ADHD Types: Inattentive, Hyperactive, and Combination

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder that can interfere with normal daily activities. In 2016, an estimated 6.1 million (9.4%) of American children ages 2 to 17 received an ADHD diagnosis.

ADHD usually develops in childhood but can persist into adulthood. There are three main types of ADHD: inattentive, hyper-impulsive, or complex.

In this article, you’ll learn more about the types of ADHD, how the condition is diagnosed, and the treatment options available.

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What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects behavior. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood, but adults can also develop ADHD. People with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, and may be excessively restless.

ADHD is the most common mental disorder in children. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls, but this does not mean that girls are less likely to have ADHD. Symptoms in girls may be more subtle, which can lead to a loss of diagnosis.

Species

There are three main types of ADHD. Because the symptoms of ADHD are different in each individual, it is important to learn about each type so you can recognize the type that you or a loved one may be dealing with, including:

  • oblivious: The main symptoms of this type include lack of focus, repetitive inattention, and disorganization.
  • impulsive / hyperactive: People who deal with this type do not appear inattentive, but they are restless and restless. One often has trouble with impulsivity.
  • sumThis is the most common subtype of ADHD, with individuals showing symptoms of the other two types.

oblivious

People with ADHD tend to have difficulty maintaining focus and attention. It is often difficult for people with ADHD to pay attention and engage in structured activities for long periods of time.

Some behaviors and symptoms of people with this type of ADHD include:

  • Having a short attention span
  • Ease of distraction
  • Inability to pay close attention to detail
  • You have trouble listening when you talk to her
  • Forgetfulness when performing daily activities
  • Always check things like keys, books and phones
  • Struggling with engaging in organized tasks and activities
  • You find it difficult to follow the instructions

Girls are more likely to have ADHD, and sometimes the symptoms are less obvious so parents, doctors, and school staff may miss them.

impulsive / hyperactive

People with this type of ADHD will display hyperactive and impulsive behaviors but not have symptoms of inattention. People with this type of ADHD may constantly move and fidget excessively.

Symptoms of impulsivity include:

  • interrupt others
  • acting without thinking
  • Having a hard time waiting for their turn
  • Blur the answer to the question before it is completed

Symptoms of hyperactivity usually include the following behaviors:

  • Insomnia
  • talk excessively
  • Inability to focus on one task at a time
  • excessive fidgeting
  • Inability to engage in any activities quietly

Mix

This is the most common form of the condition. People with this type of ADHD experience a combination of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention.

A diagnosis of complex type of ADHD in a child requires the presence of six or more symptoms of inattention and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity for at least six months. Those 17 or older require five or more of each.

a summary

There are three types of ADHD, depending on the behaviors a person adopts. Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include lack of focus, repetitive inattention, and disorganization.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/impulsive hyperactivity disorder may present with restlessness and impulsivity problems. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a combination of symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention.

diagnose

There is no single medical, physical, or genetic test for ADHD, but a diagnosis can be made by a qualified mental health professional or physician who gathers information from multiple sources.

Health care providers use the guidelines found in the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), to help diagnose ADHD. The guide details nine behaviors and symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity and nine behaviors and symptoms of inattention.

A child is diagnosed with ADHD when they exhibit at least six of the listed behaviors and symptoms for either type. While an adult or adolescent is required to display at least five of these symptoms, the symptoms must also be so severe that they disrupt the person’s normal functioning.

a summary

Although there is no single test for ADHD, a diagnosis can be made by a qualified mental health professional or physician using the DSM-5 guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association.

When do you talk to your doctor

If you suspect your child has ADHD or if you think you may have the condition, you will need to make an appointment with a qualified doctor or mental health expert to obtain a diagnosis. They will usually ask for a detailed description of you or your child’s symptoms, temperament, and medical history.

Is ADHD a disability?

ADHD is a disability in the United States under certain conditions. ADHD is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if ADHD is severe and interferes with a person’s ability to work or engage in the public sector.

treatment or treatment

There is no cure for ADHD, but treatment can reduce symptoms and enable a person to improve their daily functioning.

ADHD is usually treated with a combination of medication and therapy. However, finding the perfect treatment for you or your child’s ADHD depends on many factors.

Your doctor will consider your age or age, and the severity of your symptoms before recommending a treatment plan. Treatment can include either one or a combination of the following options.

Medicine

Two commonly used ADHD medications are:

  • Steroids: These improve the ability to ignore distractions and focus thoughts. The most common stimulants are Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (dextroamphetamine). Studies show that stimulants improve ADHD symptoms in about 70% of adults and 70%-80% of children.
  • Non-stimulant drugs: Non-stimulants include Strattera (atomoxetine), Intoniv (guanfacine), and Kapvay (clonidine). A 2009 study found that guanfacine improves working memory, reduces distractibility, and improves delayed gratification as well as behavioral flexibility in people with ADHD.

Processing

Research indicates that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be an effective tool for adults managing ADHD. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you address negative thought patterns and behaviors in order to change your perspective, make more beneficial decisions over time, and improve your relationships.

Your child may be offered behavioral therapy. Educators and parents who are trained in behavioral therapy can help children replace disruptive behaviors with positive ones. Tools such as goal setting, reward systems, and organizational skills can help reinforce positive behaviors through regular feedback.

Abstract

There are three main types of ADHD: inattentive, hyper-impulsive, or complex.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by poor focus, repetitive inattention, and disorganization. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/impulsive hyperactivity disorder may present with restlessness and impulsivity problems. Combined, they are a combination of symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention.

Treatment for any type of ADHD may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both.

Word from Verywell

If you think you or your child has ADHD, your first step should be to speak with your health care provider. They can help you find an experienced practitioner who can help diagnose the condition. Once diagnosed, your healthcare provider can help you create a treatment plan to help you manage symptoms and live well with ADHD.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?

    “ADD” is an old term often used to describe inattentive-type ADHD, which has symptoms of disorganization, lack of focus, and forgetfulness. ADHD is the official medical term for the condition – regardless of whether the patient shows hyperactivity.

  • What type of ADHD do I have?

    People with ADHD have difficulty maintaining attention, following detailed instructions, and organizing tasks and activities. People with ADHD may talk nonstop, interrupt others, delight in answers, and struggle with self-control. People with ADHD of the combined type show symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

  • Is ADHD a mental illness?

    Although ADHD falls under the category of specific mental illness, it is often referred to as a disorder, even by the American Psychiatric Association. Because these terms are sometimes used interchangeably in clinical settings, ADHD can be described as a mental illness and disorder.

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