ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The two types of this disorder are so similar that for the sake of simplicity, this article will have ADHD as the subject. The differences between the two are explained near the end of this page.

ADHD is a mental disorder inwhich affected people show poor attention spans and can be easily distracted from duties and tasks. Hyperactivity and impulsive behavior may also accompany the disorder.

Symptoms of ADHD may begin as early as pre-school and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. In fact, ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders that develops in childhood. It's believe that 3-5% of school-aged children have this disorder - including teens.

Children and teens with ADHD may find school and homework difficult to focus on. Many school administrations realize this and can help by placing the student in a school program. However, it is usually required for a family to show proof of the diagnosis (rather than having a hunch about it).

Although people with ADHD usually have trouble focusing on mundane tasks, they have been known to be able to focus on interesting tasks for long periods of time without losing attention. This is known as "hyperfocus," and it is a great advantage to those who enjoy the tasks that they need to do (such as programming for a computer).

Causes

ADHD has an origin that isn't quite understood yet, but many scientists theorize that it is genetically inherited, as some families have retained the disorder throughout generations.

Although it might sound odd, scientists are more sure about what does not cause ADHD than what actually causes it. Laziness, procrastination, poor raising, and poor teaching are not to blame for this disorder.

Treatment

ADHD can be treated in several different ways, but there is not a treatment that works the best - different people will have different results from the same kind of treatment. Behavioral interventions, medication, and therapy are among the common treatments. A combination of treatments seems to have a better effect than using only one.

Differences Between ADD and ADHD

There are so few differences between ADD and ADHD that the two terms are commonly used interchangeably. The main difference in the two classifications is the "hyperactivity" part.

All in all, ADD and ADHD are relatively the same thing - ADHD is just characterized by more impulsive or spontaneous behavior.