What is Hyperkinesis?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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In the field of behavioral science, hyperkinesis is commonly defined as the inability to control excessive movement, or a lack of ability to sit still or maintain physical stability and psychological focus. Hyperkinesis is associated with ADD or attention deficit disorder and ADHD or attention deficit hyperactive disorder. This condition is often found in younger patients where it interferes with their education. Behavioral specialists give a great deal of attention to treating it so that it does not interfere with the life development of a younger patient.

Clinical psychologists and other professionals need to look closely at symptoms of a hyperkinetic disorder in order to assess whether a learning disability is involved, and what factors are contributing to an attention deficit hyperkinetic disorder or similar behavior issue. Common symptoms of hyperkinesis disorders are found in the international ICD 10 library of codes. These include poor attention to tasks, inappropriate or excessive verbal output and volume. Another common problem is substituting running, climbing, and more strenuous activities for sitting, standing and walking. Skilled professionals are trained to recognize these essential symptoms of a hyperkinetic condition.

Doctors use a variety of solutions to treat hyperkinetic inpatients. Some juvenile patients with hyperkinesis are responsive to simple behavioral guidelines. Others may require changes in diet. There are also a range of pharmaceutical drugs that doctors prescribe for this and other similar conditions.


As a common and general behavior issue, hyperkinesis differs fundamentally from similar terms like telekinesis. Some people often interchange these words, since hyperkinesis gives the connotation of a kinetic activity beyond the normal human range. Telekinesis or psychokinesis is a controversial paranormal term for a human ability to project activity.

Various forms of telekinesis or psychokinesis show up in modern American literature. One such type is the condition called pyrokinesis, or a human ability to control fire remotely. These terms should not be confused with hyperkinesis, which is a clinical term for a recognized human condition.

The issue of hyperkinesis often comes up among educators who want to improve the general standards of their schools. This condition may be part of a conference addressing juvenile conditions, and how to practically handle them. High-level administrative educators look at how these conditions affect a learning environment, and how to manage them in the best interests of the learning community as a whole. Most educators recognize that students affected by this condition may need additional resources to thrive.


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Post 7

@googie98- Wow. Someone like me. I have to be moving some part of my body all the time. I am taking some college courses and I have a bad habit of tapping my feet constantly. I often tap on the desk of the person in front of me and I have to try to make myself aware of that.

I have never been diagnosed with any type of ADD or ADHD. I am 32 years old and this has been going on for as long as I can remember. If I lay down, some part of me is moving, usually my legs or feet. It's like I have to rock myself to sleep with my feet. I can't just be still. This article shed some light for me.

Post 6

It makes me feel so much better reading this article and the following posts. For as long as I can remember, I have had the inability to be completely still. Some part of my body has to be moving at all times. Of course, I'm not saying that I have any kind of ADD or hyperkinesis but this article makes me understand things better.

During the night, at least one foot has to always be moving. Everyone that has ever slept in the bed with me notices it. My best friend and I had a grown-up "sleepover" and she filmed me sleeping and my feet were literally moving all night. Really weird.

Post 5

Though it is rare, dogs can have hyperkinesis, too. This is more than just your average hyperactivity. I had a hyperkinetic dog, and I could not form a relationship with him until I got him treatment.

A truly hyperkinetic dog cannot learn, even from obedience school. He will always be nervous, excited, and salivating. He cannot sit still, and he will behave frantically until he collapses from exhaustion. He never adapts to his situation, and his heart rate will be chronically rapid.

Once my vet diagnosed my dog, he gave him an amphetamine. This really helped him focus. He even asked to be petted, which never happened before. He finally slowed down and started acting like a dog. I have to keep him on the medication, though, or he will return to his old ways.

Post 4

@ahain - I'm sorry to hear about your little nephew's struggles with hyperkinesis! Hyperkinesis used to be punished as disobedience in old-time schools, back before it was understood well and when they simply assumed the kid was being naughty. Imagine the poor kids back then, getting in trouble for fidgeting they couldn't stop if they wanted to!

As the article mentions briefly, your sister may see improvement in your nephew's condition if she tries changing his diet.

Sometimes certain food allergies can worsen hyperkinesis, and in conditions like Asperger's Syndrome, children may behave great on a strict diet but be hyperactive, disobedient and in general a handful when allowed to eat things like gluten or sugar.

These effects

can happen even if the child is not allergic to the food and can safely eat it, so even if a food allergy check comes back negative, she should try cutting out one food type at a time for a week and see if his hyperkinesis improves.

Try a week without wheat, note the results. Try a week without sugar, note the results. That kind of thing. She might just find a solution without any pills at all!

Post 3

Hyperkinesis might sound like what every kid has -- being hyper and overwhelming adults with their energy -- but it's not. Too many people say their kid has ADHD or hyperkinesis when they don't know what they're talking about.

My nephew has true hyperkinesis. He literally cannot sit still. If you sit him down in a chair, he will bounce his feet on the floor, twitch and fidget his arms, and glance around so much he cannot maintain eye contact. He really wants to make eye contact and pay attention, but he literally just can't.

My sister has taken my nephew to the doctor several times over this strong hyperkinesis, but the only treatments the doctor comes up with are

strong drugs, and my sister is very against taking a pill for every condition in your life. She hasn't let them give her son any pills yet.

I'm not sure what to think, myself. My sister has a right to choose how to raise her kid, but my nephew obviously has a pretty pronounced problem.

Does anybody know of any natural, herbal or holistic treatments that will at least ease his symptoms? My sister would probably allow that -- she wants to help him, too, she's just very against chemical medicine.

Post 2

@TheGraham - It's true, if you know what each part of these words mean then it's obvious that hyperkinesis isn't even in the same category as the other two. If more people would learn what the words mean, maybe they wouldn't confuse hyperkinesis, pyrokinesis, telekinesis and any other "kinesis" words.

Unfortunately, when people want to just skim information and then talk like they know what they're talking about, they tend to assume things that sound similar are similar.

Thanks for your post -- that should help clear things up for people who are interested in why hyperkinesis and, say, telekinsesis are named so closely despite being different things entirely. They do both involve movement, and in my opinion the names are totally appropriate for the conditions.

Post 1

How could people confuse the term "hyperkenesis" with paranormal terms like pyrokenesis or telekinesis? Really, if you look at the root words involved, the difference is clear!

first we have "kinesis", which means basically "movement". Now take the beginnings of each of the words one by one.

"Pyro" means "fire" -- that's easy, right? You see it used in things like "pyromaniac" (somebody obsessive or maniacal about fire).

"Tele" means "long-distance", which is why we have words like "telecommute" (working from a long distance away, e.g. commuting without being close by) and "telecommunication" (communicating from far away, usually by radio or the Internet).

Can you guess what "hyper" means? No, not "sugar-high" -- it just means "extra". Words like "hyper-real" means "extra real", or something so realistic it feels more vivid than reality. Slap "hyper" and "kinesis" together and you simply have "extra movement" -- too much movement to sit still.

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