Part I: The subtypes of Attention Deficit Disorders -

Part I: The subtypes of Attention Deficit Disorders

Maggie Reyes

There are some questions whether Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a separate disorder from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or the same disorder. According to the latest edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association DMS-5, ADD and ADHD are considered a single disorder divided into two subtypes. A third subtype has been added labelled Attention Deficit Disorder with impulsivity. What are the differences between the three subtypes?


 Part I: The subtypes of Attention Deficit Disorders -

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

This biopsychosocial mismatch usually manifests from early childhood but it’s often difficult to give an accurate diagnosis before age four with both boys and girls. Symptoms may include:

  • Lack of attention to their surrounding environment
  • Poor concentration
  • Easily distracted
  • Introverted behaviour
  • Trouble finishing assignments
  • Avoiding activities that require effort.
  • Poor memory retention
  • Poor performance at school even with superior intelligence
  • Disorganized.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is also a biopsychosocial mismatch occurring in early childhood but there is the added element to hyperactively. While many of the symptoms are similar to those of ADD, there are additional signs:


  • Unable to stand or sit still in one place
  • Considerable lack of concentration
  • Interrupting conversations
  • Extremely impatient
  • Fidgeting
  • Poor performance at school
  • Aggressiveness
  • High tolerance to pain
  • Excessive talking
  • Difficulty relaxing


Attention Deficit Disorder with Impulsivity

This subtype is not as common and is usually differentiated from ADHD and ADHD because of lack of control exhibited. Typical symptoms may include:

  • Repeating and reviewing
  • Extremely impatience
  • Domineering character
  • Extreme arrogance
  • Impulsive behavior and actions
  • Combative towards adults
  • Can’t wait for their turn

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