The Three Types of Adult ADHD

Scientists once believed that ADHD was mostly a problem with attention deficit. More recently, the disorder has been reclassified as a condition with three distinct subsets: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combination type. Although very few adults with ADHD fit neatly into one type of ADHD, they are diagnosed as having one type of the disorder over another when most of their symptoms seem to fall into that particular subset.

Most Common Types of Adult ADHD

By far the most common type of adult ADHD is the combination type, which affects up to 75 percent of all adult sufferers and is the major focus of this book. Inattentive ADHD, also called ADD, is the second most common type of adult ADHD and affects about 20 percent of adults with the condition. Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD is the least common subset in adults and affects only about 5 percent of people with adult ADHD.

ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity and impulsiveness tend to appear before inattentiveness, and are highly prevalent in childhood ADHD. In adults, however, hyperactivity is usually the least predominant symptom while inattention is typically the most prevalent. This inattention wreaks havoc on the ability to perform a wide range of executive functions, including organizing, planning, prioritizing, setting goals, meeting deadlines, and breaking down large assignments into a series of smaller tasks.

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