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  • The Difference Between ADD & ADHD

    When searching for information on mental health issues, you’ll find attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) lumped together. In fact, you’ll often read about ADD or ADHD. so it’s understandable when people get confused.

    To get a sense of how the term came about, let’s take a quick look at the history of attention deficit disorder.

    In 1980, psychiatric disorders were diagnosed using a new diagnostic system. Before that, the term that doctors used to describe hyperactive and inattentive children was “Hyperkinetic Disorder of Childhood.”

    Then a new publication of the psychiatric diagnostic reference, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd Edition (DSM III), came out in 1980 and the terms “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD) and “attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity” (just plain ADD) were formalized.

    So What are the Differences Between ADHD and ADD?

    It comes down to who diagnoses the individual and how they use terminology (older versus newer). A short and easy name like “Attention Deficit Disorder” can be used instead. Medical professionals and people often use it to refer to full-blown Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    As a matter of fact, there is no longer an official diagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADD) instead, it is called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with different diagnoses depending on the type of ADHD the client has: hyperactivity-impulsive type, inattentive type, or a combination of both.

    Thus, the inattentive form of ADHD is often referred to as ADD.

    I know, it can definitely be confusing!


    It is common to combine therapy and/or medication to treat ADD and other types of ADHD (hyperactive-impulsive and combination).

    Common therapies include:

    Behavioral therapy: By using reward systems, behavioral therapy aims to change negative behaviors into positive ones. Combining this therapy with medication is common.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): The purpose of this type of talk therapy is to help individuals reflect on their feeling and behavior. With ADHD diagnoses, self-esteem often suffers, which can be helped through CBT.

    Social skills groups:  Individuals with ADHD are treated with this therapy. Socialization is often difficult for individuals with ADHD. Social skill groups can help learn and practice important communication skills.

    If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD and is interested in exploring treatment options, please get in touch. We would be happy to discuss how we may be able to help.

    Ready to Talk to an ADHD/ADD Therapist in Florida?

    Our Florida ADHD/ADD therapists are available to clarify any questions or concerns you may have. You don’t need to go through this alone. Follow these steps to get support now.

    1. Contact us for a free consultation with an ADHD/ADD therapist.
    2. Schedule your first appointment at our Winter Park, FL-based therapy practice or online throughout Florida.
    3. Gain an understanding and create a plan to break free from your concerns.

    Other Counseling Services Offered at The Mindful Practice in Florida

    Our therapists offer other services such as anxiety, depression, and trauma therapy to name a few at our practice in Winter Park, FL, we use techniques such as EMDR therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and more to help you heal! Get started with in-person or online therapy in Florida today. Reach out today to start your healing journey.