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):

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)

ADD 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

ADD 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, and focusing on dietary factors, 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.

Want more information? Download Amen Clinics’ free Getting to Know the 7 ADD Types eBook.

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.


  1. 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.

    Comment by Farang Farang — July 9, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

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

    Comment by Jay — August 6, 2017 @ 3:36 PM

  3. same with me, age 70..i cant stand the way people do things if i find them ‘the wrong way’ or my drive me crazy when i buy meds, the the lady takes a box of 100, and counts out 80 ( which is my RX.) i keep insisting that she simply open a full box and take out 20…it saves time…everyone is waiting their turn…so i keep telling her to do it my way…she does not listen to me, so i EXPLODE in foul language and arm waving…and its not that i am ATTENTION DEFF…its that i am HYPER ATTENTION…HYPER FOCUS…and find it useful in working with COMPUTER STOCK TICKER TAPES..nothing gets past me no matter how fast they go…and i often win, but alas…also TOO HYPER and ACT TOO QUICKLY…i cant stand people being around me as i find them to be DISTRACTIONS….but i have found a lot of success working ALONE…fast and furious…more so than others.

    Comment by revmahuike — November 16, 2017 @ 9:42 PM

  4. I was a past patient of Dr. Amen, MD through Dr. Thomas Stiles, MD (Endocrinologist-10 Professional Way, St. Helena, CA) I was blessed to have Dr. Amen do a spect scan and report on me.

    My house was burlarized and all my data including copies of my scans are missing. How can I get another copy of my medical records?

    Comment by Nora Miriam Hill (Lindelof) — December 1, 2017 @ 11:34 AM

  5. I recently met a young woman (35) at our church that appears to be this type 6. She talks really fast, constantly interjects her ideas and clearly thinks she knows better ways to do things. She is very bright and is passionate about health education and going to school to get massage certification. She has moved in with a friend of mine and has already rearranged my friends cupboards and constantly advising her the way she should do things. Could she have an an attachment disorder rather than ADD or both? She says she is anemic.

    Comment by Charlene — December 1, 2017 @ 6:40 PM

  6. My life changed drastically due to a car accident. I was then diagnosed with multiple issues and have struggled terribly since. When will your services begin to become more affordable for people like me who cannot afford to cover the cost of out of pocket (loans are not an options) and desperately need your services?

    Comment by Kim — December 1, 2017 @ 7:41 PM

  7. Thanks for this question & response re “inattentive” symptom. I have not understood until this simple explanation was offered…I get it now!

    Comment by Linda — December 2, 2017 @ 10:18 AM

  8. Not everyone with Type 6 ADD will have every symptom, Farang. If you substitute ‘inattentive’ with ‘easily distracted’, it will likely better describe your symptoms.

    I am a Lymbic ADD (Type 4). I prefer to call my issue with distractibility as having ‘squirrel!’ disorder. If you walk a dog in your local park, you’ll see what I mean. Whenever the dog sees any movement, it tends to head towards the disturbance. That’s how I react to environmental distractions.

    You fall under this description if you not only notice everything but also are easily taken off-task by these things. 🙂

    Comment by Petra Katrine Taylor — December 2, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

  9. You have the right to request your records from any doctor. You just have to fill out a release. Call them and as them what you need to do.

    Comment by Dr J — December 2, 2017 @ 8:22 PM

  10. Grandson diagnosed with ADD, prescribed Adderol. Won’t take it all the time, but when he does it gives him the willingness to get a few things done. New doctor changed his meds. Before he was struggling with trying to unclutter and clean up his area of the house. With the meds, he is getting it done. His casita has not been habitable for years, until now. After reading articles like this and reading books on the
    subject, I can see the symptoms of ADD of one type or another in all my family. This Type 6 made it clear that my life’s partner obviously has this…but I won’t make the mistake of suggesting that to him .:)

    Comment by Luwana — December 15, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

  11. What causes ring of Fire? Can it be from multiple head traumas?

    Comment by Tam — February 6, 2018 @ 9:50 AM

  12. Hello Tam, for more information about Ring of Fire ADD please visit this link –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 9, 2018 @ 9:36 AM

  13. It was this insight that took me to the Amen Clinic. My husband has ADD. And I came across a book written by Dr. Amen on the subject. I was amazed at the depth of his knowledge. I made an appointment shortly there after and since then my husband been following his personalized plan. All to his wellbeing. Please continue improving the lives of those with mental disease.

    Comment by Sandra — March 8, 2018 @ 6:43 PM

  14. For example, you walk into a room and you notice everything. Your fight or flight response is on high alert. But, you don’t notice what you are doing. Your huge grand plan can turn into a huge mess. Absent minded because you are impulsive. OCD is also a symptom. There is nothing consistent about the way a person who’s brain works like this. One minute to the next.

