What Are the Different Types of ADHD in Adults?
Work Wellness

What Are the Different Types of ADHD in Adults?

|May 21, 2024

According to Forbes, more than 8.7 million Americans and roughly 139.8 million people (about 2.6% of the world population in 2023) have had persistent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since childhood. The different types of ADHD can significantly impair an individual's cognitive processes and social relationships. This can adversely impact their quality of life.

In this guide, we will discuss the different types of ADHD in adults, their symptoms, and how they can impact one's ability to carry out their roles and responsibilities in the workplace.

Keep reading until the end, as we will also explore the unique and practical solutions on the market that can help make your life a bit easier. Let's get started!

Types of ADHD

The types of ADHD in adults can help identify the attention deficit characteristics of an individual, allowing them to take the necessary steps to manage their symptoms and improve their daily functioning. Boys, for example, can be hyperactive, while girls may be quite inattentive.

The following are the three main types of attention deficit disorder in adults:

Inattentive Type

Those suffering from this type of ADHD may find themselves getting distracted much quicker and easier than others. They may also have poor communication and organizational skills.

An inattentive type of ADHD is more common in girls than boys and can cause the person to struggle with impulse control or sometimes hyperactivity.

Here are the key characteristics of ADHD in adults with inattentive-type symptoms:

  • Easily distracted and bored
  • Difficulty in focusing on a particular task
  • Challenging to learn new things
  • Difficulty in organizing thoughts
  • Inability to comprehend or listen
  • Lost in thoughts
  • Inability to efficiently and accurately process information
  • Difficulty in following directions

Inattentive Type - Types of ADHD

Hyperactive-impulsive Type

While ADHD in adults with inattentive-type symptoms is common among girls, boys often suffer from hyperactivity. This type of attention deficit disorder has characteristics that lie on the two extreme ends of a spectrum.

Some of the symptoms may include the following:

  • Fidgety or feeling of restlessness
  • Inability to sit still for extended periods
  • Constant chatter
  • Distracted by objects
  • Difficulty in engaging in quiet activities
  • Acting out of turn
  • Blurting out random things or inappropriate comments

While there are three main types of attention deficit disorder in adults, children are mostly affected by this. Hyperactivity can cause kids to create disturbance in classrooms, making it challenging for the teachers and other staff to manage.

Hyperactive-impulsive Type

A Mix of Inattentive and Impulsivity

Some people may suffer from a combination of ADHD symptoms, and if you're one of those, you may exhibit some degree of inattentive and impulsive behavior. This frequent conduct can make it difficult to function in a classroom or work environment.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, most children have a combination of symptoms, which places them under this category of ADHD. While this is common among boys, girls may also experience it.

It's important to understand that the symptoms of ADHD may change as a person ages. This can make it challenging to carry out one's daily routine. Fortunately, with medication and professional help, people can improve their quality of life.

A Mix of Inattentive and Impulsivity

Who Is Affected?

While ADHD can affect anyone, studies suggest that males are twice as likely to experience this disorder than women. Research shows that ages three to six are the most crucial, as this is when many children start to exhibit some of the most common symptoms.

The average age of ADHD diagnosis in the United States is seven years. Data from trusted sources suggest that about 9.4% of the children born in the country have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

ADHD also occurs in adults. Research shows that around 4.4% of the adult population suffers from this disorder in the United States, with the numbers expected to rise further in the coming years.

Whether it is inattentiveness or impulsivity, the different types of attention deficit disorder in adults and children can have a greater impact on their lives and those around them. The behavior can range from hyperactivity to distinctiveness, often depending on the environment the person is in.

A child in a school setting, for example, can cause disturbance, adversely affecting the decorum of the classroom. It can also impact the other children and their learning while making it difficult for teachers to maintain a friendly and respectful environment for everyone.

When a child who has ADHD returns home from school, their behavior can affect their siblings or parents. A mother, for example, may have to adjust her daily routine to care for her special kid, while the brothers and sisters must learn to be more considerate.

ADHD can adversely impact an adult's ability to complete their tasks on time. It can also affect their colleagues. Let's learn more about this in the next section.

Who Is Affected?

What Does Each Type of ADHD Look Like in Work Life?

The different types of ADHD can manifest in the workplace, affecting the performance of the person suffering from the disorder and their colleagues.

Inattentive Type

If you're suffering from an inattentive type ADHD, you may find it challenging to stay organized in the workplace, which can lead to clutter and reduced productivity. Losing your things (pens, papers, and other essential items) is common when carrying out tasks, and adjusting to new changes can be difficult. This can affect the pace of your work and the colleagues with whom you're collaborating.

Hyperactive-impulsive Type

While all types of attention deficit disorder in adults can have an impact on their work life, the hyperactive-impulsive one may find it extremely challenging to focus on their tasks. Due to being easily distracted by objects and feeling of restlessness, they may be unable to complete their assignments on time. The constant chattering and acting out of line can also affect other professionals in the workplace.

