Read Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell John J. Ratey Online


Millions of children and adults tell themselves or are told by others to stop procrastinating, start concentrating, sit still, finish what they started, and get organized. But what appears to be a matter of self-discipline is for many a neurological problem. Now two doctors reveal the impact precise diagnosis and treatment can have....

Title : Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780679421771
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 319 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood Reviews

  • Rebecca
    2018-10-18 16:54

    Still reading, but so far, it's been fantastic for me to recognize why my parents had such a difficult time with me. It's SO therapeutic to read accounts of how ADD(/ADHD) has affected others' lives--those who have it and those around them--and it's quite refreshing to discover the positive aspects of ADD, as well as what things help an ADD child/adult to thrive. I've been given so many conflicting labels: helpful, defiant, cheerful, irritable, brilliant, stupid, patient, reactive, enthusiastic, unmotivated, etc. Talk about confusing! Well, kids typically come to believe those who speak the loudest and the most. So, naturally, through my parents and teachers and brothers' frustrated reactions to me, I came to believe mostly the negative things. (Lucky for me, my husband has got to be among the top 100 most patient, understanding men in the world; I knew going into our marriage that our relationship probably wouldn't survive if that had not been the case!) Can you see how this book would be so beneficial to me? I highly recommend it to anyone with ADD or anyone who interacts frequently with someone who has ADD. However, be sure to follow it up by reading the next book written by Edward Hallowell: Delivered from Distraction, which offers a hopeful view of how to thrive with ADD. And, after that, read The ADHD Effects on Marriage--essential to keeping your closest relationship not only intact but flourishing.

  • Ammar
    2018-11-11 22:15

    One of the most important books about ADHD. Very helpful and informative for parents with children with ADHD. Totally recommend it

  • Johnny
    2018-10-31 21:12

    Although I have always joked with my students that I must be borderline ADD, I would never have diagnosed myself as actually suffering from the disorder. I even fostered a child with ADHD, diagnosed and medicated, such that I was aware of the problem, but never thought that I really had the condition. Even when I started reading Driven to Distraction, I was reading it to become more familiar with what someone else was going through (actually, what several people I know and care about were going through) than reading it for myself. One of those people had said, "I think you have ADD yourself" and gave me this book. But I still thought I was reading for someone else.Yet, as I read the case studies, I began to think this psychiatrist had been "reading my mail." I was brought to tears on several occasions as the patients expressed feelings with which I had lived my entire life and accused themselves of the same psychological crimes that I had accused myself of whenever I stopped long enough to evaluate my life. They perceived themselves as lazy, undisciplined, irresponsible, and undependable--all charges leveled against myself by myself, all charges that occasionally lay me mentally low into nasty, inexplicable depression. Even at those low points, I blamed myself. I accused myself of self-indulgence and diagnosed myself as lacking in spiritual faith.And then, I read this list:Diagnostic Criteria for Adult ADD1) sense of underachievement2) difficulty getting organized3) chronic procrastination4) too many projects – trouble with follow-through (p. 73)5) saying what one thinks without self-censorship 6) frequent search for high stimulation 7) intolerance of boredom8) easy distractibility, focus problems9) often creative, intelligent 10) trouble with PROCESS – established procedures (p. 74)11) impatient, low tolerance for frustration (p. 75)12) impulsive, both verbally and actively13) worries needlessly14) insecure15) mood swings16) restlessness (p. 75)17) tendency toward addictive behavior (p. 76)18) chronic self-esteem problems19) inaccurate self-observation20) family history of ADD. I had to answer "Yes" to 19 of the 20.A few pages later, he described a successful, but unhappy professional as having a study littered with piles. Had he been peeking at my study and my basement work space? “So many adults with ADD have piles, little mess-piles, big mess-piles, piles everywhere. They are like a by-product of the brain’s work.” (p. 80) Yet a few pages later was a description of a minister who described a cloud—a feeling that her personal world was about to collapse “Sort of like a cartoon character who’s run out over the cliff and his legs are still pumping, but he’s only standing on air and he’s about to fall a long, long way down. … I ascribe my success to the grace of God, but I’m still left with this feeling that it could all be taken away.” (p. 83) How often have I been there?I always feel like I've wasted opportunities, blown chances, irresponsibly cadged together inadequate work just before deadlines, and more. I've always blamed myself. And now, I realize that there is a reason. In fact, not only is there a reason, but there is much that can be done about it. The best part of this book is that it isn't trying to pre-diagnose people and pre-dispose them toward medication. Most of the book is about what can be done without medication. That's a relief to me. Approaching 61, I realize that it's probably too late for me to do more than live with the problem. However, it was also nice to realize that some of what I've done that works for me is what this psychiatrist (who also suffers from the disorder) recommends.1) Support group2) Rid self of negativity (largely self-imposed) (p. 98)3) Use lists, reminders, files, rituals as structure4) Use O.H.I.O. (only handle it once) for paperwork 5) Make deadlines6) Do what you’re good at, instead of spending all of your time trying to get good at what you’re bad at7) Understand mood changes and how to manage8) EXPECT depression after success9) Learn to advocate for yourself10) Learn to joke with yourself and others about your symptoms (p. 99)[NOTE: This is the short list. He offers 50 tips on pp. 245-253 from which I've chosen other methods to work with my problem.]I also appreciate his quick mnemonic of tips for coaches/therapists working with ADD sufferers:Tips for the Coach:H – Help – Ask the person you are coaching, what kind of help do you need?O – Obligations – Ask specifically what obligations are upcoming and what the person is doing to prepare for them (If you don’t ask, the individual may forget to tell you.)P – Plans – Ask about ongoing plans. It is very helpful to remind people with ADD of their goals.E – Encouragement – The most fun part of the coach’s job is to be affirmative in this battle against chaos and negativity (p. 227). He also notes that the coach/therapist may have to act as a “distraction censor” (p. 230).This book is informative, helpful, and, for me, timely. I look forward to reading his updated version, Deliverance from Distraction and implementing some of these ideas.

