Types of ADHD

Some people with ADHD have mainly inattentive symptoms. Some have mainly hyperactive and impulsive symptoms. Others have a combination of different symptom types. Those with mostly inattentive symptoms are sometimes said to have attention deficit disorder (ADD). They tend to be less disruptive and are more likely not to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Source: MentalHealth.gov (DHHS)1

   •   •   •

Back to: « ADHD

   •   •   •

There are three sub-types of the disorder:

  • Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive
  • Predominantly inattentive
  • Combined hyperactive/inattentive

Source: SAMHSA (DHHS)2

   •   •   •

Females with ADHD are more likely to have problems primarily with inattention.

Source: NIMH (NIH)3

   •   •   •

Some children with ADHD are hyperactive (overactive) and impulsive (acting quickly without thinking). These kids are constantly in motion, fidget a lot, and find it hard to sit still. They’re impatient and have trouble controlling their behavior or waiting their turn.

Other children with ADHD, especially girls, are mainly inattentive (have trouble paying attention). Kids with the inattentive kind of ADHD have a hard time concentrating and following instructions. They often forget and lose things; they can’t seem to get organized or complete assignments or chores. Most kids with ADHD have a combination of the hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive types.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)4

Specific Types of ADHD

Adult ADHD: Adults with ADHD

Some children with ADHD continue to have it as adults. And many adults who have the disorder don't know it. They may feel that it is impossible to get organized, stick to a job, or remember and keep appointments. Daily tasks, such as getting up in the morning, preparing to leave the house for work, arriving at work on time, and being productive on the job, can be especially challenging for adults with ADHD.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)5

   •   •   •


  1. Source: MentalHealth.gov (DHHS): mentalhealth.gov/ what-to-look-for/ behavioral-disorders/ adhd.html
  2. Source: SAMHSA (DHHS): samhsa.gov/ disorders/ mental
  3. Source: NIMH (NIH): nimh.nih.gov/ health/ topics/ attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/ index.shtml
  4. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ issue/ sep2014/ feature2
  5. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ magazine/ issues/ spring14/ articles/ spring14pg19.html

   •   •   •

Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.