History Of ADHD

ADHD Time Line

  • 1902. ADHD was first recognized as a disorder in 1902. A British doctor, Dr. Still, documented cases of impulsive behavior. He gave the disorder its first name, "Defect of Moral Control." Despite this name, he believed that the disorder was a medical problem, not a spiritual defect.
  • 1922. It was not until 1922 that ADHD symptoms were described and diagnosed as "Post-Encephalitic Behavior Disorder."
  • 1937. In 1937 stimulants were first used to treat children who exhibited signs of ADHD. This was introduced by one Dr. Charles Bradley.
  • 1956. In 1956, Ritalin came on the market. It was used to treat children considered to be "hyperactive."
  • 1960. Throughout the 1960s, stimulants were increasingly used to treat hyperactive children. In the early part of the decade, the term "Minimal Brain Dysfunction" was used to describe the disorder, but this was changed to "Hyperkinetic Disorder of Childhood" in the later part of the decade.
  • 1970. In the 1970s, more symptoms were recognized to go along with hyperactivity. These included impulsiveness, lack of focus, daydreaming, and other lack of focus type symptoms. "Impulsiveness" as a category was divided into three subtypes: verbal, cognitive, and motor impulsiveness.
  • 1980. In 1980 the name "Attention Deficit Disorder" was invented by the American Psychiatric Association.
  • 1987. In 1987, the name was revised to "Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder".
  • 1996. In 1996, Adderall was approved to treat ADHD.
  • 1998. In 1998, the American Medical Association stated that ADHD was one of the most researched disorders, despite the fact that its cause is unknown.

ADHD Today

However, despite great leaps in understand, additional questions remain. Research is still ongoing into ADHD. Three areas of intense interest are:

  • The cause of ADHD
  • The long-term effects of stimulant medication.
  • A cure for ADHD

Alternative Treatments

Stimulants have been known to cause serious problems in children, ranging from anxiety, insomnia, and tics heart problems, emotional problems and more. Aside from the standard stimulant medications, there are many treatments for ADHD. We suggest that before settling on any treatment path, you research all the options.

Examples of alternative treatments are:

  • Diet changes. Elimination of sugar from the diet, along with supplementation of high quality proteins have, in many cases, helped both adult and children ADHD sufferers.
  • Behavioral therapy can also greatly improve behavior and eliminate some behavior problems.
  • Counseling is also important. Many children are "acting out" due to some emotional disturbance in their life, and counseling can identify these disturbances.
  • Family therapy can analyze the family dynamics at work. Some children are helped by improved relationships between them, their parents, and their siblings.
  • Biofeedback is a promising new therapy for ADHD.


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