  • Erica Tjelta
    2018-11-14 23:18

    I laughed. I cried. And this is the unexaggerated truth. How crazy to read something that so perfectly relates your own narrative? Creepy almost. At times it was as though the author had secretly followed me around for forty years--recording various episodes of my life. Actually, this book was a rather intense experience for me. Written from the perspective only a seasoned "insider" (the author himself has ADHD and is also a licensed therapist who has helped countless others with their "disorder") can provide; this book is amazing. If you've heard of ADD/ADHD (and who hasn't) but don't truly understand what it is, and how it actually effects a person, (and how many do?) you should read this. And, if you've wondered, even if only half-heartedly, if you yourself might *have* ADHD you simply MUST read this.A fantastic explanation of what ADHD is, how it looks, how it feels, and how it manifests--the book helps liberate the afflicted from layers of self-loathing and enlighten the frustrated folks around them as to what's really going on. This is not so much a "how to" book or a "solution" book as much as a "what is it" book--but I found lots of help simply in gaining this understanding. For those seeking more pointed answers I would recommend two other books by the same author: "Delivered From Distraction" and "Answers to Distraction"

  • Rob Voss
    2018-11-18 19:58

    This book was a turning point for me in my life, I was diagnosed with A.D.D. way back in elementary school, but my parents at the time didn't think medication was a good option. As I developed and grew from childhood to adulthood I adapted and adjusted as best I could to the underlying ADD problem. The problem is, is that there is only so much you can do. After reading this book I came to the conclusion that I needed to finally go ahead as an adult and get officially diagnosed with Adult A.D.D. and try a medication option, I figured since I had been living with it my entire life anyway, it couldn't hurt to try this.That was the best decision I have made in my entire adult life, once I worked up the courage to finally schedule an appointment with a therapist I found the right dosage of medication I needed. I was opened to a new world of concentration and focus that was simply unheard of before for me.My professional life has improved a ton, and my personal life has improved as well. From here I just need to take the improved focus from the medication and the skills I have built up over the last 24 years and combine them into a solid coping system moving forward, from there I should be able to accomplish almost anything I want to, rather then the old stand by of "Coasting By With Exceptional Skills"

  • Sylvia Lyons
    2018-10-18 16:18

    ADD is not what I thought it was.I have a child who has been experiencing difficulty in many areas of her life, but the constant arguing (between me and her, and also between her and other family members) was what finally drove me to take her to a therapist. And to my surprise, the diagnosis was ADD, something not even on my radar, and which I was not convinced was even "real." So, she gave us recommended reading, and as my husband put it, ADD is not what we thought it was. This book has been very helpful in helping us to see what ADD is, how it affects each family member (not just the person who has it) and has given us some direction in finding strategies to help her and each family member learn to cope. The authors also discuss medications and why they help although they seem counter-intuitive (give a stimulant to a hyperactive child?! are you crazy?!). Once you understand what ADD is (and what it isn't), and how medication may be able to help and be a part (a PART, mind you, not the whole plan) of the treatment, then medication doesn't seem like an unreasonable option. As they put it, if a child needs glasses, usually parents don't say, "Well, just squint harder and you'll be able to see well enough."