    Comment by Jamie — September 14, 2018 @ 9:43 AM

  15. @revmahuike: I understand your frustration and while it would be simpler to do it “your way” it is actually an FDA regulation and a DEA law that prohibits counting out 20 pills and giving you the rest. I see your logic and it is often how I think and see the world, as well. Everything needs to be done with the utmost efficiency, am I right? But this might help to understand why they do it the “l/wrong way”… What if the drug manufacturer made a mistake?? (It happens more than you think.) Now, the mistake has been repeated by your pharmacist. PLUS, you received the wrong amount of pills! Now, you would really be upset and they are unlikely to correct the mistake until the following month.

    It helps me to stop and figure out why people do what they do. There are many ways to get to the same place. None are wrong. But most importantly, they are not doing anything specifically to you. That part was the hardest for me to accept and learn about. It is not personal. Once I was able to see what other people do is all about them, not me, it changed my life. Hope that helps!

    Dr. Jon

    Comment by Dr. Jon Chandler — October 10, 2018 @ 6:37 AM

  16. The attentiveness factor is part of my mental makeup, but I’ve learned that I can focus on two things at a time

    Comment by carol gibson — November 23, 2018 @ 8:49 AM

  17. Regarding the pill counting. I see your point about removing 20 pills from a bottle of 100 pills to fill your 80 pill prescription. However, this doesn’t guarantee that by removing 20 pills you will absolutely receive 80 pills. Filling prescriptions has to be exact. So by actually counting out the 80 pills, the pharmacist can be certain that your prescription is correctly filled. Peace.

    Comment by Carol Kim — December 5, 2018 @ 9:06 AM

  18. I tend to say someone with ADD can’t see the forest, because they see the bird in a nest on the 3rd tree..

    Comment by Kathy M — February 20, 2019 @ 9:36 PM

  19. How did you learn that what people do is about them and not you. I keep thinking people are talking about me and it’s scaring me what they will say about me and what someone might do to me as the result of it.

    Comment by Carnov — April 10, 2019 @ 5:28 PM

  20. What if you were like this since age 7or even throw in a genetic factor. The treatment is still the focus. That being said, what’s the best approach when someone has elevated mycotoxin levels due to mold exposure?
    I know the topic was ADD, which I’ve also been diagnosed with along with depression ?

    Comment by Brian Jones — May 4, 2019 @ 5:13 PM

  21. Hi, I have two boys that signs of more than one type of ADD. They both share symptoms of ring of Fire and over attentive. For us to come and do a brain spect in both boys would be a financial difficulty. What do you suggest for us?

    Comment by Robyn Shirley — May 26, 2019 @ 11:06 AM

  22. My son had two scans at the Amen Clinic nearly 20 years ago. He was diagnosed with Ring of Fire ADHD and early onset bi-polar disorder. Whe tried to get his records and help from the clinic but they said it was too long ago and they don’t have records. My son is literally going crazy before my eyes and I don’t know what to do.

    Comment by Carrie Mitchum — September 3, 2019 @ 10:17 PM

  23. Is ring of fire adhd a combined type

    Comment by Broc scholz — December 8, 2019 @ 3:49 PM

  24. Anxious ADD includes Classic ADD symptoms plus feeling anxious and tense, physical stress symptoms like a headache and stomachache, freezing when in situations that cause anxiety, and anticipating the worst. People with Anxious ADD have high levels of activity in the basal ganglia, which aids in making dopamine. This differs from the majority of the other ADD types, which have low activity in this part of the brain.

    Comment by Korea — January 30, 2020 @ 11:33 AM

  25. I am diagnosed with type 6 adhd…. but the 2 below don’t fit for me…. While at time’s I may have inflexible thinking, i’ve always tried to consider all pov’s…. I also am a very empathetic person, but that’s not to say I didn’t have a period of bad behavior ever… During my teen years it was reactionary to environment and even during my young adult years… everything was reactionary to a situation.

    Periods of mean, nasty or insensitive behavior
    Grandiose or inflexible thinking

    Comment by Kara — June 23, 2022 @ 6:14 PM

  26. This makes sense. I have major sensory issues struggle with physical touch the most this point in life manybother areas as well. Inattentive is a good place to start. In my mind I know what needs to be done and when but will put it off to the last minute only to be so overwhelmed by the coming deadline that I don't get something done simply do to overload and anxiety. I remember everything eventually just not always in the most timely manner.

    Comment by K — January 6, 2023 @ 2:09 PM

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