Introducing 3 Forms of ADHD

Dr Lalitaa Suglani and Dr Shyamal Mashru

ADHD is a term that has become increasingly prevalent in discussions about mental health, education, and even in popular culture. But despite its common usage, there remains a cloud of misunderstanding about what ADHD actually is and the forms it can take.

What is the inattentive type of ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder known for its diverse manifestations, including the often under recognised Inattentive Type. This variant of ADHD may not display the stereotypical hyperactivity and impulsivity associated with the condition, leading to challenges in diagnosis and understanding.

A Combined Approach to ADHD Treatment: Medication and Coaching

A consensus has emerged amongst professionals that a combined approach to ADHD treatment, encompassing medication and coaching, is often the most effective.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that begins in childhood and often persists into adulthood. In medical terms, ADHD is categorised as a neurodivergent condition, meaning it represents a different way of neurologic functioning rather than a deficit. This condition is present in more than half of the individuals diagnosed with it beyond the age of 18 years, signifying its persistence across the lifespan.

ADHD is characterised by two primary symptom sets: attention and concentration symptoms, and hyperactive and impulsive symptoms. Adults with ADHD typically need to exhibit at least five out of nine symptoms in either category to qualify for a diagnosis. However, some may experience symptoms from both categories.

Understanding ADHD becomes more complex when we delve into its three distinct types, each with its own unique manifestation of symptoms. Here’s a closer look at each form:

The most common form, comprising about 70 to 80% of cases, is Combined Type ADHD. Individuals with this type exhibit a mix of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. The combination of symptoms can present a significant challenge as it affects a wide range of functional areas from academic performance to interpersonal relationships.

Following Combined Type in prevalence is the Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD, found in approximately 10 to 15% of adult cases. Here, the individual experiences more pronounced inattentive symptoms, such as forgetfulness and difficulty sustaining attention, while hyperactive and impulsive symptoms are less evident.

The rarest form is Predominantly Hyperactive Type ADHD. Those with this type score higher on hyperactive-impulsive symptoms but may not exhibit as many inattentive symptoms. Their behaviour might be characterised by an excess of energy and impulsive actions which can be disruptive and may lead to difficulties in structured environments.

Regardless of the type, ADHD can significantly impact an individual’s daily life. Beyond the primary symptoms, many individuals with ADHD experience secondary challenges, such as low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, and challenges in workplace settings. It’s not uncommon for those with ADHD to feel they are not reaching their full potential, which can further contribute to emotional distress.

Identifying the form of ADHD is crucial for effective management and treatment. Tailored interventions, such as medication, therapy, and behavioural strategies, can help manage symptoms and improve functioning. Understanding the specific challenges of each ADHD type can lead to better support systems, both professionally and personally.

The recognition of ADHD’s diversity is an important step towards embracing neurodiversity and providing the necessary support for those affected. By acknowledging the different forms of ADHD, we can foster a more inclusive and understanding society that recognises the strengths and challenges of neurodivergent individuals.

ADHD is a complex condition with multiple facets. With increased awareness and understanding of its three forms, individuals with ADHD can receive more personalised care and support, allowing them to thrive in their personal and professional lives. As our knowledge of ADHD continues to grow, so too does our ability to support those with the condition in leading fulfilling and productive lives.

For those who suspect they might have ADHD, the ADHD Health Clinic offers a beacon of hope and assistance. With comprehensive assessment and diagnostic services, we stand ready to guide individuals through the nuanced understanding of their condition. Recognising the importance of personalised care, we offer tailored treatment plans, which may include counselling, coaching, or medication. The aim is not merely to manage symptoms but to unearth the strengths that lie within the challenges of ADHD, transforming them into opportunities for personal growth and improved quality of life.

Understanding ADHD Symptoms

Symptoms often manifest differently in individuals and can have a significant impact on various aspects of life.

Navigate to ADHD symptoms section

Seeking Diagnosis and Support?

ADHD Health Clinic specialises in assessments and personalised treatment plans to empower individuals managing their ADHD symptoms.

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