  • Thomas
    2018-11-14 22:11

    An interesting read. Turns out that Attention Deficit Disorder is widely misunderstood. (It isn't just for hyperactive kids after all...) In fact, the condition has a wide variety of symptoms: forgetfulness, impulsiveness, tendency to get distracted, inability to get organized, a strong desire/need for structure, a tendency to start projects without finishing them -- the flip side is that individuals with ADD tend to be imaginative, intelligent, and energetic. Of course, adults with un-diagnosed ADD can develop a chronic sense of underachievement along with depression and/or anxiety, since they can internalize all of the negative labels that society throws at them ("lazy","shiftless", even "stupid"). I recognize a lot of those symptoms in my own life (who wouldn't?), but there are also many facets of the disease that I can't relate to at all. The author does speculate that we live in a kind of "ADD culture" where distraction and the constant need for stimulation have become par for the course.

  • Katie Bananas
    2018-11-05 16:58

    This book was awesome in the fact that the psychiatrist (who has ADD) explains the different types of ADD with example cases based on the population affected, as of adults and children. I particularly liked the chapters on families with loved ones with ADD, along with adults affected. They emphasized several things I could have never learned in books. The chapter on the treatment is extremely useful as to provide relief and organizational tips for those with ADD. This along with the reassurance that it’s only an alternative way of thinking rather than a disease can prove useful in future research. The tips provided are extremely useful, especially the gain of a coach and mentor to get things going and pursue a normal and productive life in all of its aspects. Great read!

  • Willa
    2018-11-08 22:56

    I was browsing in a thrift store and found this nice hardcover version of Ed Hallowell's book about childhood and adult ADD. For only a quarter! I had to be in town almost all day because two of my kids had things going on there so I read it in the car. Helpful and encouraging. It had a lot of stories about different people with different forms of ADD. When the book was written, little was known about adult ADD -- so this book was rather unusual in its case studies of adults who the author diagnosed as having the problem. Diagnosis can be somewhat complex with adults because secondary issues can develop due to misunderstanding of the original condition.Another thing the book points out is that ADD isn't always hyperactivity. There's a significant number of people. particularly females, who space out in classrooms, have trouble processing information, miss deadlines, drift, and have disorganized closets and drawers. And you can alternate abstraction with hyperfocus. Those things all describe me. Cycles are also a symptom -- firing on all cylinders at one time and then regressing for no reason at another. That is also me. I'm not inclined to seek out a diagnosis but I like reading this kind of book because the strategies suggested are helpful to me and it also makes me feel a little better about my own challenges with attention.

  • Jennifer
    2018-10-28 19:23

    The night that our then five-year-old son's therapist told us he had ADHD, she recommended I read as much as I could on the subject, as a well informed advocate is a much more effective advocate. This book was on her suggested reading list, and was the first one I started reading. Halfway through the first chapter, I called my husband at work and proclaimed, "I have ADD. I've had it my whole life and no one has ever realized it before."That moment has changed my life. This book was the first step, and is a great place to start the journey.

  • Christine
    2018-11-08 18:53

    great book for helping identify a family/personal history of ADD... i have struggled my whole life with some ADD issues, though i never knew why - until i read this book. it really opened my eyes and for the first time i felt like i had some real answers. i really like the lists of tips for dealing with a child/adult/partner with ADD. very helpful - highly recommend.

  • Sara
    2018-11-07 23:54

    I learned two things from this book: (1) That I probably don't have ADD, and (2) how to identify what symptoms of ADD look like. The latter lesson helped provide much more tolerance and understanding of ADD symptoms that I now see in a new light among friends and co-workers.

