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Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) is an outdated term that was historically used to describe a subtype of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) characterized primarily by symptoms of inattention without the hyperactive or impulsive behaviors commonly associated with ADHD. However, in current diagnostic classification systems, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the term ADD is no longer used, and ADHD is considered the umbrella term encompassing both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive presentations.


ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that typically manifests in childhood and can persist into adulthood. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. The DSM-5 outlines three subtypes of ADHD:


  1. Predominantly Inattentive Presentation (formerly known as ADD): This subtype is characterized primarily by symptoms of inattention, such as difficulty sustaining attention, organizing tasks, following through on instructions, and avoiding distractions. Individuals with this presentation may appear forgetful, disorganized, and easily overwhelmed by tasks requiring sustained mental effort.

  2. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: This subtype is characterized primarily by symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, such as excessive fidgeting, restlessness, difficulty staying seated, talking excessively, interrupting others, and acting without considering consequences. Individuals with this presentation may struggle with impulse control and have difficulty waiting their turn or engaging in activities quietly.

  3. Combined Presentation: This subtype involves a combination of symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Individuals with this presentation exhibit a wide range of symptoms across both domains and may experience significant impairment in multiple areas of life, including academic, social, and occupational functioning.


It's important to note that ADHD is a complex and heterogeneous condition, and individuals with ADHD may present with a wide range of symptoms and severity levels. Diagnosis of ADHD typically involves a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or pediatrician, who will assess the individual's symptoms, medical history, and functional impairment.


Treatment for ADHD often involves a combination of behavioral interventions, such as psychoeducation, parent training, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, along with medication management, such as stimulant medications (e.g., methylphenidate, amphetamine) or non-stimulant medications (e.g., atomoxetine, guanfacine). Treatment approaches are tailored to the individual's specific needs and may evolve over time based on response to treatment and changes in symptoms.

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