Types of ADHD

The DSM-V classifies three different types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and mixed subtypes. A fourth subtype (Sluggish Cognitive Tempo) is beginning to surface in the literature, but it is not officially recognized.

1) Predominantly inattentive ADHD (ADD) is recognized in people who exhibit the following behaviors (six criteria for children, five for adults):

  • pay little attention to details and make careless mistakes
  • have difficulty sustaining their attention
  • don’t seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • have difficulty planning or organizing their work
  • avoid tasks or complete them reluctantly, especially if mental effort is required
  • lose items or possessions regularly
  • forget objects, instructions or facts
  • become easily distracted by stimuli

2) Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD (ADHD) is recognized in people who exhibit the following behaviors (six criteria for children, five for adults):

  • move their hands or feet and move often in their seat
  • stand up when they have to stay seated
  • run and climb everywhere, or appear feverish and impatient
  • have difficulty remaining quiet at school, work, or at leisure
  • appear overexcited, full of energy
  • often talk too much
  • answer before the questions are finished
  • have difficulty waiting their turn
  • interrupt others or impose their presence

3) Predominantly mixed ADHD is recognized in those who present symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity if:

  • six criteria of the inattentive subtype and six criteria of the hyperactive-impulsive subtype are present in a child
  • five criteria of the inattentive subtype and five criteria of the hyperactive-impulsive subtype are present in an adult