ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) was first described in medical literature in the late 19th century, although it was not recognized as a distinct condition until many decades later. In the early 20th century, ADHD-like symptoms were attributed to "minimal brain dysfunction," a term used to describe a range of behavioral and cognitive problems thought to be related to mild brain damage or dysfunction.
It was not until the 1960s and 1970s that researchers began to recognize ADHD as a distinct disorder. During this time, studies began to show that children with ADHD had a unique pattern of symptoms that differed from those with other types of behavioral problems. In 1980, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III) formally recognized ADHD as a distinct disorder.
Since that time, ADHD has been the subject of extensive research and clinical attention. We now have a better understanding of the causes, symptoms, and treatments for the disorder. While there is still much to learn, this progress has helped many individuals with ADHD to receive effective treatment and support.