Getting to Know the ADD Types – Type 6: Ring of Fire ADD

ring of fire add

Do you have ADD or ADHD? If so, do you know which of the 7 types you have? There is a way to know for sure.

Here are the signs and symptoms of ADD Type 6 (also known as Ring of Fire ADD):

Core Symptoms

Though each of the ADD subtypes has its own set of symptoms, they all share the same core symptoms.

  • A short attention span for regular, routine, everyday tasks (homework, chores, etc.)
  • Distractibility
  • Organization problems (like having a messy room, always running late, etc.)
  • Procrastination
  • Forgetfulness
  • Problems with follow-through
  • Poor impulse control (saying or doing something before thinking it through)

Type 6 Symptoms

In addition to the core symptoms, the unique characteristics of Type 6/Ring of Fire ADD include:

  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity
  • Sensitive to noise, light, clothes or touch
  • Periods of mean, nasty or insensitive behavior
  • Grandiose or inflexible thinking
  • Talks fast
  • Racing thoughts
  • Appears anxious or fearful
  • May or may not be hyperactive

Quick Facts

  • Ring of Fire ADD has an overall hyperactive brain activity, which is a stark contrast to the other 7 types of ADD. When seen on a SPECT scan, there is a ring of hyperactivity around the brain, hence the term “Ring of Fire.”
  • Possibly correlated with allergies or inflammation, Ring of Fire ADD has many symptoms, including distractibility, oppositional behavior, worrying and obsessiveness, hypersensitivity to the environment, and mood instability.
  • Because of its status as the most intense of the 7 types of ADD, Ring of Fire ADD can sometimes be referred to as “ADD Plus.”
  • Those with Type 6 ADD tend to have difficulty “turning off” their brains and typically feel overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions.
  • People with Ring of Fire ADD often see, think, feel, and sense too much—anxiety can be especially heightened.
  • Type 6 ADD is made worse with stimulant and serotonergic (serotonin-enhancing) medications alone.
  • People can have both Ring of Fire ADD and bipolar disorder, and some studies suggest that as many as half of the people with bipolar disorder also meet the criteria for ADD.

Implementing these six tips will help you manage the symptoms of ADD Type 6:

ADD_Ring Of Fire_Comparison

Ring of Fire ADD as seen on SPECT brain scan

Elimination Diet: One of the treatment options for Ring of Fire ADD is to start an elimination diet. Through the process of elimination, this short-term eating plan can help to identify certain foods that are causing allergies and other digestive reactions.

Decrease Hyperactivity with Physical Activity: Exercise accelerates blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain. Physical activity also increases the availability of serotonin in the brain, which tends to calm hyperactivity. It’s recommended that those with Type 6 ADD get 30 to 45 minutes of exercise daily.

Train Your Second Brain: Since the gut is often referred to as the second brain, reducing inflammation and restoring balance in the GI tract can not only help to regulate mood, but also lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease, obesity, and autoimmune issues. Mood-boosting foods include berries, beans, fish, leafy greens, dark chocolate and whole fruits.

Only as Needed: Although natural interventions are recommended for treating Type 6 ADD, medications may be necessary in certain cases. Anticonvulsants and blood pressure drugs tend to calm overall hyperactivity.

Become an ANT Killer: ANTs are the Automatic Negative Thoughts that pop into your head, causing you to get upset or depressed. Once you identify an ANT, jot it down, identify it and then kill it by writing a more realistic version of the same thought.

Get a Customized Solution: Like many other mental health conditions, ADD is not just a single and simple disorder; therefore, treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each of the seven types of ADD requires a different treatment plan. What works for one person with ADD may not work for another—or could even make the symptoms worse!

ADD is a neurobiological disorder with serious psychological and social consequences. Amen Clinics is here to help you understand your brain and provide treatment options that address more than just symptoms.

Healing ADD starts with knowing if you have it and then finding out which type you have. We’ve helped tens of thousands of people with ADD from all over the world. If you suspect that you or a loved one might have ADD, don’t wait to get help. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.

Daniel G. Amen, MD

Daniel G. Amen, MD

Founder at Amen Clinics
Dr. Amen is a physician, double board certified psychiatrist and ten-time New York Times bestselling author.
Daniel G. Amen, MD
  • Farang Farang

    Ring of Fire doesn’t have the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 yet in the symptoms list it it says inattentive. I would fit this description to the T if it weren’t for the inattentive bullet point. How can someone with hypersensitivity and an overactive brain be inattentive. I notice EVERYTHING around me.

    • Jay

      Because you notice everything, you appear inattentive to the person interacting with you.

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