What Are The 7 Types Of ADHD?

By: Samantha Dewitt

Updated January 30, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault

Does your child have ADHD? Do you have ADHD? Maybe you're not quite sure what it even is or how it could affect someone. If you've been told about the seven types of ADHD you've been slightly misinformed. There are only three different types of ADHD and seven different types of ADD. We'll talk slightly about the difference between ADD and ADHD, and then we'll talk about the seven different types and just how they could affect your child or you throughout your life.

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What Is ADHD?

ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It's a mental disorder that encompasses symptoms associated with hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention. Generally, an individual will be diagnosed during childhood, and they may have trouble with sitting still, self-control and other areas associated with their attention span. These behaviors are more extreme than what you would see in an average child and they last longer as well. But this type of behavior is different from what you would see in a child that is suffering from ADD.

What Is ADD?

ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder, and it's a subclassification of ADHD. In general, children who are suffering from ADD will not be disruptive and wild in the same ways that a child with ADHD will. They likely won't have trouble with hyperactivity, and they generally will seem like they're doing just fine from the outside. Rather, this disorder manifests in an inability to focus. The child may daydream, or they may get bored easily. They may not finish their assignments, and they may lose things or get confused. They do not have the hyperactivity or the impulsiveness that you see in ADHD, but they do have the attention problems and struggles.

The 7 Types Of ADD

When it comes to the different types of ADD, they are each slightly different, and they do encompass ADHD as well. These different types are important to recognize, and it's even more important to understand the nuances between them. A psychiatrist could help you to understand the specific sub-type better that your child has what you should be doing to help them to live their best possible life. By classifying their type as specifically as possible, they can get even better care.

Classic ADD - The first type is classic, which is also what is referred to as ADHD. For this type, disorganization, hyperactivity, distractibility, and restlessness are common. The child with ADHD will generally have difficulty concentrating, and they may tend to procrastinate on things they need to get done. They are hyper and overly active even when they shouldn't be, and they may get into things they're not supposed to, speak when they're supposed to be quiet, blurt out anything that comes to their mind and otherwise cause distractions for the people around them. These are the children that are most commonly recognized as having ADD.

Inattentive ADD - With this form of ADD children will struggle with attention, and they may have trouble focusing on the things around them. They're not hyperactive, which means that many people may not even realize that they have ADD. Rather, they seem like dreamers, or they may seem lazy. They tend to have very little motivation, and they may not move quickly like other children their age. Even still, because they are not disruptive and they tend to sit still more easily, these children may not be diagnosed until much later in their lives.

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Overfocused ADD - These children have a lot of the symptoms of ADHD, but on the opposite side of the coin they may also exhibit symptoms of getting stuck on a single thing for too long. They may not be able to shift from one thing to another, or they may be argumentative. They may get stuck in thought loops, especially negative ones, and they could be extremely inflexible. Because they tend to get overly caught up in a single thing at a time, they can become obsessive and may also be oppositional or worry frequently.

Temporal Lobe ADD - Here there are symptoms of ADHD but also symptoms that include irritability, aggression, paranoia and even instability to their mood. These children may experience symptoms of memory problems, or they may see and hear things that don't exist. They may be unstable in their thoughts or have dark thoughts. Also, you may notice that they are quick to anger and could have extreme anger. This type of ADD is part of a problem in the temporal lobe that affects the way that the child develops and the way they understand how to act.

Limbic ADD - Here you have ADHD with a form of low-grade depression, though it's generally not referred to in that way. These children will experience negativity, low levels of energy and low self-esteem. They may feel hopeless or worthless, and they may be more prone to viewing things in a less ideal light. While they're generally not considered to have depression, they may show symptoms of extreme sadness and low mood. These symptoms are caused by too much activity in what's called the limbic area of the brain. By reducing the activity in this area, it can be possible to lessen some of these thoughts.

Ring of Fire ADD - With this type the child is not only exhibiting symptoms of ADHD but also exhibits extreme emotions in other regards as well. They may be highly distractible, or they may get angry or irritable easily. They may be extremely inflexible or verbal. They may have extreme moods that seem to come and go frequently or be oppositional. They may also be extremely sensitive, reacting to lights, noises, touch, and clothes. In general, this type of ADD seems to occur because there's too much activity going on in the brain and it's becoming overly stimulated.

Anxious ADD - Finally, we have a form of ADD which encompasses ADHD as well as anxiety. The child may experience not just mental symptoms of stress but also the physical symptoms of stress, which can include headaches and stomachache. They may have trouble reacting to different situations that cause them anxiety and they may constantly expect that the worst is going to happen. They may be overly concerned about different things happening in their lives and may struggle to push themselves into different situations. These children may freeze when they're pushed to do something that may cause them anxiety.

An ADD Diagnosis

If your child is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD or any of these types, it's important that you get professional help for them as quickly as possible. Getting professional help is going to allow your child to start feeling better and experiencing the life that they deserve. They should be able to live a happy and healthy childhood and ADD going to interfere with their enjoyment of life. A combination of medications to help with different brain chemicals and activity as well as therapy can do wonders for your child and may be able to help them move on with their life without having to be concerned with the ADD.

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Getting Professional Help

If you're looking at where to get the professional help that your child needs you may have been discouraged by what's available in your area. The great thing is that you don't have to be limited by only what's available in your area. Rather, you can look for professional help that's available anywhere in the country. After all, going to a physical location for mental health treatment can be difficult for your child, especially when they're at an impressionable age and so young. Seeking out online therapy can help in several different ways.

Online therapy gives your child a whole lot more to be comfortable about. They can stay in their own home and still talk to someone that knows how to get them to open up. This means they're going to be in a space that feels normal to them, making the process of getting them to open up faster. They also don't have to worry about anyone else seeing them going to therapy and you don't need to worry about scheduling taking them to therapy in the middle of what's likely already very busy life. You can just set them up with a session when you get home.

BetterHelp is one place that you can get the mental health assistance that you're looking for for your child, and you can do it entirely online. This service connects you with different therapists and professionals that are located all around the country, and it makes sure that you're going to have the best possible help for your child. The therapists through BetterHelp are as varied as what you would find anywhere else, which means you can find someone that your child is comfortable with and who has the skills to help them achieve the best for their lives.


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