ADD and ADHD Are the Same Condition
ADD and ADHD are two different names for the same condition. People get quite angry when they hear this and even leave me rude messages. It’s ok if you don’t like the term ADHD, but don’t shoot the messenger 🙂
As more research is carried out and our understanding of ADHD evolves, its name has changed to reflect this new knowledge.
In 1987, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) became the official name for the condition. This showed that hyperactivity was considered an important aspect of the condition.
However, many people still use ADD (attention deficit disorder), which was the formal name from 1980 to 1987 to describe what is now called Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, or use ADD and ADHD interchangeably.
2. Presentations are the New Subtypes
Back in 1994, “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV)”identified 3 subtypes of ADHD. You could be diagnosed with either the following:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Inattentive Type
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type.
Then in 2013, the DSM-5 replaced the word ‘subtype’ with ‘presentation’. This is more than semantics.
The term presentation is used to reflect the fluid nature of the ADHD. Each person experiences ADHD slightly differently from their ADHD neighbor. Also, symptoms change within the same person, depending on the setting and interest level. Symptoms also change with age; as the brain grows, ADHD symptoms become more internal and less visible.
3. Genes are the Biggest ‘Cause’ of ADHD
The biggest cause of ADHD is genetic. It is thought that approximately 80% of people with ADHD inherited the condition.
Scientists don’t believe there is just one ‘ADHD gene’. Instead there are several gene candidates, and it is the combination of those genes and the environment that results in ADHD symptoms.
4. Your parent’s ADHD Presentation Does Not Influence Yours
If you inherit ADHD from a parent, you won’t necessarily inherit the same ADHD presentation as theirs. For example, they might have hyperactive/impulsive ADHD presentation, and you could have Inattentive ADHD presentation.
5. Severity Level of ADHD is Identified
Since 2013, when you are diagnosed with ADHD, the severity level of your condition will also be identified as one of the following:
- Mild (while still meeting the diagnosis criteria)
Don’t worry though, no matter what your severity level is, you can still treat and manage your ADHD.
6. Thyroid Problems Do Not Cause ADHD
There was a research study in the 1990’s that showed low thyroid could cause ADHD. Since then, many other studies have disproved this theory. However, the myth still lingers!
7. Neurologists Do Not Need to Test For ADHD
ADHD is one of those conditions that people wonder, ‘Is it real?’ As a result, the idea of having an EEG as a diagnostic tool can seem reassuring. However, it is not necessary to test for ADHD in this way, and it is expensive too.
While neurologists do not routinely test for ADHD, they will in certain circumstances, for instance when ADHD symptoms might be caused by another condition, such as a seizure disorder. Neurologists use a combination of brain imaging and physiologic testing when testing for ADHD.
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