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What are the different types of ADHD?

What are the different types of ADHD?

There are several types of ADHD, each associated with characteristics of inattention, hyperactivity, or a combination of both.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder typically characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, not all individuals with ADHD present with the same symptoms. ADHD is a heterogeneous disorder, meaning that there are different types of ADHD based on the predominant symptoms that an individual presents with. In this article, we will explore the different types of ADHD.


The Space Cadet Type – AKA Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD (ADHD-PI)

Individuals with ADHD-PI tend to struggle with inattention, such as difficulty focusing, organizing, and completing tasks. They may appear forgetful, distracted, and have trouble following through with instructions. They may also struggle with time management and frequently lose or misplace items. It’s like you’re living in your own little world, and it can be tough to get things done.


The Energizer Bunny Type – AKA Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD

ADHD-HI is characterized by symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, including fidgeting, restlessness, and an inability to sit still. Individuals with ADHD-HI may have difficulty waiting their turn, interrupting others, and may blurt out answers before a question has been completed. You may also act impulsively without thinking about the consequences. You can struggle with regulating your emotions and have a tendency to be easily frustrated.


The Combo Type – AKA Combined Type ADHD (ADHD-C)

ADHD-C is the most common type of ADHD, affecting both children and adults. Individuals with ADHD-C display symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. You may have difficulty paying attention, staying on task, and sitting still. You can struggle with impulsive behaviour, such as interrupting others or acting without thinking. In addition, you struggle with social interactions and have trouble making and maintaining friendships.


The Catch-All Type – AKA ADHD Not Otherwise Specified (ADHD-NOS)

ADHD-NOS is a category reserved for individuals who do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for any of the other types of ADHD. It may also be used for individuals who present with symptoms that do not fit into any specific subtype. It’s like a “miscellaneous” category for people with ADHD.


The Slowpoke Type – AKA Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

SCT is a subtype of ADHD that is currently being researched and debated by experts in the field. Individuals with SCT exhibit symptoms of inattention, but they differ from those with ADHD-PI in that they may also appear sluggish or lethargic. They may have difficulty initiating tasks, appear daydreamy or spacey, and have a slow processing speed. It’s like everything is in slow motion, and it’s hard to get going.


In conclusion, there are different types of ADHD, and it is essential to identify which subtype an individual has to then develop an effective treatment plan. It is also important to note that while these subtypes can be helpful in understanding the symptom presentation of ADHD, they are not mutually exclusive. An individual may present with symptoms that fall into multiple subtypes or may experience symptoms that do not fit into any specific subtype. A thorough evaluation by a mental health professional is necessary to diagnose and treat ADHD effectively. To learn more, have a look at our Online ADHD Awareness Course, If you wish for more in-depth training, then contact us to book a classroom-based or virtual training for ADHD Awareness.

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