there different forms of ADD?

Yes. According to Daniel G. Amen, M.D., ADD is recognizable in six different subtypes, including ADD Without Hyperactivity. See Different Forms of ADD for more information.

Are there gender differences in ADD?

Yes. Males are more likely to be diagnosed than females. Males will typically (though not always) have ADD with Hyperactivity. Females will typically have ADD without Hyperactivity. See “Gender Differences in ADD/ADHD” for more information.

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