Can you have ADD and ADHD? Great question. However, it isn’t possible to have ADD and ADHD as both terms describe the same condition. It is a little confusing because over the years the official name for ADD and ADHD has changed (ADHD is currently the official and most up to date title). Here is the time line of how it happened:
In 1980, ADD described a person who had Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was the phrase used to describe someone who also experienced hyperactivity.
In 1987, the official term changed, now the term ADHD is used for anyone who was diagnosed with what was previously ADD and ADHD.
In 1994, ADHD was divided into 3 subtypes:
ADHD-Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: characterized mainly by hyperactivity and impulsivity. Paying attention is not a major problem; however, you might seem to act and speak before thinking, have lots of energy and always on the go.
ADHD-Combined Type: Characteristics of both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsivity are present.
Even though ADHD is the official title, ADD and ADHD are the same thing, confusion continues because many people use ADD and ADHD interchangeably (including me). Medical journals regularly still use ADD and people who were diagnosed in the early to mind 1980′s with ADD, identify strongly with that term not ADHD, since in their mind it would mean they had hyperactivity.
If ever you find yourself a little confused in how the person you are talking to is using ADD and ADHD it’s fine to ask them to clarify how they use the terminology. That way there is no confusion.
When talking about ADHD do you use ADD, ADHD or a mixture of both?