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The Three Different Types of ADHD

three types of adhd

Did you know the term “ADD” is no longer used in the fields of medicine and psychology?

It’s true. ADHD is now the only term used, but it’s broken up into three different classifications. A person can have “Inattentive ADHD,” “Hyperactive ADHD,” or “Combined ADHD.”

I want to explain the differences of these to you because it’s important for people to be properly informed. The general public is still using the term “ADD,” which is no longer accurate and can cause miscommunication errors when used inappropriately. For us to fully understand the people in our lives who have ADHD, and for us to be able to help them in the way they need, we have to know what’s going on with them ,specifically.

Just because Billy has ADHD, and Susie has ADHD, and Jimmy has ADHD, that does not mean that Billy and Susie and Jimmy will all show the same symptoms of the disorder. We need to be able to distinguish between the three different types, and we have to learn not to stereotype anyone!

Each person/kid/teen with ADHD is so different.

Here are the three different types of ADHD…

According to WebMD, “Inattentive ADHD” manifests in the following ways:

— Daydreaming
— Shifting from task to task without finishing anything
— Becoming easily distracted
— Missing important details (habitually)
— Making careless mistakes in homework and tests
— Getting bored quickly
— Having trouble getting organized (for example, losing homework assignments or keeping the bedroom messy and cluttered)
— Seemingly not listening when spoken to
— Slowness to understand information
— Having trouble following instructions

* * * * * *

Contrastingly, WebMD explains that “Hyperactive ADHD” (or “Impulsive ADHD”) manifests in the following ways:

— Fidgeting (not being able to sit still)
— Seemingly not listening when spoken to
— Talking incessantly
— Trouble doing quiet tasks, such as reading
— Touching and getting into everything
— Running from place to place
— Banging into people or objects
— Acting like he or she is “driven by a motor”
— Constantly jumping or climbing (on furniture or other inappropriate places)
— Not having patience
— Blurting out comments at inappropriate times
— Interrupting conversations or speaking out of turn
— Trouble waiting for a turn or standing in line

* * * * * *

There’s also a third type of ADHD, though, which encompasses both of the previously stated branches of ADHD. It’s called “Combined ADHD,” and it manifests with the symptoms of both Inattentive ADHD and Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD.

People who have Combined ADHD have a hard time paying attention and listening to what’s being said, but they also can’t sit still or stay quiet. Whereas Inattentive ADHD kids are kind of known as the “daydreamers,” and Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD kids are known as the “goers,” Combined ADHD kids are known as the “daydreaming goers.”

They have double the symptoms, and, therefore, double the obstacles when it comes to learning and functioning within society’s walls.

If someone you love has been diagnosed with Combined ADHD, and you’d like to help them live more easily, you can find helpful advice here through “Right Diagnosis.”

* * * * * *

Please keep in mind that all diagnoses come with varying levels of intensity/severity. Two children can be diagnosed with the same type of ADHD (Hyperactive ADHD, for example), and one child will only show hyper-activeness sometimes, while the other will show it twenty-four hours a day. Every person is different, especially if other diagnoses are added in, too, like Autism or OCD.

No two cases are ever identical so try to remember that we can’t put people in boxes. We can only spend time with them, learn who they are on a deeper level, and offer them help in the specific way they require.

* * * * * *

Do you have any questions about the three different types of ADHD? If so, feel free to comment below. We’d love to help!

Do you know someone who’s been diagnosed with one of these three branches of ADHD? Let us know about that, too! Matching up parents/families of children with ADHD is kind of our specialty.

Do you have any advice to give for any of these three types of ADHD? Throw it all our way. We love to hear practical, life-changing advice that people are actually implementing into their daily lives.

Happy helping, friends! We hope this was beneficial.

The Three Different Types of ADHD


W. R. Cummings


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APA Reference
Cummings, W. (2016). The Three Different Types of ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 27, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/loving-adhd/2016/02/the-three-different-types-of-adhd/

 

Last updated: 5 Feb 2016
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.