Friday, October 4, 2013

ADHD vs. ADD: A Matter of Semantics?

For as long as I have been aware that the "situation" applied to me, I have been using the acronym "ADD" to describe myself, because the "hyperactivity" part of ADHD has never applied to me.

I never paid that much attention (no pun intended), figuring that the whole "ADD vs. ADHD" debate was mostly an issue of semantics. Which, as it turns out, is not really true... my using "ADD" is actually outdated.

My "condition" is correctly characterized as "ADHD-- Inattentive Type," so I suppose I should start to use that term, to avoid ambiguity. The term actually annoys me a little bit because I always feel compelled to add "but the 'H' part does not apply to me."

Which, in turn, makes me think about how we often end up with major differences between the "clinical definition" of something, and the "public interpretation" of the same thing. When you tell someone you're afflicted with ADHD, they've already jumped to the conclusion that you were "that unruly kid bouncing around the back of the classroom."

I already know about this situation because I am also an "HSP" or "Highly Sensitive Person" (Dr. Elaine N. Aron, 1996). Whereas this refers to sensory-processing sensitivity and a heightened awareness of sensory inputs, most people "assume" that sensitivity means you get your feelings hurt really easily... which is completely wrong. And so, telling anyone you're an HSP inevitably includes a long ramble to explain what the acronym really means.

Interestingly enough, there are a number of similarities between how being an HSP and an how ADHD-Inattentive manifest. I should probably write about that, some day.

Anyway... I guess I should start using the "correct" terminology, around here.

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