  • D. B.
    2018-11-15 16:55

    What I knew about ADD before reading Driven to Distraction could fill a haiku. I basically thought it was an overdiagnosed catch-all disease that few actually suffered from, and most usually adopted it to make excuses for acting like assholes.A friend of mine has been struggling with ADD for several years. When she identified my best friend as having undiagnosed ADD (it was an armchair diagnosis, but I was willing to entertain it--it did explain a lot of my friend's erratic, seemingly contradictory behavior), she recommended this book. She told me it was the only one she had read that actually made her think, "This person understands my brain." She wasn't sure how I would take to it, as a non-ADD sufferer, but she hoped it would help me to understand my best friend's issues.She was right. At first, I will admit, the book drove me crazy. Hallowell combines information about the ADD brain with "case study" type narratives, and I found myself wanting to shout more than once that these case studies, "JUST GET OVER IT!!" At about the halfway point, however, what Hallowell wrote really started clicking. As my understanding of how ADD affects people grew more firm, so did my empathy and sympathy. By the end, I felt like I had a reasonably good understanding and was able to adapt my expectations so I wouldn't end up throttling my BFF. I consider that a victory.The friend who recommended the book, for what it's worth, had a different reaction to reading it. She felt overjoyed that Hallowell understood her mind, and she was gratified when Driven to Distraction gave her insights into herself that she previously hadn't seen.

  • Pauline
    2018-11-05 17:07

    I was diagnosed as clinically depressed at the age of 18, suffered from bulimia for ten years, binged in secret even after I stopped purging because I couldn't seem to control the urges to eat to quiet my mind, and always suffered from anxiety no matter how much the doctor's upped my anti-depressants. I just figured I was broken.I was never hyperactive but my mind never shut off. I always lost things the second I sat them down. Change and new things, no matter how simple, set me off an an anxiety-frenzy that drove my husband crazy. I could never follow through and didn't understand how, unless I put it on the to-do list app on my phone, I would forget to do simple things like take the laundry out of the washer and put it into the dryer or even brush my preschooler's teeth. And the highs and lows I was having that a friend confused with possible manic depression...all of it was explained when a naturopath took my 34 years of history and figured out in one session that I have ADHD. I've been on medication for about 8 weeks now and I cannot believe how this wasn't caught before. I might still lose my car keys in the ignition and hyperfocus on a writing project that keeps me up until 3 am and my mind is quiet enough to shut down for the night, but the anxiety is no longer a constant and my head is a much less crazy place.Driven to Distraction was a very educational book for me as it explained a lot I had just written off about myself as writerly/creative quirks and showed me how they relate to ADHD. I just wish the diagnosis had come so much sooner.

  • Lorrie
    2018-10-28 18:12

    This a great, first book for those diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and their families or support systems that are beginning to educate themselves about ADD. It conveys its message in comprehensible, non-jargon that provides several examples to illustrate the many symptoms and subtypes of ADD that exist. The author, who is a psychiatrist with ADD and treats those with it, not only delves into the initial symptoms of ADD like distractibility, disorginization, inattentiveness, impulsivity, etc., but also the secondary ones, like depression, substance abuse, low self-esteem, and relationship problems, to name a few. This book deals with the toll ADD takes on families, marriages, friendships, and work and gives concrete ides on how to repair, modify, and maintain these relationships. It presents coping mechanisms that are practical to reduce the symptoms that plague those affected by ADD and those surrounding them. After reading this book and being diagnosed with ADHD myself, so much of my life makes sense now. I felt that much of the book could've been based on my experiences with this disorder. The author presents me with a good framework to deal with my issues arising from my ADHD.

  • Mykle
    2018-10-26 23:11

    Funny story: In 2013 I suffered such an obstinate, stupefying inability to focus when writing my most recent novel, and was so utterly behind schedule in delivering it to my publisher, that I turned to performance-enhancing drugs: I broke down and borrowed some Adderall from a helpful friend who said "it's great for deadlines", and then sequestered myself at another friend's apartment ... where I had such an amazing five-day run of focused, productive creative writing that I began to suspect all my successful, organized, hard-working writer peers had been using Adderall behind my back, like I was the one guy in the Tour De France who wasn't using anabolic steroids. And even though I recognized full well that Adderall is an amphetamine and I could never handle being on it full time -- the euphoria of the first day was, by day five, nothing but anxious tension -- I was so impressed by how the drug helped me get control of my distractedness, procrastination and inability to keep my butt in the chair that I decided I should figure out how to get some more. You know, for deadlines or weekend writing retreats or general literary emergencies. In pursuit of that, and armed with my expensive new Obamacare, I scheduled my first medical checkup in twenty years. At the clinic I told the nice doctor that I had been having more and more trouble focusing on my writing (truer words never spoken) and that I had been diagnosed as hyperactive as a child (also true) and wondered if I might be one of those ADD people -- you know, the ones with Adderall prescriptions? And that nice doctor suggested that I discuss this with my therapist first, and my therapist suggested I read this book first. And I thought: this looks hokey. But sure, great, I will read this book -- or skim it, at least, since actually reading a book all the way through has become harder and harder for me -- and thereby learn all about this ADD thing -- a "disorder" which I imagined was just part of a plot by a cabal of pharmacists to get rich selling Ritalin to children -- and this knowledge of ADD will help me to convince the doctors to prescribe me Adderall, that awesome drug that helps me focus. I'll keep a couple of pills in my medicine cabinet for in case I ever decide to write another book, and maybe I'll sell the rest of them to my writer friends in order to pay for my expensive new Obamacare. Work the system, stick it to the man, etc.Never, not once, not even briefly, did it occur to me that I might actually have ADD -- let alone that I might actually be a the fucking poster child for ADD ... that every page of this book would describe me precisely: my childhood, my history, my stupid problems & weirdnesses that I've struggled to live with at the age of 46. That my problems with picking up subtle cues and listening to others might stem from the same issue as my problems with procrastination and overcommitting. That my low self-esteem and defensiveness might even be classic symptoms of the neuroses that can develop in an ADD sufferer who chalks up their inability to plan, focus and summon willpower to the weakness of their own character. That the way in which I just struggle to cope is not my own lonely struggle but a well recognized disorder suffered by thousands if not millions.I'm reeling. I'm going in on Tuesday for a professional diagnosis, and then I just don't know. I'm not sure if I want to be on medication, but there are other therapies and approaches, and lots more to learn. Just reading this book has changed my life. I would like my sixth star now.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-10-22 17:21

    All good information. but really just a primer and not very in-depth.

  • Josh
    2018-11-10 18:19

    A good early book on ADD in children and adults.(A more recent book by the same authors, entitled Delivered from Distraction, may be the best current book on the subject). This book came out around the time ADD was starting to be better understood, and it contains a lot of interesting case studies illustrating some of the different forms of ADD and its subtypes, such as with or without hyperactivity. ADD has been described as paradoxical because of its many seemingly contradictory symptoms. For example, a child with ADD may not be able to pay attention in class but at other times be able to hyper-focus, spending countless hours on an activity that interests him. ADD can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms often differ among individuals and between children and adults. A child may not be able to stay in his seat or may be constantly daydreaming, while ADD in an adult may be marked by disorganization, forgetfulness, difficulty focusing, procrastination (which may come from an inability to focus on a project, despite one's best efforts, until a deadline looms and the pressure is on), difficulty with transitions or trouble switching mental gears, frequent fidgeting during meetings, and others. Adults with ADD also often have a lot of good ideas or great flashes of insight, but often, because of the other symptoms, have difficulty following through with those ideas, leading to inconsistent performance. Because ADD has been discovered in adults relatively recently, and because nearly everyone experiences many of these symptoms from time to time (though to a lesser degree), adult ADD often goes undetected and undiagnosed. Unfortunately, when left untreated, the inevitable difficulties that arise often lead to so-called "secondary symptoms," such as low self esteem, depression, and anxiety. As with all such books that cover many aspects of a topic, several parts can be skimmed. But this book is very well written and extremely valuable for anyone who thinks they or someone they know might have ADD.

