What is the Difference Between ADD and ADHD?

You hear the term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) a lot these days. It seems like more and more people are aware of it but are not quite sure what it is. There is additional confusion about the difference between ADHD and ADD.

Many people wonder whether they have ADD or ADHD. Actually, ADD is one of three subtypes of ADHD:

1:ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type

2:ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

3:ADHD, Combined Type (when both hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive symptoms are present)


Every case of ADHD presents different symptoms. Often in children, it is considered “bad behavior,” this can lead to bullying, failure to enjoy school, and a lag in learning.

Additionally, there is a lot of stigma about attention issues. Most predominantly, many people ignorantly correlate ADHD with having a low IQ.

However, ADHD is not a reflection of intelligence. Instead, it is a set of symptoms that make it difficult to retain information due to being easily distracted, bored with a project, and staring yet another before finishing anything.

Such examples lead many patients with ADHD to look for “life hacks” to remember dates and deadlines and complete a wide range of tasks that never get done.

Interestingly, for many with ADHD, fear is the primary driving force to complete responsibilities. This fear compels them to do things furiously at the last minute and often leads to anxiety.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. ADHD symptoms are treatable, and many find learning more about the condition insightful. An increase in activities such as mindfulness and meditation can help people live their lives with less suffering. However, you may want to consider medication to treat symptoms of ADHD.

If you suspect you have ADHD, ask yourself if you have any of the following symptoms:

• Impulsiveness
• Disorganization and problems prioritizing
• Poor time management skills
• Problems focusing on a task
• Trouble multitasking
• Excessive activity or restlessness
• Poor planning
• Low frustration tolerance
• Frequent mood swings
• Problems following through and completing tasks
• Hot temper
• Trouble coping with stress


Such symptoms can make daily life difficult. However, most people have had some symptoms of ADHD since childhood. These symptoms can cause havoc and interfere with school or job performance, maintaining healthy relationships, being accident-prone, etc.

If you are curious about which ADHD symptoms you might have, you can take many online tests. But remember that these tests are self-reported so take them with a grain of salt. They may be a good starting point; however, contacting a clinician will give you a better insight.

The standard test performed by clinicians utilizes the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition)

Here at the Hayakawa Mental Health Clinic Issha, we regularly assess patients for signs of ADHD and can recommend the best treatment for you. Whenever medications are considered, we ask to test your blood for such things as thyroid and liver function and ask about your medical history to rule out any medical issues you might have.

ADHD is not the end of the world, and many therapies exist to treat it. It is essential to do the things that will help alleviate any anxiety you may be experiencing and start doing positive things to help you get on with your life!