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ADD vs. ADHD: What’s the Difference?

Many mental health conditions go by several names—think bipolar disorder vs. manic depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) vs. obsessive neurosis—but one of the most confusing conditions in terms of naming is ADD and ADHD. You’ve likely heard both of these terms used interchangeably, or perhaps you’ve heard people say that ADHD is the more modern or accurate term for ADD. Understanding the differences and the history behind these terms can help clear up any confusion and make it easier to navigate the world of mental health and brain function.

Columbia Associates offers ADHD treatment services in Maryland and Virginia that can help individuals with ADHD learn coping mechanisms and strategies to manage their symptoms. If you’re interested in learning more, scheduling an appointment, or verifying your insurance, we can help—just call 703.682.8208.

What’s the Difference Between ADD and ADHD?

ADD stands for “attention deficit disorder,” while ADHD stands for “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” While they may seem like completely different conditions, they both refer to the same set of symptoms. The term ADD was originally used in the 1980s to describe individuals who struggled with distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. In 1994, the term ADHD was officially adopted by the American Psychiatric Association as a way to encompass all three types of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, and combined type.

Today, ADD is considered an outdated term and is no longer used by mental health professionals. However, it’s still commonly used by the general public and even some healthcare providers. This can cause confusion for individuals who are seeking help for their symptoms or trying to understand their condition better.

Signs of ADHD

The signs of ADHD can vary from person to person, but they typically include difficulty focusing and paying attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can interfere with daily life and make it challenging to complete tasks or maintain relationships.

Some common signs of ADHD that treatment can help with include:

  • Difficulty maintaining focus on one task
  • Excessive talkativeness
  • Impulsivity and making hasty decisions without thinking about the consequences
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and managing time effectively
  • Restlessness and inability to sit still
  • Frequently interrupting others or being unable to wait their turn in conversations
  • Constantly losing or misplacing items

There’s no need to wait for ADHD to negatively impact your life before reaching out for help. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD and are looking for additional support, help is available.

How Treatment Services Can Help

Some of the best ways to manage ADHD symptoms are through therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. At Columbia Associates, our team of experienced therapists and psychiatric professionals can work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.

Through therapy, individuals with ADHD can learn techniques to improve focus, manage impulsivity and hyperactivity, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Medication can also be beneficial in managing symptoms and improving daily functioning. Additionally, making lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise, practicing good sleep habits, and reducing stress can also help manage ADHD symptoms.

Call Columbia Associates Today for ADHD Treatment Services

Don’t let the confusion surrounding ADD and ADHD prevent you from seeking help. If you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms of ADHD, our team at Columbia Associates is here to support you. With a number of convenient locations in the greater D.C. area, we’re ready to help you navigate the journey toward managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life. Contact us today by calling 703.682.8208. For new clients, please click here to schedule an appointment, and for existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.