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What Are The 3 Types Of ADHD And What To Know About It?

Types Of ADHD

Types Of ADHD - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second-Summary
  • ADHD, which stands for 'attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a type of neurodevelopmental disorder that interferes with the ability to focus well and control impulses and attention.
  • ADHD generally begins in childhood but can continue into adulthood, with many differentiating ADHD treatment.
  • People with ADHD have a far harder time focusing on one thing than others. They also have a hard time slowing down and being peaceful.
  • ADHD generally begins in childhood, but it may continue into adulthood. The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but there are several theories about what might trigger the disorder.
  • ADHD is most common in children between the ages of four and nine, but it can also crop up in older children or adults.

What Is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is notably one of the most prevalent childhood disorders. It affects up to 7.6% of all children worldwide, although the condition varies in different regions. ADHD[1] is most common in children between the ages of four and nine, but it can also crop up in older children or adults.

ADHD, which stands for ‘attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a type of neurodevelopmental disorder that interferes with the ability to focus well and control impulses and attention, sometimes leading to impulsive behavior.

This usually manifests as excessive movement, inability to sit still, difficulty concentrating, and trouble completing tasks and finishing work or assignments on time. The term ‘hyperactivity’ relates to extended movements and fidgeting – someone with ADHD may be running about or fidgeting incessantly; a person may also seem active even when there isn’t much going on at that given moment. 

The term ‘inattentiveness’ refers to difficulty focusing on tasks and following through with them without making mistakes – someone may concentrate on one thing but then lose interest in whatever they were doing. They may also stop working as soon as something becomes difficult or tedious again instead of continuing until they finish what they started with in the first place.

ADHD Concept

What Causes ADHD?

There are multiple causes of ADHD, and it is crucial to understand the different types of ADHD to help a patient.

ADHD generally begins in childhood but can continue into adulthood. The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but there are several theories about what might trigger the disorder. Some possible reasons include:

  • Genetics – Research shows that a child with one parent with ADHD has a slightly higher chance of ADHD. Several genes and hormones may play a role in the development of ADHD.
  • Exposure To Chemicals And Toxins – Exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, tobacco smoke, and other chemicals may trigger symptoms of ADHD[2]. Some medications can also be associated with an increased risk of ADHD, including antidepressants and birth control pills.
  • Brain Changes During Puberty – Puberty is a time of rapid brain development that is believed to be involved in some individuals’ onset of ADHD symptoms. Brain changes during puberty often result in reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for working memory and impulse control.

Other brain changes during puberty are linked with increased activity in the amygdala area, which can contribute to hyperactive behavior and impulsiveness in some individuals with ADHD.

What Are The 3 Types Of ADHD?

The three types of ADHD are:

  • Predominantly inattentive
  • Combined ADHD
  • Hyperactive-impulsive.

People with ADHD have a harder time focusing on one thing than others. They also have a hard time slowing down and being peaceful. People with ADHD may appear unorganized and often have trouble following through on tasks.

They also easily get distracted by things that aren’t related to their work. People with ADHD may make careless mistakes that can result in problems for themselves or others. These mistakes can range from forgetting to flush the toilet to have a car accident because they were talking on the phone while driving.

People with ADHD often feel compelled to move around and act on every little thought or feeling that crosses their minds. They may also have an explosive temper that can result in them yelling or being physical when they feel like they are being provoked or taken advantage of.

The 3 Types Of ADHD Explained

The three types of ADHD are:

Predominantly Inattentive

1. Predominantly Inattentive

This type is characterized by poor attention to things beyond immediate surroundings (such as learning), weak emotional control, and frequent mistakes. It can be difficult to distinguish from ordinary forgetfulness or poor organizational skills. This type of ADHD affects a person’s ability to focus and pay attention. They may experience difficulty concentrating, maintaining their attention, and focusing on tasks. Individuals with predominantly inattentive ADHD may have trouble staying on task while completing chores or assignments and may frequently drift off-topic during a lecture or meeting.

This type of ADHD may also be accompanied by problems processing details, such as auditory or visual information, leading to slower learning speeds[3] and lower academic achievement.

An additional symptom often associated with this type of ADHD is a frequent distraction while doing schoolwork or other tasks. 

2. Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive

This type of ADHD affects a person’s ability to stay still and calm. They may have difficulty delaying gratification and engage in impulsive actions such as fidgeting, squirming, and tapping their fingers.

Predominantly Hyperactive ADHD is characterized by a short attention span, high levels of stimulation, and difficulty regulating one’s behavior. In this type of ADHD, the individual may be unable to complete tasks that require sustained focus, such as homework or a household chore list.

This type of ADHD is often accompanied by impulsiveness[4] and difficulties controlling behavior, especially in social situations. 

3. Combined Type

This type of ADHD affects a person’s ability to both pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. It’s often referred to as ‘bifunctor ADHD’ because these individuals have a personality that can be both hyperactive (impulsive) and inattentive (sluggish).

Combined Predominantly Inattentive and Hyperactive ADHD is characterized by a short attention span, high levels of stimulation, and difficulty regulating one’s behavior.  Individuals with this type of ADHD often have trouble transitioning from one activity to another or can’t stay focused on one particular task for an extended period. 

While predominantly inattentive types of ADHD may only feel distractible for brief periods, combined present for the duration of their day and night with these traits (e.g., not only during academic work but also when playing video games). 

Combined ADHD presents more severe behavioral issues than either alone as they tend to be much more disruptive at home or in class:

  • They may interrupt others’ conversations to talk about unrelated topics.
  • They may disregard instructions from their parents.
  • They may lose toys or belongings.
  • They might fight with siblings or friends.
  • They will run away from home without permission.

What Are The Symptoms Of Each Type Of ADHD?

1. Predominantly Hyperactive ADHD

The primary symptoms of predominantly hyperactive ADHD[5] are often apparent to others and may include:

  • impulsive behavior
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
  • Short attention span
  • Disregard for or defiance of authority
  • Poor self-regulation or judgment
  • A feeling of being “on” all the time
  • Unfairly negative view of self while at the same time having exaggerated self-importance
  • Frequent immature or inappropriate outbursts or threats
  • Lack of empathy and poor social skills
  • Exhibiting recklessness in play or other activities
  • Feeling restless and unable to stay still, or fidgety or clingy in relationships
  • Exhausted by even moderate activities like playing video games or watching TV, which must be done alone due to poor self-regulation and impulse control

Feeling restless

2. Predominantly Inattentive ADHD

Inattentive ADHD is characterized by a lack of sustained focus. This type of ADHD is often characterized by fidgetiness, squirming, and restlessness. Individuals with this disorder can have poor attention control, poor organization, and planning skills, constant distractions, and a tendency to ‘switch off’ without notice. 

Daydreaming and losing things are common traits of individuals with Inattentive types of ADHD. Many find it challenging to complete tasks or follow through on projects. They also may be careless with their time and finances.

Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD

  • Fidgety, restless behavior
  • Do not seem to listen when talked to
  • Develop an intense interest in something and then lose that interest
  • Have trouble maintaining focus on tasks or activities
  • Daydreaming frequently
  • They have trouble staying organized or finishing tasks on time
  • Have difficulty finishing tasks or activities that require sustained focus, such as schoolwork, chores, or homework
  • Have difficulty keeping up with schoolwork demands and pace in class, especially in social settings such as parties or clubs
  • Do not finish school chores/homework/projects in a timely fashion.
  • Generally poor time management skills – have difficulty planning events in advance, managing their time appropriately, etc.

Combined ADHD

The combined symptoms of ADHD are more intense, chronic, and pervasive than the ADHD symptoms alone. In this combined state, individuals with ADHD may focus more on inattention, distractibility, and impulsivity. 

These individuals also can focus on their tasks intensely. Still, their sustained attention may be so fragmented that they do not complete a task. It can result in chronic procrastination or constant interruptions in functions.

Individuals with combined types of ADHD may also have difficulty regulating their emotions and behavior. Individuals with this type of ADHD may experience intense mood swings and become easily frustrated or agitated. Additionally, these individuals may have problems completing tasks due to a lack of self-control.

How Are The Types Of ADHD Diagnosed?

ADHD is often diagnosed based on symptoms. Inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are all common signs of ADHD. However, a diagnosis can be made[6] based on more than just symptoms. Specific tests can also be performed to determine if someone has ADHD. These include testing for certain chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine (NE).

