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ADD affects people in different ways requiring different approaches to both diagnosis and treatment. Treatments for some types of ADD aggravate conditions in other types.

There is still little evidence as to the cause of Attention Deficit Disorder. Various studies have attributed it to everything from birth defects to food allergies, food additives, and pesticides. Brain scans have shown interesting patterns in some studies with people with ADD, but the scans demonstrate a symptom rather than a cause.

Behavior Variations

As more and more people are diagnosed with ADD, some studies have shown variations in both symptoms and behaviors. At present this pattern of behaviors is defined by three to seven categories or types of ADD. Many are similar, while other types are unique, and one type combines all of the symptoms and behaviors. 

Common Emotions Vs ADD Symptoms

For the record, many of these behaviors and symptoms are common when a person is under stress, duress or suffering from Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD). The point is that some symptoms and behaviors may be short-term responses to other conditions. The counter-point is that some of these behaviors could indicate an ADD type personality if they occur chronically. 

These types of ADD are based on a variety of research approaches including the work of Dr Daniel G Amen, who has used brain scans to identify physiological symptoms that are unique to different ADD patterns of behavior.

Treatment Variance

It has also been determined that treatments and medicines that work for one type of ADD actually aggravate symptoms in other types. It's curious that sugar was commonly believed to be the culprit with increasing hyper-activity, but to date no studies have shown a direct link between aggravated behaviors caused by sugar and ADD.  The fact of the matter is that a common ADD prescription called "Ritalin" may aggravate symptoms and behaviors in some types of ADD. 

Common ADD Behaviors

It should be noted that all people with ADD show similar behavioral traits. Disorganization is one of the most common symptoms manifested by clutter; a messy desk at work, disorganized files both in drawers and on a computer desktop, all fueled by a tendency to procrastinate and struggle to remain focused. 

In addition, people with any form of ADD tend to be easily distracted. Their conversations will go off on tangents and the performance of many tasks are delayed or forgotten while something else attracts their interest and attention. 

People with ADD are also inattentive to details, meetings and conversations, and exhibit extremely short attention spans. That is essentially the "attention deficit" behavior that defines the condition in many instances. However, there are additional symptoms and behaviors that cause for the divergence of the condition into various types. 

Now, what are the seven subtypes of ADD? We'll lead with the most common form and then examine the other subtypes.

1. Classic ADD, Also Known As ADHD

This first type of ADD represents all of the symptoms and behaviors across all of the other types of ADD. It is commonly referred to as "Attention Deficit Hyper-active Disorder or ADHD. It's the hyper-active component that makes this form of ADD problematic. 

  • The person is very impatient with themselves and others, and even simple, physical objects that cause them the simplest frustration like an appliance or other device that does not appear to be working properly. 
  • They are overactive in many activities and will often work through the night, sleep during the day or pursue a variety of activities with haste. 
  • People with ADHD are also overzealous and will pursue an interest or hobby with an extreme expenditure of energy, time and money and then quickly move on to something else that interests them.
  • The other symptoms and behaviors appear as they are listed below to define the additional forms of ADD, but the person with Classic ADD or ADHD demonstrates all of the traits as well. 
Continue reading after recommendations

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  • Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2014 November 7. Differential motor alterations in children with three types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Poblano A, Luna B, Reynoso C
  • Clin Neuropsychol. 2014 Oct 1. Cognitive complaints of adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Fuermaier AB, Tucha L, Koerts J, Aschenbrenner S, Weisbrod M, Lange KW, Tucha O. Clin EEG Neurosci. 2013 Oct 16. EEG Differences Between the Combined and Inattentive Types of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Girls: A Further Investigation.
  • Dupuy FE, Clarke AR, Barry RJ, McCarthy R, Selikowitz M. J Psychiatr Pract. 2015 May
  • 21Extended-release Methylphenidate Treatment and Outcomes in Comorbid Social Anxiety Disorder and Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: 2 Case Reports. Koyuncu A, Çelebi F, Ertekin E, Kahn DA.
  • Can J Psychiatry. 2015 July 6,Is Adult Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Being Overdiagnosed? Paris J, Bhat V, Thombs B.
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