A Combination of Both

A person experiencing symptoms of both types of ADHD may be adept at managing their behavior, as they exhibit characteristics that do not solely align with the extremes of the spectrum. However, their actions can still impact other professionals in an office setting.

What Does Each Type of ADHD Look Like in Work Life?

Treatment for the Different Types of ADHD

While there is no cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it's essential to start treatment accordingly to help manage the symptoms of the different types of ADHD in adults and children.

The following are the main remedies available:


To help patients suffering from ADHD focus on their work and tasks, they can take medication that reduces hyperactivity and improves concentration.

There are many different capsules that can alleviate the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the dosage and combination of medicines can vary from one person to another.

It's all about trial and error, which is why patients must always work with experienced medical professionals to ensure safe treatments in a controlled environment.

The following are the two main types of medications that doctors often prescribe to help people manage their ADHD symptoms:


Medications in the stimulant category work by increasing dopamine and other brain chemicals responsible for thinking and attention. While these are safe to take, they can lead to unpleasant side effects if consumed in excess. A doctor will work with the patient to understand their condition and medical history before prescribing any drugs.


These medications help improve focus and attention in people with ADHD. However, they can take much longer to kick in, which is why doctors only prescribe these to patients who cannot consume stimulants. In some cases, medical professionals may recommend taking an antidepressant to combat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


Psychotherapy and Psychosocial Interventions

According to several studies, psychosocial interventions have shown incredible promise when it comes to helping patients and their family members manage the symptoms of the different types of ADHD.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may have anger, frustration, and blame bottled up, which can have an adverse impact on their daily functioning. With specialized psychotherapy, parents can help their kids manage the symptoms of ADHD and develop new skills.

Here are the different types of therapies that can prove to be effective for people who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

Behavioral therapy

This psychotherapy helps alter the behavior of ADHD patients, aiding them in monitoring their own actions and rewarding or praising them for controlling their anger or frustrations. Teachers can play their part by providing feedback while establishing clear rules and structured routines. Children can also learn social skills by working with therapists.

Treatment for the Different Types of ADHD

Cognitive behavioral therapy

In ADHD, one's own thoughts and feelings can become too overwhelming to manage, which can eventually start to consume the person from the inside. A therapist can initiate a tailored cognitive behavior program with the patient to help them accept their state of emotions and adjust to the different changes in life.

Family and marital therapy

This type of psychotherapy can help spouses and family members cope with the disruptive behavior of the affected party by finding productive ways to aid in learning and adapting.

Parental skills training

This training program equips parents with the skills and information they need to help their child manage their ADHD symptoms. Positive reinforcements and immediate feedback are some of the ways adults can nurture their affected kids.

Psychotherapy and Psychosocial Interventions

Ergonomic Solution for ADHD for Office Life

ADHD can have a far-reaching impact on one's life. It can affect their personal and social interactions and also their careers. Fortunately, there are many different solutions on the market that you can invest in to help you make your daily routine more manageable.

To help people suffering from ADHD with their office life, here are a couple of fantastic products to try:

Ergonomic Seating Solution

Those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may find that their restlessness or fidgeting can lead to poor posture and bad viewing angles. This can adversely impact the muscles in their eyes, back, neck, and shoulders, leading to constant pain and discomfort.

If you're looking for an office chair for long hours of work, there are many active seating solutions on the market that you can explore. An ergonomic stool, for example, promotes dynamic sitting that emulates frequent posture changes, helping increase movement and energy levels.

For more ADHD office chair recommendations, don't forget to check out our detailed guide that reviews the top eight seating solutions for people suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Ergonomic Seating Solution

Ergonomic Desk Chairs

An ADHD desk chair has features, such as a breathable seat, adjustable height, and padded armrests, that can help professionals manage their symptoms. It can create a supportive environment that reduces fatigue and improves attention.

While an active sitting chair is a good option, patients with ADHD may also want to explore other alternatives. The standing desk stool, for example, comes with a weighted base that allows for a free range of movement, helping keep your mind occupied while you sway and maintain the optimal viewing angle.

There are many products that can help you manage your ADHD symptoms. Do your research, as an ergonomic office chair that works for one professional may not necessarily be suitable for another.

Dexmethylphenidate and potentially other methylphenidates used to treat ADHD symptoms can cause stiffness in the back, shoulder, and neck muscles. If you're experiencing discomfort in these regions, it's best to invest in an ergonomic chair for back pain.

Ergonomic Solution for ADHD for Office Life

Final Thoughts on the Different Types of ADHD in Adults

The different types of ADHD in both adults and children can exert a broad array of physical and mental effects on individuals, negatively influencing their quality of life.

From inattentiveness to the inability to focus, complete tasks, and follow orders, patients can experience various challenges that prevent them from maintaining meaningful relationships, ensuring academic performance, or excelling at the workplace. Fortunately, there are remedies and products that can help people cope with ADHD.

It's important to work with an experienced medical professional to start a treatment that works best for you. You can also invest in products, such as an ergonomic chair and standing desk, to help you manage the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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