A baseline test can also be done to measure the levels of these chemicals at the beginning of the evaluation process. Some people may have an unusual reaction to these chemicals, which could indicate that they have ADHD.

A person with low levels of dopamine or NE may be a sign of ADHD. A diagnosis can also be made if there is an association between ADHD symptoms and other conditions, such as learning difficulties or depression.

Another way to determine if someone has ADHD is through a genetic test. This type of test examines how many copies of a particular gene someone has inherited from their parents. If someone has two copies of the gene, they are likely to have ADHD. If they only have one copy, they are not expected to have ADHD. However, because this type of test is not 100% accurate and many other conditions could cause similar symptoms, it should not be used as the sole means of diagnosing any type of ADHD.

What Is The Treatment For ADHD?

Treatment For ADHD
There is no cure for ADHD, and the best treatment option is to address the condition’s underlying causes. It may include behavioral therapy or medication. Medication may be the only best option for some children, while others may benefit from a combination of therapy and medication.

There are many treatment options for the different types of ADHD, including behavioral therapy, medications, and complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. Each treatment option has benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to find the one that works best.

Behavioral therapy can help improve ADHD symptoms by changing how you react to your child’s behavior. It can enhance your ability to monitor your child’s behavior, so they don’t continue to engage in disruptive actions. Behavioral therapy can also help improve your relationship with your child, which can contribute to improvements in their behavior and attention span.

Medications are another option for treating types of ADHD. Several different types of medications are available, including stimulant and non-stimulant medications. Stimulant medications increase the amount of dopamine in a person’s system, which helps them focus on tasks or tasks at hand.

Non-stimulant medications help people stay focused by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. While each type of medication works differently, all medications have side effects that need to be considered before taking them. Some side effects may be long.

Is ADHD A Mental Illness?

Yes, ADHD is a mental illness. While some people may be born with ADHD, for the most part, it is a condition that can be life-altering for those who have it. If you have ADHD, your life can also be full of frustrations and anger because of these difficulties. You may feel like no matter what you try, it never turns out right—or at least in the way you imagined it would.

Because of this, having ADHD symptoms can be complicated, and many people say that the condition is life-crippling. It can make everyday tasks like doing schoolwork or getting ready for work more complex than needed and even leave people feeling close to hopeless about ever turning things around.

Is ADHD A Disability?

Yes, ADHD is a disability. It affects a person’s ability to function effectively in life and work. It may disrupt their relationships and school or work performance. ADHD is a mental illness that causes a person to have difficulty controlling their behavior, attention, and emotions. It makes it difficult to do daily tasks such as completing assignments on time or staying in school.

With treatment, people with ADHD can improve their ability to focus, pay attention, and control their emotions. They can also find ways to better organize their lives and cope with stressful situations. ADHD is not a choice or a moral flaw. It is a condition that requires treatment. Treatment can help people with ADHD develop healthier relationships with themselves and others and more productive lives.

What Are The Main Differences Between ADD and ADHD?

ADD/ADHD are terms used to describe a group of disorders characterized by attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity difficulties. ADD refers to the inattentive type of ADD. At the same time, ADHD refers to the hyperactive or impulsive subtype of the disorder. Although there are similarities between ADD/ADHD and each other, they are not the same disorder. They are just two names for the same diagnosis.

While there may be some differences between the two types of ADHD and ADD, such as presentation (how it manifests itself), severity, and impact on functioning, they share a lot in common.

For example, most people diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have trouble focusing, paying attention, and organizing their thoughts. They also tend to engage in many behaviors (such as fidgeting or wandering off) that interfere with completing tasks and achieving goals.

Some people with these disorders may even experience significant academic struggles. In addition, both types of ADD/ADHD may cause problems with social skills and communication. People with ADD/ADHD symptoms often struggle.

Conclusion

ADHD is a neurological disorder that primarily affects children and adolescents. It is a common condition, and most kids will experience some symptoms as part of their growing up.

However, some people with ADHD may not be diagnosed for many years during that time, and the symptoms worsen. Many people with ADHD experience symptoms in other parts of their life, as well, for example, in relationships, at work, or in sports.

Unfortunately, ADHD symptoms are often misdiagnosed as laziness or poor performance, which might lead to stigma, bullying, and shame. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to school failure and higher levels of anxiety or depression when the person reaches adulthood.

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All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.