Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a close relationship. Although they’ve traditionally described two conditions, ADD became outdated about a decade ago, as it falls under the ADHD banner as “predominantly inattentive,” those who have ADHD but who don’t display hyperactive characteristics.

It’s one of many misconceptions or outdated notions about ADHD that persists. The team at Wellness Road Psychology offers up the latest facts and general knowledge that most people don’t yet know, to improve understanding about a condition that’s often underdiagnosed.

When it’s time to seek help for you or your child, contact the closest office of Wellness Road to talk with one of our ADD and ADHD specialists. The answers you need are waiting.

What most people don’t know about ADD and ADHD

ADHD is the umbrella clinical term for a variety of related conditions. As with many illnesses, each patient displays a unique combination of symptoms, often called presentations, that group together similar patterns. These clinical definitions date back to 2013 and the release of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition. ADD remains in common usage since it’s more widely understood than “attentional deficit/hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive presentation.”

Some other aspects of ADHD that are little-known include the following.

The connection between smoking and ADHD

While it’s well known that smoking has a negative effect on many aspects of your health, some may not know that the rate of adult ADHD is twice as high for smokers than it is for non-smokers. It’s also harder for smokers with ADHD to quit. Women who smoke during pregnancy have a higher risk of having a child with ADHD.

Sugar and ADHD

There’s a common trope that giving kids sugar-loaded snacks creates a roomful of hyperactivity. While a review of studies from 2019 found a diet high in refined sugars and saturated fats could increase the risk of ADHD versus a healthy diet, the same study stated the results weren’t conclusive and that more research is needed.

Male bias

Studies suggest that men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than women, though the ratios change across the different ADHD presentations. Some data suggest, though, that women may be underdiagnosed.

Gender differences

ADHD presentations are different between girls and boys, which may be a reason behind the lower rates of diagnosis for girls. Girls tend to show less obvious symptoms like social withdrawal and daydreaming, while their aggressive behaviors tend to be more verbal. Boys instead display more physical aggression and hyperactive behavior.

Child diagnosis

The average age for ADHD diagnosis in children is seven, though symptoms may appear as early as the age of three. Not surprisingly, children with more severe ADHD tend to be diagnosed at a younger age. For those with mild ADHD, the average age for diagnosis is eight, dropping to five for those with severe symptoms.

Talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are two common approaches to help reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Book an appointment online or by phone to consult with one of the expert therapists at Wellness Road Psychology.

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Phil Glickman

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Wellness Road Psychology

A leading provider of mental health services, offering a range of evidence-based treatments to help our clients improve their mental wellbeing.

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