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Re: Atypical ADD?

Posted by Noa on November 29, 1999, at 16:13:42

In reply to Atypical ADD?, posted by CarolAnn on November 29, 1999, at 14:32:34

A controversial topic in the world of ADD theory, but the current diagnostic criteria delineate three types:
1.ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
2.ADHD, Predominantly Innattentive
3.ADHD, Combined Type

There is also an ADHD, Not Otherwise Specified, for those who don't meet the full criteria for any of the above.

One of the main controversies is whether ADD, ADHD, whatever, is primarily an attention deficit, or an impulse control/behavioral inhibition deficit. There are other ways to look at it too, including "executive function" deficit (difficulty initiating, planning, organizing, holding things in working memory, etc.)and as a problem in regulation of alertness and arousal.

Many girls have been overlooked because they present more frequenlty with the predominantly innattentive type of ADHD. Some people with ADHD have too little energy, have difficulty staying alert to complete tasks, can't muster up initative, etc.

Another problem with all of this, is that some of these symptoms, whether the more well know, classic ones, like hyperactivity, or short attention span, can also sometimes be caused by anxiety or depression, etc.

So, to answer your question: In the 1960's and 70's, what you are describing would be considered "atypcial" as the disorder was conceived of as "hyperkinetic disorder of childhood". Beginning in the eighties, the idea of calling it an attention deficit disorder came about; I think it was called ADD in the DSM III, published in 1980. Then, with DSMIII-R,(1987??)it became ADD/H, with specification if it was with or without hyperactivity. The discussion went back and forth and round and round. For DSM IV (1994), it became ADHD, with the different types. It is still such a young diagnosis, and will probably change again for the next DSM published, as will the criteria (I hear they will get more specific with age-related criteria, to reflect how the disorder looks different at different ages). I think as the research develops, we will see several different disorders emerge, based on knowledge of different malfunctioning brain processes.




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