What Is ADD?

The word ADD is being used more and more often today – and not just in reference to children anymore. Doctors are seeing more and more cases of both adults and children being diagnosed with ADD. But not many people know exactly what ADD is.

ADD and ADHD – which are considered by many to be basically the same thing – are what are known as “neurobehavioral developmental diseases.” It affects a large portion of the world’s children – anywhere from 3 to 5 percent of them – but ADD is also diagnosed in adults as well. Some children who are diagnosed with ADD in early childhood carry the disorder into adulthood as well.

Nobody is quite sure exactly what causes ADD; while some likely causes that contribute to ADD have been identified there is no specific cause pinpointed. And while there are treatments for it, there are no cures for it either. People who have ADD simply have to cope with the disorder.

What Are The Symptoms Of ADD?

The symptoms of ADD are less concrete than the symptoms of other neurological disorders. In fact, some doctors even dispute that it is a real disorder at all. It’s even hard to diagnose in children because the symptoms can be characterized as normal childhood traits.

As the name implies, people with this have a problem with attentiveness. While some people have days they just can’t concentrate, people with it struggle with it every single day. They become very easily distracted all the time. They are often caught day-dreaming. They have a very hard time completing daily tasks like work or school assignments. And the worst part is, most of them don’t even realize that they’re doing it – they drift off, not paying attention, and jolt back realizing they’d let themselves get distracted again.

They are also usually very, very impulsive. They have a hard time thinking before they do something. They often jump from one task to another. This inattentiveness and impulsiveness even affects their daily relationships. They have a very hard time sitting still and listening attentively to others so they can’t really have good conversations with friends. They often blurt out what’s on their mind without thinking and end up either interrupting someone or accidentally offending them.

But what makes these things a disorder instead of things that happen to people in everyday life? Doctors determine that ADD is present when these symptoms persist for an extended period of time. Luckily there are behavioral treatments available to make it more manageable.