Do you find it difficult to concentrate in your online classes? Do you lose interest in conversations or forget things easily? Do you fiddle with your lips or your fingers unconsciously? In all probabilities, you have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD

The term ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder refers to the same disorder, excluding the hyperactivity that’s associated with ADHD. Earlier, both of these were referred to as separate ideas but now, ADD is considered to be the inattentive type of ADHD. ADHD is a broader concept and has three categories now. 

The difference between ADHD and ADD is going to be discussed in this article. Read along! 

Also, read: How Does Impulsive Behaviour Impact Your Mental Health

Difference between ADHD and ADD 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that involves issues relating to inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These three major factors have several specifications. 

  • Inattention

This refers to the problems of concentrating or focusing on something. People suffering from ADHD are not able to manage time and work under deadlines. They keep forgetting stuff and are extremely messy and disorganized. 

  • Hyperactivity

If you constantly fidget with different things, including your hands and legs, without even realizing that you’re doing so, you have hyperactivity symptoms. Such people face difficulty in keeping still. 

  • Impulsivity

This refers to impulsive actions and decisions that are not thought about before they’re acted upon. As a result of the suddenness, more than not, these decisions are not right. Thus, they have negative implications. 

ADHD can be broadly classified into the following three types. 

  1. ADHD Inattentive Type or ADD 
  2. ADHD Hyperactive-Impulsive Type 
  3. ADHD Combined Type 

ADD Vs ADHD: What is ADD? 

difference between adhd and add

People with ADHD Inattentive type or just Attention Deficit Disorder exhibit no symptoms of impulsivity or hyperactivity. They are mostly shy and introverted people who have severe issues paying attention and following regimes. 

The symptoms of ADD are: 

  • Forgetfulness in day-to-day tasks and functions. 
  • Lack of focus and attention to detail in regular jobs. Intense study and analysis are not carried out. 
  • Ignorance and inattentiveness in conversations. Showcase of disinterest to those who want to communicate. 
  • Irregularity and insincerity concerning being on time and meeting deadlines. 
  • The inability of sustaining attention for long periods and frequent zoning out. 
  • Incapability to own up to mistakes and losing belongings, frequently. 

Difference between ADHD and ADD: ADHD Hyperactive-Impulsive Type 

People with this type of ADHD have high energy levels but are unable to channelize it, effectively. They end up locomoting or moving around, constantly due to their attention deficit issues. 

People with this type of ADHD have the following signs. 

  • They have a habit of frequently interrupting people while they’re talking, or speaking out of turn, between conversations. 
  • Talking or rambling way too much is another trait. Such people aren’t able to wait for communication. 
  •  They run around or climb up and down in appropriate circumstances. 
  • They feel the constant need of fiddling or fidgeting with something, both voluntarily and involuntarily. 
  • They cannot stay calm and composed and do the most embarrassing and inappropriate things when they’re not supposed to. 

Difference between ADHD and ADD: The combined type 

This ADHD Type is a combination of ADHD and ADD, that is, ADHD Inattentive Type. The indications of this type are a blend of symptoms of both types of disorders. Individuals with the combined type of ADHD might often be confused with those with the hyperactive type. 

add vs adhd

This happens due to the difficulty of diagnosis of the inattentive traits. It appears that one has been suffering from the most stereotypic definition of ADHD if the signs of inattentiveness are not noticed. 

ADD Vs ADHD: Which is common?

Studies have shown that since women are mostly associated with a tender and calm nature, ADD or inattentiveness is mostly found in them. On the other hand, most men are known to have a hyperactive side to them and ADHD is predominant in them. 

There are exceptions to both of these facts. Since the rate of diagnosis of ADD is lesser than ADHD, it is given that ADHD or Hyperactive-Impulsive type is a more common phenomenon. 

ADD Vs ADHD: In children and adults

Both of these conditions can be found in both adults and children. Kids can have an extremely disorganized and unsettling childhood if they experience symptoms of ADHD or ADD. 

However, treatment should be started at an early age since if the problem persists till adulthood, it may result in more complications. The symptoms often diminish with age in certain people and vice versa. Consistent treatment is the best method of being stable. 

ADD vs ADHD: Diagnosis & Cure 

The difference between ADHD and ADD doesn’t concern their diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Since these are genetically inherited disorders, they have no specific method for diagnosis. 

Experts or doctors usually study the behavioral patterns of the patients, consult with their close ones and then come to a conclusion. 

The remedy to these mental ailments is regular psychotherapy. Therapy is the only way that can keep ADHD and ADD in check. The kinds of therapies might vary but the most common type of therapy that’s known to treat ADHD is behavioral therapy. 

add vs adhd

This includes the analysis of someone’s traits and habits to deduce ways of controlling their inattentiveness or hyperactivity. 

Related: Normalize Going to Therapy: 4 Types of Psychological Therapy

Difference between ADHD and ADD: Medication 

Both ADHD and ADD are cured by stimulant or non-stimulant medicines. These refer to Central Nervous System or CNS stimulants. These usually function by boosting up the norepinephrine and dopamine levels in our system. 

Methylphenidate or Ritalin and amphetamine-containing stimulants like Adderall are examples of CNS stimulants. On the other hand, antidepressants like bupropion or Wellbutrin and atomoxetine or Strattera are non-stimulants. 


The recovery process of ADHD or ADD can be catalyzed by certain steps taken by patients. These include adequate amounts of sleep, consumption of a proper, balanced diet, effective physical workout, and lessened usage of smartphones, laptops, computers, etc. Yoga and meditation are also proven methods of reducing the symptoms of ADHD. 

Now that we have given you a basic background and the difference between ADHD and ADD, it’s going to help you be aware of yourself and those around you who might be suffering from similar difficulties and seeking help and support.

Also, read: OCD: Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment