The 7 Types of ADHD

This week a client asked me to tell them about the different types of ADHD because she has 2 children with it, and they are so very different. I explained that the DSM-V indicates three types. The first is Inattentive ADHD which is the child that often gets overlooked because they are not disruptive, but they are not engaged, and often seem to be in their own little world. The second type is ADHD with hyperactivity which is the child that does not get overlooked because they are running in circles and touching everyone and everything. The third is the child that is running in circles but is also unable to sustain attention. That is by far a simplified version of the DSM V classifications but it’s the gist of it.

Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist, has identified several subtypes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) based on his research using brain SPECT imaging. These subtypes are not seen as evidence based by much of the psychiatric community, but in my opinion, it is a useful way to develop a treatment plan for children who have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Type 1: Classic ADHD- This is based on the DSM V classification that is accepted by clinicians and includes inattentive symptoms, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Type 2: Inattentive ADHD- This is also based on the DSM V Classification and includes predominantly inattentive symptoms without hyperactivity.

Type 3: Overfocused ADHD- This includes inattentive symptoms, the tendency to get stuck on negative thoughts or behaviors, and trouble shifting attention and is often misdiagnosed as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Type 4: Temporal Lobe ADHD- This includes inattentive symptoms, emotional instability, and mood swings and can often be misdiagnosed as a mood disorder.

Type 5: Limbic ADHD– This includes inattentive symptoms including chronic low-grade depression and feelings of hopelessness and is often misdiagnosed as depression.

Type 6: Ring of Fire ADHD– This includes inattentive symptoms, intense mood swings, and high levels of irritability and is often misdiagnosed as Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Type 7: Anxious ADHD– This includes inattentive symptoms, and high levels of anxiety and is often misdiagnosed as a Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

If you are interested in learning more about ADHD as well as other childhood disorders, feel free to browse our website at ashkincounseling.com.

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