ADHD Impulsive Hyperactive Type

Douglas Cowan Psy.D. MFT's picture
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Hyperactive ADHD - "Impulsive Hyperactive ADHD" is Classic

At the ADD ADHD Information Library we call this bouncy Impulsive Hyperactive type of ADHD "Tigger Type" for good reason. This classic form of impulsive and hyperactive ADHD is characterized by adhd with hyperactivity like tigger

  • Inattention - is easily distracted by "shiny" things, or pays attention but to the wrong thing at the wrong time;
  • Impulsivity - does things without thinking about the consequences, blurts out his thoughts, etc.;
  • Hyperactivity - has excessive activity levels for his age, always on the go unless really interested in something, really bouncy like Tigger;
  • Restlessness - does not like to sit still, wants to move around, happy feet and hands;
  • Disorganization - "Mom, where is my homework?"

Tiggers Like to Bounce... Bouncin' is What Tiggers Do Best!

This type of ADHD reminds us of Tigger from the Winnie the Pooh stories because Tigger is always moving, bouncy, active and on the go like he is "driven by a motor."

ADHD Hyperactive Kids : About ADHD Impulsive Hyperactive Type in Children, Teens, and Adults

From the ADD ADHD Information Library. Learn about ADHD "Impulsive Hyperactive" Type with Doug Cowan, Psy.D. This classic type of ADHD, which we call Tigger Type ADHD is more common with males, and is characterized by inattention, impuls...

Impulsive Hyperactive ADHD

Someone with this type of ADHD typically:

  • Is easily distracted
  • Has a LOT of energy
  • Is hyperactive
  • Can't sit still very long
  • Is fidgety
  • Talks a LOT, and can be LOUD
  • Is very impulsive, does not think before he acts
  • Has trouble waiting his turn in line, or in games
  • and more...

Here's a good resource developed by some researchers at Harvard to help improve working memory. Its a computer based program to improve working memory in children and teenagers.

Tigger Type ADHD results from UNDER-ACTIVITY in the Prefrontal Cortex, both when at rest, and when performing concentration tasks.

Impulsive Hyperactive ADHD is most often seen in males.

Impulsivity, Hyperactivity, and Lack of Inhibition

The frontal lobes help us to pay attention to tasks, focus concentration, make good decisions, plan ahead, learn and remember what we have learned. The frontal lobes also help us to behave appropriately for a given situation. Emotional issues such as anger, frustration, and irritability that come on impulsively in some types of ADHD probably come from the pre-frontal cortex.

The inhibitory mechanisms of the cortex keep us from being hyperactive, from saying things out of turn, and from getting mad at inappropriate times, for examples. These inhibitory mechanisms of the cortex help us to "inhibit" our behaviors.

It has been said that 70% of the brain is there to inhibit the other 30% of the brain. When the inhibitory mechanisms of the brain aren't working as efficiently as they ought , then we can see results of what are sometimes called "dis-inhibition disorders" such as impulsive behaviors, quick temper, poor decision making, hyperactivity, and so on.

The limbic system is the base of our emotions and our highly vigilant look-out tower. If the limbic system is over-activated, a person might have wide mood swings, or quick temper outbursts. He might also be "over-aroused," quick to startle, touching everything around him, hyper-vigilant. A normally functioning limbic system would provide for normal emotional changes, normal levels of energy, normal sleep routines, and normal levels of coping with stress. A dysfunctional limbic system results in problems with those areas.

Attention Deficit Disorder might affect one, two, or all three of these areas, resulting in several different "styles" or "profiles" of children (and adults) with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Attention Deficit Disorder and the Reticular Activating System

  • What causes these various systems of the brain to get out of balance with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder individuals?
  • Why would these systems become under aroused or over aroused?
  • Is there one central system that controls or regulates these other systems?

The answer may be found with the Reticular Activating System. The Reticular Activating System is the attention center in the brain. It is the key to "turning on your brain," and also seems to be the center of motivation. The Reticular Activating System is connected at its base to the spinal cord where it receives information projected directly from the ascending sensory tracts. The brain stem reticular formation runs all the way up to the mid-brain.
the reticular activating system

The Reticular Activating System is a very complex collection of neurons that serve as a point of convergence for signals from the external world and from interior environment. In other words, it is the part of your brain where the world outside of you, and your thoughts and feelings from "inside" of you, meet. This Reticular Activating System is very capable of generating dynamic effects on the activity of the cortex, including the frontal lobes, and the motor activity centers of the brain.

Alternative Treatment Strategies Specifically for Hyperactive Impulsive "Tigger-Type ADHD"

Here is what we recommend for bouncy "Tigger-type" ADHD if you are trying to avoid medications, or just want to try a good alternative first and see how it works:

  • For best results use our Eating Program along with the nutraceuticals recommended below.
  • It is important to use the eating program even if you are using other interventions, such as medications, biofeedback training, or a combination of the nutraceuticals ATTEND, EXTRESS, and MEMORIN.
  • We also strongly recommend using Essential Fatty Acid supplementation (Omega Oils) even while using the nutraceuticals below. We do not recommend fish oils, but rather either a combination of flax seed oils and primrose oils, or the oils from "YES" (Your Essential Supplements).

We recommend at least a 30 to 60 day trial with the following nutraceuticals. And you are covered by the manufacturer's money back guarantee..

  • ATTEND for ADHD symptoms; 2 to 4 capsules per day in divided doses.

    ATTEND contains L-Tyrosine, which increases dopamine production. ATTEND also contains GABA, DL-Phenylalyne, Ginko, Pycnogenol and Grape Seed Extracts, 5-HTP, pregnenolone, DMAE, and more. This is an excellent product and we recommend giving it a good try. Learn more about ATTEND here at the ADHD Information Library.

  • EXTRESS for symptoms of impulsivity, temper, restlessness; 2 to 6 capsules per day in divided doses. We have seen this really help with impulsive temper outbursts and hyperactivity, especially when combined with ATTEND and a good eating program.

    EXTRESS contains GABA, DL-PA, 5-HTP, and St. John's Wort, and is an excellent mood stabilizer.

  • MEMORIN for increased focus and concentration to task. 1 or 2 capsules per day in divided doses. Just a small dose. Just a little bit for the Impulsive Hyperactive ADHD type. MEMORIN contains more ginko, plus lots of Phosphatidyl Serine and other phosphatidyls, DMAE, B vitamins and minerals, Ginkgo, targeted amino combinations, and homeopathic medicines.

Back to "Different Types of ADHD" index

This book section: The Different Types of ADHD

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Tehachapi, CA who has been a counselor to children, teens, and adults helping them to overcome ADHD, find relief for depression or anxiety, and solve other problems in life since 1989. He served on the medical advisory board to the company that makes Attend and Extress from 1997 through 2011, and he is the Editor of the ADHD Information Library online resource at His weekly ADHD Newsletter goes out to 9,500 families. Visit his website at for more information on achieving greater health, personal growth, Christ-centered spirituality, stress management, parenting skills, ADHD, working out the stresses of being a care-giver to elderly parents and also being a parent to teenagers, or finding greater meaning in retirement years, Dr. Cowan can be a valuable resource to you.

Counselor counseling Tehachapi for ADHD, depression, anxiety, and more.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT
27400 Oakflat Dr.
Tehachapi, CA 93561
(661) 972-5953

From the ADHD Information Library : "hyepractivity" is a common mis-spelling, and this article is a discussion on ADHD Impulsive Hyperactive Type

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