March 4, 2022

What is Inattentive ADD?

Do you know anyone who constantly loses her car keys? Or maybe their glasses? You know the type – the potential absent-minded professor type or the chronic daydreamer who appears forgetful, careless or even apathetic. We all know someone like that.

At Access Counseling, we prefer the term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) because ADHD highlights the hyperactive component of the condition (H), and ignores half the people who have it, who are not at all hyperactive.

Yet, too many people who suffer from Inattentive ADD (a subset of ADD) are never diagnosed because the symptoms can be so subtle and restrained. If you can check off most of these symptoms on a family member or a friend, he or she may in fact have Inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder– a subtype of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

ADD Typically Shows Up Early in Life

Most people don’t realize that ADD is a developmental disorder – it’s not something that magically appears in middle age. If you have ADD symptoms, but never had them as a child, it could be due to something else, such as depression, chronic stress, hormonal changes, a head injury, or some form of toxic exposure.

It’s critical to know that ADD is a not a single, simple, or separate disorder. Based on our work at Access Counseling Group, we have recognized seven different types of ADD:

  1. Classic ADD (ADHD)
  2. Inattentive ADD
  3. Over-focused ADD
  4. Temporal Lobe ADD
  5. Limbic ADD
  6. Ring of Fire ADD
  7. Anxious ADD

Understanding which type or types you have is critical to getting the right treatment. One treatment does not fit all, and treatments for one type of ADD often make the other types worse, sometimes dramatically so.

Each of the ADD subtypes has its own set of symptoms because of the abnormal blood flow patterns in the brain specific to each subtype.

However, most people who suffer from ADD share these characteristics:

  • Organization problems (a cluttered and disorganized bedroom or office)
  • Distractibility
  • Chronic tardiness
  • Procrastination
  • Forgetfulness
  • Tendency to lose things
  • Trouble listening
  • Problems with follow-through
  • Poor impulse control (saying or doing something before thinking it through)

People with Inattentive ADD Often Get Misdiagnosed 

When most people think about ADD, they think about Classic ADD. People with Classic ADD are hyperactive, restless, impulsive, disorganized, distractable, and have trouble concentrating.

The second most common type of ADD is Inattentive ADD. Unfortunately, many of these people never get diagnosed. Instead they are labeled slow, lazy, or unmotivated. While people with Classic ADD bring negative attention to themselves with their hyperactivity, constant chatter, and conflict-driven behavior, Inattentive ADD folks tend to be quiet and distracted.

Rather than cause problems in class, they are more likely to daydream or look out the window. They are not often impulsive and are less likely to blurt out inappropriate things. They are frequently thought of as couch potatoes who have trouble finding interests or motivation in life. Girls seem to have this type as much, or more, than boys.

Inattentive ADD is the perfect example of why the general term “ADHD” does not fit all ADD types. If clinicians and parents are looking for hyperactivity to reach a diagnosis, the condition may be left untreated.

Untreated or incorrectly treated ADD affects nearly every aspect of your life and has been associated with:

  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Job failure
  • School underachievement
  • Incarceration
  • Divorce
  • Legal difficulties
  • Alzheimer’s disease

The good news is that Inattentive ADD is usually very responsive to treatment. It is often possible to change the whole course of a person’s life if the disorder is properly diagnosed and treated. Then it’s imperative to know which type you have so that you know how to implement the most targeted interventions possible for your specific type.

Access Counseling Group has helped hundreds of people with ADD from all over the North an South Carolina areas and we can help you, too. To learn more or schedule a comprehensive evaluation, contact Access Counseling Group today, at (704) 751-7775.

Access Counseling has developed a confidential questionnaire to help you know if you (or a loved one) has ADD and which type you might have. Take our fascinating questionnaire and gain some clarity on ADD, and how it may affect you or someone you love.

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