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“The History of ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder”

ADHD has gone under a number of aliases since its first clinical description a century ago. In 1902 the set of characteristics was labeled as “Morbid Defect of Moral Control” (Oh my!), followed by “Post-encephalitic Behavior Disorders” in 1922 (whatever that means). “Minimal Brain Dysfunction” was the new ADHD catchphrase in 1960, followed by “Hyperkinetic Reaction” in 1968. It was not until 1980 that the term “Attention Deficit Disorder +/- Hyperactivity” was coined.

Attention Deficit became more widely reviewed in the 1960s and 1970s. The focus in the 1960s was primarily on hyperactivity. That emphasis changed in the 1970s when doctors and researchers began making the connection between the inward daydreaming and lack of focus and the outward impulsivity and hyperactivity. By the 1990s, Hyperactivity Attention Deficit Disorder became widely studied, discussed, debated and diagnosed.

Prescriptions for stimulant medications to treat ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder skyrocketed over the past decade, as have reports of Ritalin abuse. New medications continue to appear to meet the demand. Never in history have there been so many “ADHD” people. Never in history have so many people taken stimulant medications for ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder. On the positive side, there are also many effective ADHD remedies as well.

Yet despite the long history of ADHD and millions of children currently taking ADHD medications, there is still a lack of adequate data on the long-term effects that ADHD treatments have on children. I wonder what the doctors and parents of tomorrow will say about the indiscriminate drugging of our children instead of seeking out ADHD natural treatment options.

As the history of ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder unfolds into the future, I would love to see yet another name change for ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder. This name would reflect ADHD as more of a personality type instead of a disorder and look at acceptance and encouragement as the first line of treatment instead of Ritalin, Adderall or Concerta.

History of ADHD in Time Line:
_1902: The first clinical description of ADHD appeared, labeled as
“Morbid Defect of Moral Control.”
_1922: ADHD gets a new name, Post-encephalitic Behavior Disorders.
_1930s: Amphetamines introduced to treat hyperactive children.
_1956: Ritalin introduced as a treatment for hyperactivity.
_1960: ADHD gets another new name, Minimal Brain Dysfunction
_1968: And another, Hyperkinetic Reaction.
_1980: Attention Deficit becomes an official disorder with the National Institute of Mental Health naming a group of characteristics as Attention Deficit Disorder +/- Hyperactivity.
_1996: Adderall gains FDA approval for the treatment of ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder.
_1998: The American Medical Association called ADHD “one of the best-researched disorders in medicine.”
_1999: Concerta gains FDA approval for the treatment of ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder.
_1999: Metadate gains FDA approval for the treatment of ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder.
_2001: Focalin gains FDA approval for the treatment of ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder.
_2002: Strattera gains approval for the treatment of ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder.

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