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Adult ADD is much more complex than ADD in children. Young children may not be expected to have a sense of time and organization, but adults need goal-directed behavior. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but most scientists agree that it is a biologically based disorder of the nervous system. Treatment for adult ADD often involves medications and therapy.

An Introduction to Adult ADD

ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD used to be known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD. In 1994, it was renamed. However, in today's society, ADD, ADHD, and AD/HD are all used interchangeably to mean the same condition. For this article, we will use the terms interchangeably.

What Is Adult ADD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a highly publicized childhood disorder that affects approximately 3 to 5 percent of all children.
The number of people with adult ADD is unknown, and medical experts continue to debate whether children can expect to outgrow the symptoms of ADD by the time they reach adulthood. Some studies have shown a significant decline in symptoms as a person ages. Others estimate that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADD will continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
Adult ADD is a much more elaborate disorder than in children. It's more than simply paying attention and controlling impulses; the problem is developing self-regulation. This self-control affects an adult's ability not just to do tasks, but also to determine when they need to be done. You don't expect four- or five-year-olds to have a sense of time and organization, but adults need goal-directed behavior; they need help in planning for the future and remembering things that have to get done.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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