Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry


ADD vs ADHD: What’s the difference?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are both common types of childhood disorders. Initially, they used to be two (2) distinct types of disorder. Although ADD is often confused with ADHD, it is actually the term used to diagnose someone who has trouble focusing, but does not display hyperactive behavior.

However, in 2013, the American Psychiatric Association released the Fifth Edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), changing the criteria to diagnose someone with ADHD. As a result, ADD has become an outdated term, and is simply categorized now as a type of ADHD.

Types of ADHD


Inattentive ADHD is what was previously known as ADD. When an individual suffers from this condition, he/she has difficulties in paying attention or staying focused. This means that the person is easily distracted from the current task he/she is doing even with just the slightest stimuli. Nevertheless, people with this condition do not display symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsiveness.

Hyperactive or Impulsive

Hyperactive or Impulsive ADHD, on the other hand, is opposite from Inattentive ADHD. This condition refers to people that show symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsiveness, without signs of inattention. This means that the individual is most likely to be fidgety and very active. People suffering from this condition often have a hard time controlling their urges. Due to this, they are prone to acting out by impulse and are less likely to follow instructions.


Combined ADHD is what was previously known as ADHD. It is a condition wherein symptoms from Inattentive ADHD and Hyperactive / Impulsive ADHD are both manifested by the individual suffering from it. This means that the person displays symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

People suffering from Combined ADHD tend to get easily distracted and triggered to act on a whim. They are most likely to show excessive energized behavior and difficulty in staying focused on a task.



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