Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The difference between ADD and ADHD

Dennis the Menace may be the most beloved ADHD cartoon character ever! Impulsive and hyperactive, he makes the afflicted Dory, the ever-swimming, easily distracted Regal Blue Tang from "Finding Nemo," look focused. Turns out that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- an all-inclusive term that swallowed up attention deficit disorder (ADD) -- comprises a cluster of symptoms from mildly inattentive to disruptively agitated and shows up differently in boys and girls.

ADHD contains three subtypes of behavior: 1) hyperactive-impulsive; 2) inattentive (what was formerly ADD); and 3) hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive combined. A child can have any combination or degree of these behaviors.

One theory that explains why more boys (13 percent) are diagnosed than girls (6 percent) is that girls tend to be less disruptive, more daydreamy and have attention deficit; while boys are hyperactive-impulsive. They're the squeaky wheel!

For all kids, diagnosis requires repeatedly inappropriate behavior and/or chronic inattention and clear differences between a child's behavior and capabilities and those of his or her peers. Adults diagnosed with ADHD must have had their symptoms since childhood.

Both kids and adults are treated with medication and psychotherapy. Treatment protects kids (and adults) from developing antisocial behaviors, addictions, anxiety and eating disorders, particularly binge-eating and obesity.

So, if you (or someone you love) have trouble making friends, holding a job, paying attention or controlling impulses, opt for diagnosis and treatment. It might provide a huge improvement in daily life. And helping yourself, a friend or family member get healthier always makes your RealAge younger.

Read more here: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/x1190167523/ADHD-vs-ADD-Whats-the-difference

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