ADHD Examples:? Spotting The 7 Types Of ADHD In Loved Ones

Understand the ADHD 7 types with these ADHD examples. ?Learn symptoms to look for and how to manage them. Get helpful advice and resources, to understand ADHD.

Why is understanding ADHD important?

It is important to be able to spot the signs and distinguish the 7 types of ADHD symptoms in loved ones for multiple reasons.  We will provide some behavioral ADHD examples of each, but first, we should discuss why it’s so important.

First and foremost, it’s a condition that should be identified so that they can receive help and a proper treatment plan if it’s called for. 

In many cases ( including from personal experience ), people with ADHD don’t realize or don’t believe that is their issue. 

Instead, they will frequently blame themselves for making careless mistakes or not being able to do tasks that are easy for others.

They might consider themselves lazy, guilty, or stupid for not being able to stick with certain tasks, or types of jobs, or never finishing things they are not interested in.  

They also cannot see the conceivable advantages that so many people with ADHD have experienced. 

With the personal realization and understanding of their issue, they will be able and hopefully willing to access resources and communities where countless others have gone through the same things, developed coping strategies, and learned tricks to make their lives easier.

You can also see what types of jobs and projects you may never be good for, no matter how determined you are to make it work “this time”,  but more on that later.

Last but not least, living with someone with ADHD can be challenging. However, having a common understanding of the condition can help both people in the relationship and daily life. It allows both parties to work on ways to make your quality of life and the relationship better for everyone.

Girl with ADHD Frustrated boyfriend

ADHD Examples: What are the 7 types of ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

While ADHD has been officially diagnosed for decades, the seven types of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are not officially diagnosed. 

The seven subtypes are commonly referenced, and as they each often have distinct symptoms and are common markers in brain scans, it’s valuable to provide the different symptoms to watch out for with each. 

When evaluating ADHD symptoms, it helps to separate out the severity of symptoms that are exposed, as in many cases, people will display ADHD very differently.

On a personal note, and from personal experience, it’s not uncommon to see bits of every symptom on this list to varying degrees. A professional evaluation is the only way to find a true diagnosis. However, we’re providing this list as a starting point to help familiarize you with the potential conditions and the differences between them.

According to the Drake Institute of Neurophysical medicine, these are the seven types of ADHD they see.

1. Classic ADD

Three core characteristics of “Classic ADD” include inattentiveness, hyperactive behavior, and impulsive behavior.

As described by the American Psychiatric Association, classic ADD is similar to what they call ADHD-Combined Presentation.

This would be the typical ADHD kid who most people think of when they think of ADHD.  The student or adult who has trouble focusing, lacks organizational skills, and has trouble staying on task. They are likely, frequently in trouble in school ( I don’t miss those days.)

When using fMRI, researchers often see excessively slow waves in the frontal regions of people’s brains and frequently abnormal connections within and/or between their prefrontal cortex and parietal lobe.

2. Over Focused ADD

People suffering from Over Focused ADD often display the traditional “Classic ADD” symptoms, as well as an incapacity to switch between activities.

In these cases, electroencephalogram (EEG) scans frequently reveal excessively high levels of activity, a fast pattern of electrical activity in excess of normal levels indicating overstimulation. These indicate a more rigid and inflexible cerebral functioning.

3. Limbic ADD

People who suffer from Limbic ADD will usually exhibit classic ADD symptoms but will also likely be over-sensitive to situations,  exhibit moody behaviors, low self-esteem, and intense feelings of guilt. 

Limbic ADD causes an individual to feel overly stressed or threatened by everyday life events. This type of ADD affects the amygdala, unnecessarily activating “fight or flight” reactions in many cases where it’s not appropriate. 

This is the perfect example of an instance where having an over-active brain via ADHD and the knowledge that you have it, typically allows people to question things from many sides and take in a lot of data to try and understand things. 

For someone with Limbic ADD, in some cases, understanding that there is a physical cause for them to feel a certain way also gives them the ability to question it, and develop patterns of overriding these fears, when they have been educated to see them for what they are. 