  • Ruth
    2018-11-13 22:10

    This is not really a review, but more my reflection on the new insights that this book gave me.First of all I need to make clear that ADD does not mean that you cannot focus. It only means that you have difficulty choosing what to focus on. The book makes this really clear. So the really quiet person who is always daydreaming (or reading!) might well have ADD.Since some of my family members have been diagnosed with ADD I have been led to think more on things like ‘structure’ and ‘focus’ and how useful all that can be. At the same time, I was getting really tired of my own attitude of frantically reading in order to understand how to live. Also, I have been struggling with an addiction to Facebook, which made me even more restless than I already am by myself. I knew I had to get a grip on myself, but I felt so much the need of doing something silly, really did not want to be serious all the time!One day, as I was reflecting on this, I got so fed up with all the pressure of being good always, that I typed in Google ‘I want to be distracted’. This led me to this book ‘Driven to distraction’, which is actually a really great book on ADD.This book is written by a psychologist, who has ADD himself and treats people with the syndrome. He starts with some explanation of what it is and is not, followed by lots of different examples of how ADD affects various people. The book also offers lots of practical tips, that really work. I do feel that he is too much advertising medication.The best part of the book is all the stories of adults who discover how their life is affected by ADD. And the recognition of all the emotions, like how hopeless you can feel if you're constantly criticised, and even agree with the critics, yet not knowing how to do better. Also the struggle in making friends, making yourself understood (which is why writing means so much to me, it's the only way to focus on what I really want to say). Now, next time I feel fuzzy, I will just remember that this is a normal symptom of ADD and not worry so much. Just make a joke about it, or go running, perhaps.. So it was a feast of recognition. But it was also a great help for me to deal with some worries that I had regarding my behavior in relation to my faith.For example, he described a person who had had a Calvinistic upbringing, and kept hurting himself with all sorts of self-deprecatory thoughts. Now Edward M. Hallowell wrote that these ongoing thoughts get enhanced by ADD, because ADD means that you have difficulty in choosing your focus, so in consequence it can be really very hard for ADD persons to let go of these thoughts. Now this was really an eye-opener for me. Loads and loads of people have told me to stop worrying, and I knew they were probably right, but honestly, I had just no idea how to do that! The thing is, it just really felt wrong to do so. I always felt as if I was ignoring something really important if I just tried to focus on something else. But now, all of a sudden, I began to see that this is just a trick that my mind is playing. Just some inefficient wiring in my brain that makes it difficult to shift my attention to something else. And I began to question if I really want to be driven by that brain.Somewhat halfway the book I came across an interesting quote, where the mother of some boy with ADD exclaims to him: "you don't mean the things you do, and you don't do the things you mean to do". This reminded me so much of what Saint Paul writes in Romans 7, that it started a whole new train of thought. Below is an excerpt of an email that I wrote to my pastor afterwards.Here are some thoughts that I've tried to clarify for myself in writing when I was distracted yesterday while reading that book 'driven to distraction'. BTW if you're never distracted, you can also never be inspired, don't you think? And if you ignore all impulses, how can you be led by the spirit? Anyway, the sentence that distracted me was: "you don't mean the things you do, and you don't do the things you mean to do" Somehow this reminds me of Romans 7..The book offers several solutions like asking friends to help planning, using todo lists, exercise, and medication. Above all it says: stop blaming yourself, for that makes everything worse. Suddenly I think: "but what if that is exactly what Saint Paul was trying to say?"  The Bible is full of practical advice, and also tells us that God gives us a new life by his spirit. Plus the forgiveness that helps us to stop blaming ourselves. (not using that as excuse to stay as we are and refuse help) Just as blindness is often used in the Bible to explain spiritual blindness, I wonder if ADD could be a symbol of general sinful nature. (don't forget, being blind does not mean that you're spiritually blind, and just so I don't think ADD is a sin, just something that makes your brain less efficient)  So perhaps we might say that just as people with ADD are helped by medication to use their brain more effectively, just so all people are helped by the Holy Spirit to use our whole biological life (body, soul, spirit) as designed?The thing is, I am especially bad at lots of things that are considered important in the close-knit Christian community where I grew up. Like be a really good housewife and be organized and do lots of practical things when we get together, or doing lots of friendly social talk in large groups of people. Be submissive, calm, fit in...  Pay attention. And I do try, but..  I keep failing, and feel really stupid, and very sinful, lazy, thinking that somewhere deep down in me, I probably do not really wish to help and do good.So you can imagine my relief, when reading this book makes it clear, that all this is not the consequence of something malicious in my heart, but just an impractical brain.Here again I am led to a more friendly (and more hopeful!) view on myself by taking a side-turn to more scientific approaches. Just as mindfulness helped me in believing that Jesus is friendly to my feelings, so now this book on ADD helped me see that I can take note of my sins in a friendly manner. I mean, the fact that I do so many things wrong, does not mean that I am really bad deep down. It just means that I am somewhat broken and need to accept all the means of help that I can get.I think that for most people it is hard to deal with structural failures, but when you're a Christian and have been told that all these things are sins, it gets worse, because then you may think that even God is angry with you, which is terrifying. So therefore I have expanded a bit on these things. But whether or not you believe in God, it is always a good idea to try not to judge someone's motives (or your own) by the actual results.

  • Craig
    2018-11-08 17:01

    If you start typing "ADD is" into Google the top search suggestions are "fake", "bullshit", "not real", and "a myth" so clearly there is still a long way to go towards removing the stigma around this disorder. I think the book is really good although it is important to note it was written in 94' and Hallowell has a newer book from 2005 called Delivered from Distraction which incorporates newer research. Whether or not you believe that various mental health issues are "real" I think is unfortunately often very subjective and people will think what they want to think. But this is a good book, well-written, the author brings a wealth of experience to the topic and really cares about presenting it in an even-handed manner. Although Hallowell is a psychiatrist that obviously believes ADD is a real disorder, I would not consider this book "pro-ADD" in that it does a good job of presenting information without trying to sell you on any conclusion.

