A person with ADHD can be inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive in their internal mental processes as well as their outward presentation, from speech to behaviour patterns. They can also be a combined subtype with characteristics from both sets.
The names of ADHD
ADHD has an infamous misnomer, as even the current descriptor is not accurate to the condition.
- There is no attention deficit, but rather an interest-based cognition, as ADHDers have plenty of attention when a task is stimulating enough (just think of hyperfocus).
- Hyperactivity is also just one of the subtypes, and not every ADHDer presents hyperactive traits.
- Thirdly, ADHD is not a disorder but a condition, as the consensus moves more and more toward neurovariety. Neurovariety means that neurodivergent conditions are not illnesses that need to be cured, but naturally existing variations of the human brain.
How the names and understanding of ADHD evolved
- 1798 — Mental restlessness
- 1930s — Minimal brain damage
- 1960s — Minimal brain dysfunction
- 1968 — Hyperkinetic reaction of childhood
- 1980 — Attention-deficit disorder (ADD). This is still a version that some people use, even though it’s been officially changed since 1987.
- 1987 — Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (1987)
- 1994 — ADHD with 3 subtypes: hyperactive-impulsive, inattentive and a combined subtype
- 2013 — ADHD with 3 symptom presentations, with the understanding that an individual can shift through the three presentations and the symptoms can present differently at different stages of their life. 2