February 28, 2005 3:49 AM   Subscribe

What is the difference between "attention deficiency disorder" and "attention deficiency syndrome" and how are they related? It seems as if they are interchangeable, but I don't want to make the mistake of referring to either one if they are not. Please help.
posted by timyang to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
Well both of them are useless as tagging terms due to their acronyms being the same as actual words....

Otherwise they're not interchangable but they often appear together. ADD is something that, while not a disease, has an understood set of symptoms, is fairly well researched, responds to specific treatments [Rx and non-Rx] and stays with you throughout your life. Most people with ADD have evidence of it as children and young adults. ADS is more commonly known as ODD or "oppositional defiant disorder" and is present in a large subset [people say 60% or so] of kids with ADD and is marked by hostility and aggressiveness which isn't always present in ADD kids. While ADD kids can be distracted, hyper, or spacey, aggression and hostility don't necessarily come with it, though can be a side effect based on frustration. In ODD kids the aggression/anger/annoyingness IS the symptom and is what is dealt with, treated, etc. ODD can sometimes be "outgrown" and in young children it can change into something like ADD or AD/HD. ODD is much less studied and researched than ADD. I live with a guy with ADD but ODD is pretty new to me.
posted by jessamyn at 5:26 AM on February 28, 2005

"Attention deficiency syndrome" seems to just be the umbrella term in order to include both ADD and ADHD.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire at 9:05 AM on February 28, 2005

According to the APA, anyway, ADD is not a diagnosis. ADHD Inattentive Type is the same as what ADD used to be.

And my understanding of the acronyms were attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and attention deficit disorder.

Are these Britianizations?
posted by ajpresto at 10:05 AM on February 28, 2005

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