By Dr. David Velkoff
According to a popular (though not backed by the American Psychiatric Association) theory, there are seven types of ADD or ADHD, and each type brings its own set of unique challenges. This theory postulates that the specific set of symptoms of the different types of ADD require different treatment recommendations rather than the traditional approach which is to treat all forms of ADD as one and the same. While there’s no scientific consensus on accepting this theory, everyone can and does agree that living with the symptoms of ADD can be a painful and confusing experience that can deny an individual achieving fulfillment in their life.
Our ability to focus is crucial, and without it, many things tend to fall apart or fail. Even more painful sometimes than our own struggle with ADD, however, is the helplessness that comes when we’re forced to watch loved ones, friends, spouses, or children, endure ADD’s negative symptoms.
For 25 years, the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine has provided families with a different approach to treating ADD or ADHD, using a non-invasive, drug-free treatment program capable of delivering long term results. Because the focus of our treatment is on healing the brain and not simply medicating away the symptoms of the disorder, the patient is able to retrain the brain to improve or overcome its own dysregulation or disorder.
In fact, because our process is individually tailored to each person’s unique situation, our treatment is designed to deliver quality of life improvements for all types of ADD, including all 7 of the different types of ADD listed below. Our treatment process is anchored in research and clinical experience, and utilizes extensive brain map guided neurofeedback therapy which allows our patients to have an opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives long after treatment has ended.
Dr. David Velkoff, Medical Director and co-founder of the Drake Institute, ensures that we utilize the most advanced qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram) brain mapping technology to help identify and examine the different types of attention deficit disorder and their correlating brain functioning abnormalities. The results of brain mapping technology are then used to guide our neurofeedback treatment protocols for treating ADD, which helps mitigate the troubles associated with ADD while simultaneously providing each individual with a custom-tailored path to recovery.
Over 9000 ADD/ADHD patients have been treated at our clinical facilities (presently Irvine and Northridge) and approximately 80% of them have experienced significant improvement in their focus, mood, behavioral regulation (if hyperactive/impulsive), productivity, and general well-being. It is our goal to not only help people, but also to be a resource to individuals and families everywhere, which is why we would like to provide our readers more information on the different types of attention deficit disorder in order to help promote awareness and understanding.
Note: In 1994, the diagnosis of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) was discontinued and replaced with the diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder); however, we still find the diagnosis of ADD acceptable in cases where the individual exhibits only the “inattentive symptoms” of the disorder. These 7 attention deficit disorder types are not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) or included in the association’s manual, the DSM-V.
Again, while there is no scientific consensus regarding the existence of these distinct types of ADD, we still find it useful to discuss them as different people absolutely do experience different sorts of symptoms.
The three core symptoms associated with Classic ADD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Classic ADD is similar to what the American Psychiatric Association describes as ADHD-combined presentation. This is the typical hyperactive/impulsive child who also struggles with staying on task. Brain mapping commonly reveals excessively slow brainwaves in the frontal regions of the brain, and frequently abnormal connectivity within and/or between the prefrontal cortex and parietal lobes.
Patients suffering from Inattentive ADD often have difficulty with executive functioning such as organization, planning, prioritizing, time management, and self-monitoring. These individuals are easily distracted and/or lack the mental stamina for completing routine tasks that are non-preferred. They typically are not a behavioral problem since they are not hyperactive nor impulsive.
In addition to the core symptoms of Classic ADD, those patients suffering from Over-focused ADD have difficulty shifting their attention from one task to the next. In this scenario, qEEG brain mapping frequently shows the brain being stuck in excessive fast brainwaves of overstimulation, whereby the brain is also functioning in a more rigid and inflexible state.
Individuals suffering from Temporal Lobe ADD can be over-reactive or moody, and prone to tantrums or meltdowns in childhood. This type of Temporal Lobe ADD can be associated with memory problems and difficulties in auditory processing.
In addition to the core symptoms of ADHD, sufferers of Limbic ADD may experience increased feelings of guilt, possible moodiness, and, in some cases, damaged self-esteem. Limbic ADD affects a group of structures within the brain involved in our “flight” or “fight” response system, leaving the individual feeling excessively and unrealistically threatened at times by stressors.
Ring of Fire ADD is characterized by over activity in a global sense, meaning that the brain is over stimulated in multiple areas. Those suffering from Ring of Fire ADD may experience an increase in anxiety, racing thoughts, difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night. This person might also be emotionally over reactive and quick to anger.
Sufferers of Anxious ADD are often afflicted by additional symptoms of stress which may include headaches, digestive problems, difficulty falling asleep and low self-esteem. Brain mapping reveals dysregulation in brain networks involving the prefrontal cortex, limbic areas, and the insula.
The Drake Institute is dedicated to providing the most sophisticated qEEG brain mapping technology and neurofeedback treatment uniquely suited to treat your specific form of ADD. Our treatment process has proven to be clinically effective in approximately 80% of patients over the past 25 years. No matter which of these 7 types of ADD you suffer from, we can help.
Call us today to schedule a no-cost screening consultation and get the help that you or a loved one needs.
Interview with Dr. David Velkoff
Interview with Dr. David Velkoff
Spanish News Feature
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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Behavioral Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Behavioral Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Behavioral Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”