Difference Between ADD and ADHD

With time, people have become more and more attentive and caring towards mental illnesses.

Retention that mental illness is now getting is way more than it was in the past. ADD, and ADHD are two chronic conditions that involve a lot of factors like difficulty in paying attention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.


The main difference between ADD and ADHD is that edit is a condition in which the person shows a lack of paying attention, gets distracted easily and has a poor working memory. On the other hand, it is a condition in which the person leads hyperactivity as well as impulsivity and requires a lot of attention.


ADD is an abbreviated form of attention deficit disorder.

In this condition, a person usually faces a neurological condition that involves symptoms like getting distracted easily, not being able to pay attention for a long time, losing track of time, forgetting the schedules, having trouble focusing on work, and struggling with daily life habits.

ADHD is an abbreviated form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

It is considered as a psychological or neurological disorder in which the person faces symptoms like getting random bursts of energy, being very talkative, getting nervous quickly, being fidgety and having a very impulsive nature.

Comparison Table Between ADD and ADHD

Parameters of ComparisonADDADHD
Full-FormADD is Attention Deficit DisorderADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
SymptomsForgetfulness, inactivity, poor attention abilities, unorganised, etc.Hyperactivity, impulsiveness, outbursts of energy, nervousness, cluttered thoughts, etc.
CausesAn imbalance in the brain neurotransmitters results in ADD.It is a neurological or psychological condition that results due to an imbalance in behavioural neurotransmitters.
SubtypesIt doesn’t have subtypes.It has three subtypes –  impulsive ADHD, inattentive ADHD, and a combined form of these two.
TreatmentIt can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy.It can be treated with a lot of attention, care and cognitive behavioural therapy.

What is ADD?

The acronym for ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder. It is common that people refer to ADD and ADHD as interchangeable terms, but it’s not correct since they have a lot of differences.

ADD or attention deficit disorder is a psychological or neurological condition that can happen to both children as well as adults.

Although, even a lot of psychologists and Doctors refer to ADD as a term that was used in the olden days and now is referred to as ADHD

The most common symptom of attention deficit disorder is getting distracted easily, not being able to pay attention and having a hard time keeping track of work.

A lot of adults who have attention deficit disorder situations like inability to focus on work, losing track of appointments and scaled use, again and again, losing track of time and struggling with performing tasks that need a lot of attention.

The main difference that can be seen between ADD and ADHD is that it is not characterised by hyperactivity. In order to identify the condition of a DD in children, take a closer look at if they are very shy or reserved, which is not in the case of ADHD.

What is ADHD?

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition that is different from ADD.

This condition results in a lot of symptoms varying from having rigorous thoughts, inability to pay attention, easily distracted, un organisation, severe cases of procrastination, getting impatient to having sudden outbursts of energy that is hyperactivity.

ADHD even has three subtypes, namely -impulsive ADHD, inattentive ADHD, and the third is a combined form of the two forms as mentioned earlier.

The critical difference between ADD and ADHD is hyperactivity. It is an impulsive condition that is a combined form of inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Treatment plays a significant role in dealing with the situation of ADHD and getting a grip over the behaviour that is the result of this condition.

It is very important to get diagnosed and get treated if one has this condition since it has very serious impacts on a person’s social as well as personal life.

The most fruitful treatment for the management of ADHD is cognitive-behavioural therapy.

This involves a wide range of organised activities that include goal settings, keeping rewards and gifts for achievements, setting rules to follow, and getting a guide to behaviour modifying techniques.

Main Differences Between ADD and ADHD

  1. ADD is an abbreviated form of Attention Deficit Disorder, while ADHD refers to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
  2. Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder include forgetfulness, inactivity, un organisation, feeling lazy and unmotivated. The symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder include impulsiveness, nervous feeling, hyperactivity, sudden outbursts of energy, and wanting attention.
  3. An imbalance in the brain’s neurotransmitters that are responsible for behaviour results in ADD as well as ADHD.
  4. While ADD does not have any subtypes, on the other hand, ADHD has three subtypes, namely – impulsive ADHD, inattentive ADHD, and a combination of the two.
  5. ADD does not result in Hyperactivity, whereas ADHD does result in hyperactivity.
Difference Between ADD and ADHD


ADD and ADHD are conditions that require more attention and care than any medication. Deserve mental diseases that require a lot of patience to deal with and can even take a long time to be fixed.

It becomes even more complex to deal with situations when the condition is diagnosed at a very later stage.

And it is not an age-dependent condition, and preschool kids to full-grown adults can happen to fall into these situations.

Parents with children who have ADD or ADHD can have a discussion with a doctor about how to handle their children and what to do in order to improve their condition.

And adults who feel like they are falling into this situation should always try to seek out professional help and discuss their concerns about the same in order to deal with it in a much more concise and beneficial way.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iwmU65RC6x0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA93&dq=difference+between+ADD+and+ADHD&ots=H3T_WFW5_-&sig=5yYdPzSTR-nKBvzWxdZMKSWlZOE
  2. https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1995.tb02320.x
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