Dr. Amen’s Seven Types of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Dr. Amen Who?

Dr. Daniel Amen has written a number of best-selling books on mental health topics, including several editions on Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, or AD(H)D. He believes that there are seven distinct types of ADD which affect different portions of the brain and as such require different treatments.

You can learn all about these seven different types in Dr. Amen’s book Healing ADD. If you aren’t a big reader, check out the first section, “Healing ADD Starter Report: For Those Who Don’t Read Directions” – its less than ten pages long and provides a concise overview of the material he covers throughout the rest of the book (which is over 400 pages!).

The ADD Type Test

In this post I want to share with you two resources. First, Dr. Amen’s ADD Type Test, a free, online, 4-minute test that provides some preliminary assessment of whether you might have ADD and if so what type(s). Please take this! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who have struggled with ADD without knowing it, who have fought so hard to overcome certain challenges, sometimes in unhealthy ways (illegal substances, foolish behavior) and who could be (and some who were!) helped by receiving treatment for their ADD.

The Seven Types of ADD

The second resource I want to share with you is a summary of the seven types of ADD Dr. Amen has theorized exist. And, if you are wondering, based on the above test it is likely that I suffer from Types 3, 4, 6, and 7.

The Short-Short Summary of ADD Types

  • Type 1 – Classic ADD (ADHD)
  • Type 2 – Inattentive ADD
  • Type 3 – Overfocused ADD
  • Type 4 – Temporal Lobe ADD
  • Type 5 – Limbic ADD
  • Type 6 – Ring of Fire ADD
  • Type 7 – Anxious ADD

The ADD Types Matrix Summary

Below I’ve created a matrix which outlines symptoms commonly associated with each type of ADD (according to Dr. Amen). You’ll see there are a number of symptoms that are shared across all types but there are also a number of symptoms that are isolated to several or even a sole type.

Note: I created this matrix based off materials found on pg. xv of Dr. Amen’s book. However, he doesn’t lay forward the symptoms in a matrix and my categorizations may not be entirely correct nor complete. Read the book. 🙂

ClassicInattentiveOverfocusedTemporal LobeLimbicRing of FireAnxious
Trouble Shifting AttentionNNYNNNN
Stuck in Negative Thought LoopsNNYNNNN
Mood InstabilityNNNYNYN
Chronic Low-Grade SadnessNNNNYNN
Socially IsolatedNNNYNNN
Physical Stress SymptomsNNNNNNY

Concluding Thoughts

If your test results come back suggesting you have ADD or one of the types’ symptoms in the matrix really ring true, I’d encourage you to read up more on ADD and talk to a doctor. There are treatments which can significantly alleviate ADD symptoms. Life has enough struggles as it is, lets not add unnecessary ones to our load.

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