  • Kimberly
    2018-11-11 18:55

    This is an excellent book for anyone searching for insights into living with ADHD. Rather than a manuel on coping with the disorder, Hallowell provides keen insights into living with or around those with ADHD. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Hallowell a few years ago at a conference in which he was the keynote speaker. His own diagnosis provides much credibility to his assertions throughout the book. He is the real deal. I would suggest his sequel, "Delivered From Distraction," for those looking for coping skills in managing ADHD symptoms.

  • Rhonda
    2018-10-28 00:15

    This is the book I've been searching for regarding Attention Deficit Disorder. The author presents clear examples, remedies and resources for help with this neurological disorder. The book is informative and helpful.

  • Mikel
    2018-11-10 16:13

    An interesting book for those of us interested in ADD. Using a lot of examples, the authors convey how ADD can look in different cases, in children and adults. It doesn't use too much technical language, so it's a good book for experts and people who know nothing about the disorder.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-06 18:08

    dare i say life-changing? perhaps that's a bit extreme, but hey i'm an extremist! hahaha. i picked up this book on the recommendation of an early childhood worker after bringing jane in for an evaluation for concerns about a possible auditory processing disorder and/or ADD. this is one of those books that i wish i would have had a pencil in hand for the entire time i was reading it. and probably almost every line would have been underlined! even though i started reading it for help with jane, it wasn't long before a certain other child came to mind, and by the time i was on chapter 5 "The Big Struggle: ADD and the Family," i realized that ETHAN is struggling with ADD as well. furthermore, as i continued to read the book i experienced a true light-bulb moment of clarity when i realized that I have ADD also. and probably HAVE had it my entire life. i can't tell you how many times i stopped while reading this book to read something out loud to scott that so accurately described the way i am and how i do things. seriously, it's so OBVIOUS to me now that i have ADD, that part of me is hesitant to share my new found information with friends because i'm worried that in their head they'll be thinking "well, duh. i could have told you that a long time ago." hahahaha. the thing that i like the most about this book is that it does a really good job of illustrating that there are as many different ways for ADD/ADHD to manifest itself as there are people who have it. however, as different as each case may be there are core similarities that almost every person who has it can relate to. throughout my life i've never felt like anyone has ever TRULY understood me. while reading this book i felt understood for the first time. or at least i came to understand MYSELF as far as why i do the things i do. "i'd rather be busy than bored." "i'm an extremist." "i just can't seem to get organized and stay organized." "i can't stay on top the laundry. (or the housework. or dishes. etc.)" "i think i must sub-consciously thrive on chaos." -- could any of these quotes from my blog scream ADD more??? hahaha. here is a list of 20 diagnostic criteria for ADD in adults:1.) a sense of underachievement, of not meeting one's goals (regardless of how much one has actually accomplished).2.) difficulty getting organized.3.) chronic procrastination or trouble getting started.4.) many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow through.5.) a tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark.6.) a frequent search for high stimulation.7.) an intolerance of boredom.8.) easy distractibility, trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or a conversation, often coupled with an ability to hyperfocus at times.9.) often creative, intuitive, highly intelligent.10.) trouble in going through established channels, following "proper" procedure.11.) impatient; low tolerance of frustration.12.) impulsive, either verbally or in action.13.) a tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly.14.) a sense of insecurity.15.) mood swings, mood lability, especially when disengaged from a person or project.16.) physical or cognitive restlessness.17.) a tendency toward addictive behavior.18.) chronic problems with self-esteem.19.) inaccurate self-observation.20.) family history of ADD or manic-depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.and just to make this officially the LONGEST review i have ever made on goodreads, i'll finish by saying that i also appreciated the section on "pseudo-ADD." for sure everyone is on the spectrum somewhere for ADD, but the pseudo-ADD culture that today's modern, american society has created is not the same thing as true ADD/ADHD. this book is chock-full of information and a really great resource to have on hand, as well as the one book i would say that gives the best examples and explanations of the disorder. i've tried to read a lot of books about it over the last few months {for jane's sake initially}, but this was the first one that i was actually engaged in AND finished from cover to cover. i would definitely recommend it to anyone.

