Are you uncertain if you should call it ADD or ADHD? You’re not alone.
As though it’s not challenging enough to have a condition with such varied and unpredictable symptoms, now we can’t seem to agree on what to call the darn thing.
Actually the official, clinical name as of the latest diagnostic manual, the DSM-IV, is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – even in cases where the person isn’t hyperactive. (I think they included a ‘/’ in AD/HD but it’s rarely used anymore.)
Some ADHD professionals and publications now use ADHD and some have stuck with the old ADD. Some, like me, can’t make up our minds and use both.
While writing the ADD Success Blog I’ve started using ADHD because it’s the most common term. Deep down, however, I’m a tad offended that those of us without the H (Hyperactivity) are labeled with a broad brush.
And then there’s the whole Executive Functioning movement.
I’ve written about this before, but these days in ADD or ADHD circles, Executive Functioning is becoming the current buzz word. Will ADHD ever be renamed Executive Functioning Disorder? We’ll have to wait and see.
If you’re wondering what Executive Functioning is, it refers to the human thinking systems that control things like setting priorities, controlling impulses, organizing, following-through and focusing. All functions that are key to ADD or ADHD.
Think of Executive Functioning like the brain manager who coordinates the daily operations of your brain and how and when you do things. Challenges with Executive Functioning impact the symptoms of Adult ADHD.
More new ways to describe ADD or ADHD
To make life even more interesting, Dr. Charles Parker, in his insightful ebook ADHD Medication Rules offers up a totally different way of diagnosing Attention Deficit.
He feels the current diagnosis of hyperactive, inattentive and combined ADHD are simply too vague.
I’ll blog more about this in a future blog, but in his book, Doctor Parker suggests breaking ADHD down like this instead:
- Acting ADHD – meaning Acting Without Thinking – rather your traditional Hyperactive Attention Deficit
- Thinking ADHD – meaning Thinking Without Acting – the traditional Inattentive ADD
- Avoiding ADHD – Not Acting and Not Thinking – Dr. Parker calls this a frequently missed diagnosis where the person avoids all change.
After spending years in the Attention Deficit trenches with both my ADHD Coaching clients and my own brain, I happen to agree with him. He’s come up with much better descriptions than Hyperactive and Inattentive.
How will this all end up? Good question. We’ve got to stay open and flexible and see how things land. For now I’ll use ADD or ADHD.