Identifying the 7 Types of ADD—Could You Have One of Them?

I hear a lot of people talking about how they struggle with being able to stay on task; that they’ll begin working on a project but get easily sidetracked by even minor distractions. Consequently, it’s difficult for them to finish what they start, and they have far more uncompleted projects stashed away than ones that actually are done.

And of course this drives everyone around them crazy!

But what does it really mean for an adult (or child) whose attention gets hijacked so easily? While many might say, “Oh, I’m just a little ADD,” what most people don’t know is that ADD—attention deficit disorder—isn’t just a single and simple disorder. There are actually 7 different types of ADD, and although they share some common core symptoms, each type has additional ones that stem from the area(s) of the brain involved with the specific type.

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Overview of Symptoms in the 7 Different Types of ADD

To help demystify all of this, I thought it would be helpful to give you a brief overview of the 7 different types of ADD, so here goes:

Core Symptoms of ADD

The following core symptoms are the ones that all 7 types of ADD tend to have in common:

  • A short attention span for regular, routine, everyday tasks
  • Organization problems
  • Distractibility
  • Procrastination
  • Problems with follow-through
  • Poor impulse control

To get a better picture of what differentiates one type of ADD from another, take a look at the symptoms for the 7 different types below and see if any of them ring a bell for you or a loved one you might be concerned about.

Type 1: Classic ADD

  • Core ADD symptoms listed above
  • Difficulty listening when others are speaking and frequently interrupts
  • Makes careless mistakes and has poor attention to detail
  • Hyperactivity and restlessness
  • Has difficulty waiting their turn
  • Acts as though they’re driven by a motor
  • Talks excessively

Type 2: Inattentive ADD

  • Core ADD symptoms
  • Difficulty maintaining focus
  • Tendency to lose things
  • Making careless mistakes and having poor attention to detail
  • Appearing unmotivated or apathetic and complains of being bored
  • Being tired, sluggish, or slow moving
  • Appearing “spacey” or preoccupied

Type 3: Overfocused ADD

  • Core ADD symptoms
  • Excessive worrying
  • Struggle to see options
  • Tendency to hold grudges
  • Obsessive and inflexible
  • Hold onto their own opinion without listening to others
  • May or may not be hyperactive

Type 4: Temporal Lobe ADD

  • Irritability
  • Periods of spaciness or confusion
  • Auditory processing issues
  • Periods of panic and/or fear for no reason
  • Headaches or abdominal pain of uncertain origin
  • Dark thoughts which may involve suicidal or homicidal thinking
  • Possible learning disabilities
  • May or may not be hyperactive

Type 5: Limbic ADD

  • Core ADD symptoms
  • Moodiness and frequent irritability
  • Chronic low-grade sadness or negativity and tendency for social isolation
  • Frequent feelings of helplessness and worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in things
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • May or may not be hyperactive

Type 6: Ring of Fire ADD

  • Core symptoms of ADD
  • Sensitivity to noise, light, clothes, or touch
  • Cyclic mood changes (highs and lows)
  • Irritability and periods of mean, nasty, or insensitive behavior
  • Grandiose or inflexible thinking
  • Talking fast and having racing thoughts
  • Impulsivity
  • Appearing anxious or fearful
  • May or may not be hyperactive

* Interestingly, Ring of Fire ADD can be related to some form of allergy, infection, or inflammation in the brain, or it can be related to bipolar disorder.

Type 7: Anxious ADD

  • Core symptoms of ADD
  • Frequently anxious or nervous
  • Tense and stressed out
  • Predicts the worst
  • Avoids conflict
  • Fear of being judged
  • Tendency to clam up in social situations
  • Physical stress symptoms, such as headaches
  • Dislikes or gets excessively nervous speaking in public

As you can see, ADD isn’t just a simple condition. While I know this is a lot of information to take in at once, I think it’s helpful to understand the differences between the 7 types, especially if you’ve been dealing with any of the symptoms. I also find the information to be hopeful because a correct diagnosis is the first step to getting your brain balanced!

I’m so proud of the doctors and researchers at Amen Clinics, who, through their work with brain SPECT imaging, discovered the complexity of this condition which allows them to dial in treatment plans specific to the type of ADD a person has been struggling with.

So, if you’re concerned that you or a loved might have ADD, you can get more detailed information in this free eBook  that describes each of the 7 types, along with some helpful strategies for managing symptoms.

Your brain really can get better!

To help improve your focus naturally, try BrainMD’s Focus & Energy or Attention Support. Want 21% off? Enter TANA21 at checkout. It’s that easy!

 If you’re struggling and need professional help, Amen Clinics is here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.

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