|Classification and external resources|
Hyperkinesis, or hyperkinesia, is a state of overactive restlessness, particularly in children (see hyperactivity), marked by extreme excess of motor activity (the child flits from activity to activity); restlessness; fidgeting; often wildly or oscillating mood swings (he's fine one day, a terror the next); clumsiness; aggressive-like behavior; impulsivity; in school he cannot sit still, cannot comply with rules, has low frustration levels; frequently there may be sleeping problems and acquisition of speech may be delayed (Stewart et al., 1966; Stewart, 1970; Wender, 1971). Most of the symptoms for the disorder are deviant behaviors. It is six times as prevalent among boys as among girls.
Hyperkinesis is a relatively recent phenomenon as a medical diagnostic category. However, the roots of the diagnosis and treatment of this clinical entity are found earlier. Hyperkinesis is also known as Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Hyperactive Syndrome, Hyperkinetic Disorder of Childhood, and by several other diagnostic categories. Although the symptoms and the presumed etiology vary, in general the behaviors are quite similar and greatly overlap.
Hyperkinetic Disorders are a group of related psychiatric diagnoses in the ICD-10, roughly the equivalent of DSM-IV's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The term hyperkinesis is used to represent all the diagnostic categories of this disorder.
Hyperkinetic Disorder alone is classified in the ICD as either a "Disturbance of Activity and Attention", "Other Hyperkinetic Disorders" or "Hyperkinetic Disorders, Unspecified". The latter is sometimes referred to as "Hyperkinetic Syndrome". When a conduct disorder (as defined by ICD-10) is also present, the condition is referred to as "Hyperkinetic conduct disorder".
Critiques of medicalization have sometimes referred to the diagnosis of hyperkinesis or ADHD, for example Peter Conrad's "The discovery of hyperkinesis: notes on medicalization of deviance," published in 1973.
- "ICD-10". World Health Organization. Retrieved December 11, 2006.