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The Different Types, or Styles, of ADHD

Research literature, recent books, and common sense, all point to the fact that there are different types, or styles, of ADHD. In the past we referred to Attention Deficit Disorder: Inattentive Type, or Impulsive/Hyperactive Type, or a Combined Type. Today the diagnostic differences are a bit less clear, but the reality doesn't change.

Dr. Daniel Amen has written a great book on the subject, titled "Healing ADHD:The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD" where he uses his SPECT scans of patient's brain activity to help in making his six classifications. His classifications include these "Types" ...

  • Classic ADD - Inattentive, distractible, disorganized. Perhaps hyperactive, restless and impulsive. Inattentive ADD - Inattentive, and disorganized.
  • Over-focused ADD - Trouble shifting attention, frequently stuck in loops of negative thoughts, obsessive, excessive worry, inflexible, oppositional and argumentative.
  • Temporal Lobe ADD - Inattentive and irritable, aggressive, dark thoughts, mood instability, very impulsive. May break rules, fight, be defiant, and very disobedient. Poor handwriting and trouble learning are common.
  • Limbic System ADD - Inattentive, chronic low-grade depression, negative, low energy, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.
  • Ring of Fire ADD - Inattentive, extremely distractible, angry, irritable, overly sensitive to the environment, hyperverbal, extremely oppositional, possible cyclic moodiness.

Our classifications at the ADHD Information Library are a bit different, and are based on our clinical observation and experiences. They are based on the classic children's stories of Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood.

  • Winnie the Pooh Type ADD - Pooh Bear is inattentive, distractible, and disorganized. He is very nice, but lives in a cloud.
  • Tigger Type ADD - Tigger is inattentive to details, impulsive, hyperactive, restless, very bouncy. He is the classic hyperactive child.
  • Eeyore Type ADD - Eeyore is inattentive, but also lives with a chronic low-grade depression. Lots of people with ADHD do also. In fact some studies suggest that as many as 25% of people with ADHD also battle depression to some degree or another.
  • Piglet Type ADD - Piglet has trouble shifting attention from one activity to another, is excessively worried, and is easily startled.
  • Rabbit Type ADD - Rabbit has trouble shifting attention, he seems inflexible, he must have his own way, and he can be argumentative if he doesn't get his way.
  • Troubled Type ADD - Irritable, aggressive, impulsive, defiant, disobedient. Learning problems.

Each of these types of ADHD (using either Amen's system or ours) will have different treatment needs and approaches. You can learn more about each type of ADHD, and read our recommended treatment programs for each type.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

In The News:

2018 has been a busy year for space exploration. Here are some of the highlights.
A new kind of giant dinosaur has been described in Russia. Dubbed Volgatitan, the herbivore belonged to a family of long-necked dinosaurs called sauropods. It weighed 17 tons and walked the earth 200 million to 65 million years ago.
Just in time before you send your list to Santa, miners in the far reaches of Canada announced that they found a rough 552-carat yellow diamond, which is the largest diamond ever discovered in North America and the seventh-largest diamond ever found.
Images revealed during NASA's Juno mission have captivated the internet.
An extremely rare U.S. currency note from the late 19th century is expected to sell for up to $3 million when it is auctioned next year.
It's now beyond official: Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, pose a danger to public health and welfare, according to an exhaustive review that looked at 275 scientific studies published over the past nine years.
An Indiana officer got a stunning view of the Geminid meteor shower — known as one of the best meteor shows of the year — from his patrol car late Wednesday.
The shape of your brain may say a lot about the Neanderthal in you.
WASHINGTON — A historic Transylvanian castle that may have once imprisoned Vlad the Impaler — likely inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula — still stands today.
A polar bear cub no bigger than a guinea pig was caught on video at the Berlin Zoo snuggling with its mother.

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