7 types of adhd infographic

4. Anxious ADD

People who suffer from anxious ADD often experience additional symptoms of stress including migraines, stomachaches, trouble sleeping, and low confidence. Brain imaging shows dysregulation in brain networks involved in attention, emotion regulation, and interoception (the ability to sense internal bodily sensations).

5. Inattentive ADD

As you might expect, people who live with Innatentive ADD have trouble with focus, planning, managing their time, and prioritizing personal and work projects, often fixating on what is the most appealing due to a lack of executive function regulation.

These individuals will usually avoid complicated tasks they are not interested in. And, if they must complete a task they are not interested in, it’s likely they will be easily distracted and generally do a poor job when completing that task. 

This group usually doesn’t fall into the ADHD category though as they are usually not hyperactive. They are usually polite without a lot of behavior problems.  Efficiency and focus are their primary issues. 

6. Temporal Lobe ADD

People who suffer from temporal lobe ADD may be severely affected by their condition because the temporal lobes are responsible for interpreting sounds and images.

Individuals can be overly reactive or moody, and often prone to temper tantrums or meltdowns in their youth. As a result, TLADD can significantly hamper someone’s ability to succeed at both academic and professional tasks throughout life.

7. Ring of Fire ADD

Frequently referred to as the most severe type of ADD, Ring of Fire ADD impacts multiple parts of the brain at the same time, and at sporadic intervals. 

Brain scan images of individuals with Ring of fire ADD display overactivity and overstimulation as a signature bright red ring in the images,  a telltale indication of this type of ADD.

Sufferers of Ring of Fire ADD typically experience intense feelings of anxiety, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and hypersensitivity at various unpredictable times, all of which can lead to serious social and professional problems. 

 Symptoms of the 7 types of ADHD and how to spot them. 

The best way to determine if someone has ADHD is to consult with a mental health professional. However, some general signs and symptoms in adults and children can provide some valuable clues.

To summarize, some of the general signs and symptoms include problems staying focused on tasks or activities for an extended period of time; having trouble controlling impulses; being easily distracted; experiencing high levels of energy and activity; acting impulsively; feeling restless or scattered, having poor time management, and having difficulties regulating moods or emotions.

There are many subtle differences. For example, an Inattentive person may struggle with organization and focus on tasks; a Predominantly Inattentive person may have trouble paying attention but excel in other areas; a Hyperactive-Impulsive inattentive person may be constantly active and unable to sit still; etc.

Knowing these details can help you create a plan that is customized specifically for you or your loved one.

If you think that you,  a loved one, or your child might have ADHD, it is important to speak with their healthcare provider so that they can rule out other potential causes like defiant disorder, or even bipolar disorder. A trained professional will be able to provide an appropriate evaluation and recommend effective treatments.

Type & Symptoms classic adhd
overfocus adhd
Over Focused
Limbic adhd
anxious adhd
inattentive adhd
temporal lobe adhd
Temporal Lobe
ring of fire adhd
Ring of Fire
Anxiety green check green check green check green check
Argumentative green check green check
Lack of Attention – Distracted Easily green check green check green check green check green check green check green check
Change Resistant green check
Depression / Low Self Esteem green check green check
Difficulty Focusing green check green check green check green check
Forgetful – Loses Things green check green check green check green check green check green check green check
Frustrated Easily green check green check green check green check green check
Excessive Guilt green check green check green check
Head Injury green check
Hyper Focused green check
Hyperactivity green check
Hypersensative green check green check green check
Implusive green check
Trouble With Instructions green check green check green check green check green check
Chronically Late green check green check green check green check green check
Lethargic green check green check
Moody green check green check
Obsessive Compulsive green check
Temper Issues green check green check green check
Pessimistic – Excessive Worries green check green check
Sleeping Problems green check green check
Difficult in Social Settings green check green check green check
Visual & Audible Difficulty green check
Physical Issues From Stress green check
Difficulty Completing Tasks green check

Specifically for those with a love/hate relationship with your ADHD.

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