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  • Sydni Rubio-Weiss

"ADD" does not exist.

Back in the day, "ADD" used to define people with the disorder that struggle with inattentiveness, while "ADHD" defined those that were hyperactive. Recently, "ADD" has been removed from the DSM-IV and is not longer the correct term. Read on to find out why you have ADHD... not ADD.

"Well, I'm not hyperactive, so I don't have ADHD. I have ADD!"

We've all heard that. But what if I told you that this logic was flawed? What if I told you that you DO have hyperactivity? Yes, I'm serious.

Hyperactivity, for some reason, is usually used to describe someone that is physically hyperactive. When we hear the word "hyperactive", we tend to picture someone that can't sit still, talks a lot, and is really energetic. While this is an accurate interpretation, it is no the only interpretation of the word.

"You do not have to be physically hyperactive in order to have ADHD; key word being PHYSICAL."

Internal hyperactivity exists in people with Inattentive-Type ADHD, or ADHD-PI (primarily inattentive). What is internal hyperactivity?

This is when you can't control your thoughts: what you're thinking/obsessing about, how fast your thoughts are going, remembering what you just thought of - things like that. Whoa. Is your mind blown? Did I just describe you? You do not have to be physically hyperactive in order to have ADHD; key word being "physical".

People with ADHD-PI often report the issues about being unable to control their thoughts, having trouble remembering something important, being forgetful, being self-critical and anxious, etc. This is internal hyperactivity.

Internal hyperactivity - being unable to control your thoughts, memory, etc.

Another thing to add: physical hyperactivity isn't just being really hyper and fidgety all the time. Physical hyperactivity with regard to ADHD can also manifest as impatience, inappropriateness, outbursts, aggression and rage, or interrupting others. People with combined-type ADHD (ADHD-C) experience both physical and internal hyperactivity. It depends on the particular person which is more prevalent.

So, next time you hear someone say that they have "ADD", take a moment to explain to them that they are hyperactive, just in ways that they didn't realize.

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