ADHD Videos

Are There Really 3 Types of ADHD?

Often, the symptoms of ADHD are grouped into one of three types: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or combined. In this video, Russell Barkley, Ph.D., explains why that categorization is inaccurate and unhelpful.

3 Types of ADHD: Fact or Fiction?

Attention deficit disorder was once diagnosed as ADD or ADHD, depending on whether a patient exhibited inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, respectively. Today, the condition is just called ADHD.

When making a diagnosis, clinicians typically categorize a patient’s symptoms as one of three discrete presentations — or types — of ADHD:

  • Primarily Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD
  • Primarily Inattentive Type ADHD
  • Combined Type ADHD

Other research contends that symptoms occur across a spectrum of always-evolving brain networks that control emotion, attention, behavior, and arousal.

In the above video, from his ADDitude webinar titled “How ADHD Shortens Life Expectancy,” Dr. Russell Barkley explains why he finds it unhelpful and inaccurate to classify symptoms according to one of three types of ADHD and how inattentive symptoms can be mistaken for sluggish cognitive tempo.

Learn More About the Types of ADHD:

1. Take This TestCould You Have ADHD?
2. Take This TestCould Your Child Have ADHD?
3. Research: Is ADHD a Spectrum Disorder?
4. Download 3 Defining Features of ADHD That Everyone Overlooks
5. Research What Is ADHD? (and What Is It Not?)
6. Read ADD vs. ADHD: Explaining the 3 Types of Attention Deficit Disorder
7. Listen to  “What Neuroscience Reveals About the ADHD Brain” with Joel Nigg, Ph.D.

Russell Barkley, Ph.D., is a member of ADDitude’s ADHD Medical Review Panel.