Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: An Overview
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or otherwise known in some parts of the world as Hyperkinetic Disorders, are a family of behaviors identified by chronic inattention or hyperactivity. The first clinical descriptions of these behaviors are recorded in the early 1900s. However, historical evidence suggests conditions matching the modern definitions of ADHD can be dated as far back as Hippocrates (460-370 BC).
The name Attention Deficit Disorder originated from the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980. The definition was later updated to describe three subdivisions within ADHD:
- The hyperactive-impulsive type; which can be categorized by excessive talking, restlessness, fidgeting, difficulty waiting one’s turn or with patience, and interrupting others.
- The predominantly inattentive type; which can be categorized by an inability to keep one’s attention focused on a topic, following-through to the end of a given task, trouble organizing tasks, and avoiding things that take effort.
- The combined type; referred to as ADHD presentations.
ADHD does not have any known physiological indicators that can be detected by a medical exam. A mental health practitioner is needed to diagnose the condition. It is common for ADHD symptoms to overlap with other physical and psychological disorders.