ADHD Myths & Facts

ADDitude Readers Take a Stab at Renaming ADHD

Many terms have been used to describe what we call ADHD today. Is there an even better name to describe this condition? Readers weigh in.

ADHD abbreviation from paper letters on a chaotic red and white striped background.
ADHD. Abbreviation ADHD from paper letters . Chaotic red white stripes spots background. ADHD is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

What’s in a name? To many people, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is an inaccurate term for a condition marked by hyperfocus and, less frequently, by outward hyperactivity. The name also ignores the combination of strengths, advantages, and challenges that accompany a diagnosis.

ADHD was not included in the DSM until 1968, when it was called Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood. The name was changed to attention deficit disorder in 1980. Doctors and scientists once used the terms “Clumsy Child Syndrome” and “Organic Brain Disease.”

ADDitude asked readers whether they thought ADHD was a terrible name for the condition: 52% said yes, 34% were neutral, and 14% said the name was appropriate. Here, readers offer their suggestions for an ADHD name change:

[Download: 25 Things to Love About ADHD]

  • Neuro Spicy
  • Capacity Management Syndrome
  • Exceptional Artistic Ability of the Genius Variety
  • Can’t Live Up to Your Bullsh*t Expectations Syndrome
  • Variable Attention Trait Disorder (VAT)
  • Executive Malfunction Disorder
  • Emotional Regulation Disorder
  • Zoomies
  • Dysregulated Attention Disorder (DAD)
  • Selective Attention Impulsive Disorder (SAID)
  • Neuro-Overload Disorder (NOD)
  • Chronic Overwhelm Disorder (COD)
  • Racecar Brain
  • Dopamine Attention Variability Executive Dysfunction (DAVE)

Other Names for ADHD: Next Steps

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