Types of ADHD

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 12 March 2021

Types of ADHD

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment or cure for ADHD. Each person is unique. Three distinct forms have been defined by the American Psychiatric Association. Each has its own collection of symptoms, which would then be treated accordingly.

Inattentive Type

At least six of these nine signs must be present, with just a handful of the hyperactive-impulsive type’s symptoms:

  • no attention to detail
  • careless mistakes
  • not on track with tasks
  • Not listening
  • unable to concentrate
  • unable to follow instructions
  • Avoiding tasks that involve effort
  • easily distracted
  • forgetful
  • frequently losing things
  • unable to keep time

Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

This form needs at least six of these nine symptoms, as well as just a handful of the inattentive type’s symptoms:

  • Fidgeting
  • Squirming
  • Getting up frequently after being seated
  • Unable to sit still
  • Very noisy and distracting to others
  • Talking too much
  • frequently interrupts others
  • Often interrupts
  • Often “on the go” as if “driven by a motor”


Combined Type

This is the most common form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Patients that are affected have overlapping symptoms from both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types of ADHD.


Referenced on 2.3.2021:

  1. National Institute of Mental Health: “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."
  2. CDC: “Symptoms of ADHD."
  3. WebMD Live Events Transcript: “ADHD: Diagnosing a Disorder," Dec. 17, 2003.
  4. The American Psychiatric Association. Council on Children, Adolescents and Their Families: “Brain Imaging and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with Special Emphasis on Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)."
  5. https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/types-of-adhd

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