ADHD Types

How Many Types Of ADHD Exist? 

The different ADHD types are diagnostically classified according to the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (DSM).

There are 3 major types of ADHD. These include primarily inattentive type, primarily hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive type.

However, others such as renowned brain researcher Dr. Daniel Amen contend there may be as many as 6 different subsets of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

In his book Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You To See and Heal The 6 Types of ADD, he outlines what he believes are six different ADHD types.

It's all interesting and each day brings new research findings, so let's take a closer look…

What Is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterized by hyperactivity, the inability to focus attention, and lack of impulse control.

It affects millions of school-age children and can continue into adulthood. It may affect as many as 4-12% of children, and 4-5% of adults in the United States. Sufferers often experience poor school and work performance, hindered social relationships, and have a higher risk of developing mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

Inattention Symptoms

1) Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.

2) Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.

3) Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

4) Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).

5) Often has trouble organizing activities.

6) Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).

7) Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).

8) Is often easily distracted.

9) Is often forgetful in daily activities.

Hyperactivity Symptoms

1) Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat when sitting still is expected.

2) Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.

3) Often excessively runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).

4) Often has trouble playing or doing leisure activities quietly.

5) Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".

6) Often talks excessively.

7) Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.

8) Often has trouble waiting one's turn.

9) Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

Three Major Types Of ADHD

1. Primary Inattentive Type ADHD

adhd types

To be diagnosed with primary inattentive type, one must display 6 or more symptoms of inattention and fewer than 6 symptoms of hyperactivity. Children who suffer from inattention have challenges focusing, and may appear as "daydreamers."

Because they do not present as many behavioral challenges as hyperactive children, their behavior may go overlooked and undiagnosed.

2. Primary Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD

adhd types 2

To be diagnosed with hyperactive-impulsive type, one must display 6 or more of the hyperactive-impulsive symptoms, and fewer than 6 of the inattentive symptoms.

These individuals tend to garner the attention of parents and teachers more easily than children who suffer from primary inattentive type.

3. Combined Inattentive And Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

The ADHD type is self-explanatory. The diagnostic criteria for combined type is that the individual display 6 or more symptoms of both inattention and hyperactive-impulsive.

Dr. Amen's ADHD Types

While the three types of ADHD listed above are used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (DSM) to make clinical diagnoses of ADHD, Dr. Daniel Amen has outlined 6 types in his book Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You To See and Heal The 6 Types of ADD.

As a brain researcher, Dr. Amen used brain scans to study the brain activity of individuals with ADHD. As a result, he concluded that there are six different classifications of ADD/ADHD.

His classifications include...

1. Classic ADD

Classic ADD is characterized by inattention, distractibility, and disorganization. Sufferers are at times hyperactive and impulsive, but mostly display inattention.

2. Inattentive ADD

These individuals primarily display lack of focus, inattention, and are disorganized.

3. Over-focused ADD

Those who suffer from over-focus type have trouble shifting attention, are obsessive, tend to suffer from anxiety and worry, and can be oppositional.

4. Temporal Lobe ADD

Temporal lobe ADHD is highlighted by inattention, irritability, aggression, negative thoughts, mood swings, and impulsivity. In addition, these children can exhibit oppositional defiance. Learning challenges and poor handwriting are quite common.

5. Limbic System ADD

This ADHD type is noted for inattention, "daydreaming," negativity, low mood states, and depressive symptoms such as feelings of hopelessness and poor self-image.

6. Ring of Fire ADD

This ADHD type is often quite a challenge for parents, teachers, and other caregivers. It is characterized by inattention, profound lack of focus, anger outbursts, irritability, verbal and physical aggression, being overly sensitive, exhibiting hyper-verbal or pressured speech (excess talkativeness), and mood swings.

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