Daniel G. Amen, M.D. makes a case for the existence of six different types of ADHD in his book “Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program that Allows You to See and Heal the Six Types of ADD.” Amen believes that understanding the symptoms of the six types of ADD allows individuals to find the treatment plan that is the most appropriate for their specific circumstances.
Although people may benefit from considering Amen’s ideas, his stance is controversial and peer-reviewed, scientific literature has not formally evaluated his theories. The medical and psychiatric community currently maintains only three types of ADHD exist and does not diagnose individuals based upon Amen’s theories. Individuals who have questions or concerns about ADHD symptoms, types or treatments should discuss the latest research with a doctor or mental health professional.
The symptoms of the classic ADD type include impulsivity, restlessness and hyperactivity. They also include the primary ADD symptoms, such as inattention and distractibility.
People suffering from inattention ADD are often quiet and unmotivated. They display the primary symptoms of ADD, but also show signs of low energy, low motivated and are internally preoccupied. This type is more common in girls than boys, according to Amen.
Cognitive inflexibility, a fixation on negative thoughts or behavior and difficulty shifting attention are some symptoms of the over-focused ADD type. People suffering from this type of ADD may frequently worry, hold grudges and tend to be argumentative or oppositional. They tend to prefer routine and dislike change. This type is most often seen in families with obsessive-compulsive tendencies or addiction issues.
Temporal Lobe ADD
Those who fall into the temporal lobe ADD type often suffer from headaches, abdominal pain, memory problems, dark thoughts and may struggle with reading. They may misinterpret comments, seem quick to anger and have periods of intense worrying or anxiety. There may be a history of head injury or family history of rages.
Limbic ADD suffers display signs of low energy, low self-esteem and may isolate themselves socially. They may have chronic mild sadness, a poor appetite and poor sleep patterns.
Ring of Fire ADD
Individuals that display extreme moodiness, opposition, inflexibility and angry outbursts may fall into the ring of fire ADD type. These individuals may talk excessively, have rapid thought processes and are often sensitive to lights or sounds.
- “Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the Six Types of ADD”; Daniel G. Amen; 2001
- "What Causes ADHD?: Understanding What Goes Wrong and Why"; Joel T. Nigg; 2006