The history of ADHD goes as far as of 1902, when Sir George F. Still noticed some issue with children who were hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive. He described the behavior of these children as abnormal, and made a conclusion that this is more of an organic problem than about personal mood.
In the latter times, other professionals support Still's theory, and call this state MCD or Minimal Cerebral Dysfunction. In 1957, the term was changed into Hiperkinetic-Impulsive Disorder, because it was believed the name of this disorder should reflect the clinical image of the behavior, and not the cause of the disorder. Hence, in the diagnostic and statistical manual of the American Association of Psychiatry, the name DSM-II was changed into Hyperkinetic Reaction in Child Age. Once DSM-III was out, the name was changed into ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and after which DSM-IV changed its name into Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder, which is still used today.
DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD
I. Either A or B:
A Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:
A Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:
- Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
- Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
- Often has trouble organizing activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
- Is often easily distracted.
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
- Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
- Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
- Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
- Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".
- Often talks excessively.
II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years.
- Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
- Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).
III. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home).
IV. There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.
V. The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder. The symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).
Based on these criteria, there are three ADHD types existing:
The combined type (lack of attention, hyperactivity-impulsiveness)
The predominantly inattentive type
The predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
Today, it is believed that 3 - 5% of schoolchildren have symptoms of ADHD. This means a classroom of 30 students has one or two children with ADHD. In addition, studies have shown that ADHD is as 2 to 3 times more frequent among boys than among girls.
Side-effects are not an ADHD trait; they show up because of short understanding or badly chosen care.
- Low self-confidence
- Social isolation
- Fear of learning something new
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Feeling of not giving their maximum
- Deviant behavior due to stacked frustrations