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What does ADHD stand for?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is a clinical disorder that can cause major problems for people in their personal and public lives. There are three types of ADHD: combined type, predominantly inattentive type, and predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type.

You may have heard people refer to ADD. The term ADD is often used instead of ADHD because attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was once known as attention deficit disorder. In 1994 the American Psychiatric Association changed the name to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but many people, including health professionals, still use the term ADD instead of ADHD. However, the correct term is ADHD, and the term ADD may start becoming less popular as more people become aware of the new terminology and guidelines on ADHD.

Each letter in ADHD stands for a word.

  • A = Attention
  • D = Deficit
  • H = Hyperactivity
  • D = Disorder

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.