Adult ADHD: Which Type Are You?

There is more to adult ADHD than a diagnosis and the doctor writing a prescription. With three subtypes of adult ADHD, there are treatment differences revolving around the type that you have. Receiving a diagnosis is not enough – developing an individual treatment focus and design around your needs is what makes for a successful outcome.

Three Types of Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD can have a crippling effect on a relationship, a job, friendships, and overall satisfaction with life. There are three subtypes of ADHD identified. Two of the types of adult ADHD are “Inattentive,” and “Hyperactivity-Impulsivity.” The third type is the Combined type, the one most commonly diagnosed, where there is both hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.

Symptoms of Hyperactivity and Impulsive Type of ADHD

Those who have the predominantly “Hyperactive – Impulsive” type of adult ADHD show symptoms of both hyperactivity and impulsiveness; they do not have enough of the inattention symptoms to meet the criteria for an inattention subtype diagnosis. This is the least common type of ADHD. Symptoms include:

  • Constant Motion – feeling all “revved up,” constantly on the go
  • Fidgeting – typically frequent shifting in their seat, tapping fingers, getting up and down from their seat throughout an event (movie, dinner, or social situation)
  • Inability to Relax – difficulty sitting still for quiet activities like watching TV, relaxing or listening to soft music
  • Talking too much, difficulty listening
  • Talking out of turn, blurting out comments, jumping in to other’s conversations you were not a part of
  • Forgetfulness, disorganization, and frequently “losing” items you need
  • May take part in risky behaviors
  • Having low frustration tolerance
  • Difficulty controlling temper or coping with stress

Symptoms of Inattentive Type Adult ADHD

Those with the inattentive type do not typically display symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors but do not have enough of the symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors to meet the criteria for the diagnosis of inattentive or impulsive subtype. The symptoms of Inattentive adult ADHD include:

  • Failing to pay attention and stay focused
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Avoiding tasks that require effort or are challenging
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty with following or understanding directions or instructions
  • Impulsive decisions or behavior
  • Forgetfulness as well as losing needed items to complete a task
  • Not paying attention to detail
  • Problems with maintaining a relationship or a job

Combined Type ADHD Symptoms

Being diagnosed with the combined type of adult ADHD means that you may have symptoms from both the Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive types of ADHD. Working with a specially trained adult ADHD psychiatrist pairs experience with a successful history of developing individual treatment and medication plans that work.

Call Dr. Hege for an appointment convenient for your work and home-life schedules.

About Darvin Hege

Dr. Darvin Hege, MD, PC, is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is an Emory Hospital residency trained psychiatrist who has been practicing psychiatry for more than 25 years. He maintains over 50 hours of AMA certified education each year to stay informed of advances in psychiatry.

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