The Zappel-Philipp a historical example of ADHD Clinics

Atten Defic Hyperact Disord. 2018 Jun;10(2):119-127. doi: 10.1007/s12402-017-0239-4. Epub 2017 Sep 13.


In his book "Die Geschichte von dem Zappel-Philipp," the German psychiatrist Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894) offers a clinical vignette which raises the question of the description of a disobedient child or presenting hyperactivity symptoms. This article describes the historical context and the biographical aspects related to this interesting approach to describing a psychiatric syndrome to children and adults. It also underlines the importance of a global approach of ADHD that considers the familial environment and situational context of symptoms.

Keywords: ADHD; Attention deficit hyperactivity and impulsivity; Dirty-Hairy; Family relations; Fidgety Philipp; Heinrich Hoffmann; Struwwelpeter; Zappel-Philipp.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / history*
  • Child
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male

Personal name as subject

  • Heinrich Hoffmann