Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a specific expression of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurological condition which, according to estimates by the National Institute of Mental Health, affects between three and five percent of all children. While ADD may be the most widely-known and common term for this type of ADHD, the official medical name is ADHD-Predominantly Inattentive. ADD causes a variety of problems, usually relating to the ability to concentrate.
Because it’s still not completely understood, ADD cannot be “cured” in the traditional sense. Treatments instead exist to help control the symptoms that interfere with a sufferer’s ability to function normally. The most popular pharmaceutical treatments are stimulants, with Ritalin being the best-known brand name.
Stimulants help with ADD symptoms by increasing the release of the defective neurotransmitters that are thought to be the condition’s root cause. This form of treatment has its critics, with many arguing that the potential risks to children using stimulants is greater than any benefit they can provide.
Opponents of pharmaceutical treatment instead advocate psychosocial or behavioral therapies. Children may receive assistance from a special needs aide or be enrolled in programs designed specifically around the child’s own particular needs. Adults can also benefit from this same type of treatment by joining a support group.
Having a place to discuss ADD’s difficulties can help older sufferers deal with the more severe symptoms like depression or relationship problems. Groups can also be a good arena for discussing and discovering new methods of treatment. As science works to discover alternative ADD treatments, the best method currently may be for those afflicted to have a caring, supportive environment.
ADD has many symptoms but no certain causes. A variety of pharmaceutical and psychological treatments currently exist.