What does ADD and AD/HD stand for?
ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder and AD/HD Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Both terms will be used on this website.
Over the years the official name for ADD has changed and developed as more research is carried out and our understanding deepens. In 1980 the term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) was first used, by the American Psychiatric Association. At this time the term ADHD was used for people with a hyperactivity component to ADD.
In 1987 ADD was renamed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Within ADHD there is Type 1 and Type 2. With Type 1 there is a hyperactivity component and with Type 2 there is a primarily inattention component.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurological syndrome that results in distractedness, impulsiveness, restlessness, disorganization and mood swings.While many people may experience these characteristics to some extent, people with ADHD experience these traits to a such a degree, that they interfere with daily living. ADHD can affect a person physically, (such as, inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity etc) emotionally (for example, depression and self esteem) and socially (for example with personal relationships).
Adults have ADD too.
The general public are often surprised that adults have ADHD. While most people are aware children have ADHD, they don’t realize it also affects adults. While one third of children who have ADHD grow out of it the rest of the population carry their ADHD into adulthood. The good news is that it is something that can be controlled. You can become an expert about yourself and develop a circle of supportive people around you. These might include professionals such as a supportive family doctor, a psychologist, and a coach. Medication is also helpful to some adults with ADHD.
Typical signs and symptoms of ADHD
Inability to Concentrate.
This characteristic has many implications. For example losing track of conversations can mean important information is missed. Distractedness has implications at work and study. As well as missing information you can experience resistance to things that need a deep level of concentration. This trait can cause tension in relationships as people can misinterpret it as lack of interest.
Lack of organization
Problems in planning tasks, personal organization and time management can result in labels being given such as “lazy” or “lacking in self-discipline” and “disorganized”. Often arriving late, hurried and ill-prepared, over committing and leaving tasks unfinished the sufferer may feel unorganized and overwhelmed with resulting low self esteem. Adults with ADHD find it hard to set up and stay with a routine.
Poor memory and Forgetfulness.
This can result in important possessions, such as passports, wallets and purses, laptops and palm pilots being lost or misplaced. Attending meetings, appointments and lectures punctually can be a real problem: sometimes they can be forgotten altogether.
Confusion, trouble thinking clearly
Adults with ADHD find it hard to perform up to their intellectual capability. There are difficulties with intense learning situations such as lectures and in-depth reading. There can be errors in spelling and math. Because of the tendency to become side tracked information can go unseen, resulting in mistakes at work. Often it can be difficult to maintain a job.
Depression, low self esteem.
Because the world is set up for people without ADHD, life can be challenging, and depression, anxiety and low self esteem are often a feature in a person with ADHD.
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