On March 11th, 1902, the first recorded study of ADHD was presented. These three lectures, known as the “Goulstonian lectures”, were given by Sir George Still, the father of British pediatrics. He noted that the 43 children in his study had “serious problems with sustained attention and self regulation…often aggressive, defiant, resistant to discipline, excessively emotional or passionate,had serious problems with sustained attention and could not learn from the consequences of their actions”.When Sir George Still first diagnosed this disorder, he did not define it as ADHD, yet considered it a moral defect. His study also helped strengthen the conclusion that ADHD does not decrease cognitive function. This was a significant development, as it would lay the groundwork for researchers conducting similar studies in the future.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The American Psychiatric Association defines ADHD as one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that 5% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD. This is especially hard for children considering the multitude of stimuli occurring in their everyday lives. This condition leads to disruption in class and problems with everyday tasks.
It is more common in boys than it is girls and is usually diagnosed in the adolescent stages of development. While it isn’t curable, many medications designed to help with ADHD such as Adderall and Ritalin exist. These drugs are stimulants which help to increase dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These chemicals play an essential role in your attention and thinking. Through such drugs, one is able to counter the effects caused by this disorder. So, what was once thought to be a moral defect is really just another chemical imbalance.
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