  • Jillian
    2018-11-11 19:59

    writers of color cheat #1 for realThis book was recommended to me so that I could understand my students better. However, it has been extremely eye-opening, in that I myself express so many of the symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD/whatever. I'll look into this further... Overall this book does a very good job of describing the traits of a variety of people with ADD and the effects it has on the lives of one's family members.

  • Maryanne
    2018-11-03 00:15

    It’s weirdly nice to read that my weird coping mechanisms are actually recommended by professionals.

  • Heather
    2018-10-19 19:03

    Uhhh. A book with case studies. I know it is to make me go "Wow! I am not alone!" when really they make me think "Get on to the stuff that is about me!" (Maybe that's a sign of ADHD.) I spent the first 30 pages or so going "I am nothing like these people. I am so organized! I have never gotten below a B from kindergarten to college" And then I kept reading. ADHD manifests in so many ways. I started seeing myself in the emotional stuff. Oh God. It was really alarming. And impulsivity? I married a guy I knew for FOUR days and then another after three long distance visits. I am happy to have this weirdness explained but as I thought about a resume of fantastic jobs and how I quit all of them in fear of... something, I started to feel sad. Why didn't anyone detect this before? My shrink says that my high intelligence, love of learning, and natural sense to compensate by being the self proclaiming "queen of organization" sorta kept it together. Unfortunately they didn't know about adult ADHD when I was in my early 20s. I saw a doctor on the request on my therapist (therapy is a worthless disaster til the ADHD is managed) who asked me two questions: Are you depressed? Can you sleep? And a week later was told I had bipolar disorder. I spent 13 years on every medication possible trying to get me to sleep and keep me asleep, to make me stop feeling guilty, ashamed and worthless, to get me to what one doctor said was possible: 75% "normal". Bipolar felt like a death sentence, but I read the books - mostly connecting to symptoms like "overwhelmed" and "overstimulated". I was drugged with enough anti-psychotics, addictive tranquilizers, and mood stabilizers that I gained 50 pounds and the go go go feeling was squashed. But I still said, "I feel like a pin ball in a lit up pin ball machine." Then I was put on amphetime and began being weened off the sedating drugs. And I felt oddly tired. A good sign! The best was when I thought about my marriage ending as I read, a tear fell as I thought "Oh if this had been dealt with I would have been exactly what he wanted." Instead of collapsing into tears for an hour, I was rational enough to stop myself - slowed down enough to catch myself - from crying. "Wait, he's a controlling, mean, manipulative, lying, hypocrite with a massive porn addiction. Who cares if he'd now want me - I don't want HIM!" That has NEVER happened.I don't feel like I live in the future,a step ahead of everyone else, yelling "COME ON!" and talking a mile a minute. I'm here. That's a really weird feeling.The medication made life so easy, that when I hit three of my big triggers - transitions from one focus to another, being out of the house, and most of all spur of the moment events - hit and I was grumpy and weepy for 24 hours after, I was shocked. Obviously, there needs to be skills training for handling symptoms that medication alone cannot help. But that seems harder to get than you'd think. This book does help with that, but it mostly assists with distractability problems. Still, the 50 tips at the end look promising.

  • Meg Pasquerella
    2018-10-25 22:03

    I highly recommend this if you are looking for a better understanding of ADD.

  • Robin
    2018-10-22 22:04

    Sure I only managed to read about three quarters of this book, while cycling amongst the insane streets of L.A and trying to figure out life the universe and everything, and I did have the volume way down to hear the sounds of the traffic, so I was in a real sense driven to distraction while this book played. That being said, when my attention did fall on the information that was being offered, it was very interesting and gave me insight into a condition of which I realized I had a very basic, rudimentary understanding of. This is Dr. Hallowell's passion and his passion for helping people with this condition shines through. It is a self-help book full of insight and compelling research. The studies of peoples brains who suffer from this condition is strong evidence that these collection of symptoms are not merely a "myth" or an emotional disturbance but a valid and very real condition that can be helped tremendously with a variety of treatments. His description of this condition is also enlightening. The thing about ADD is that it is not a simple symptom, it is a collection of symptoms and traits. If you think you may have ADD, or if you know anyone suffering from these symptoms, I highly recommend this book. It will give you insight and appreciation for the people dealing with these challenges and maybe even through some insight into your own mental mechanics.

  • Annette
    2018-11-08 16:55

    I really enjoyed this book, I am glad that I bought my own copy because I did underline, highlight, and write notes in the margins. It is filled with case studies which I know he includes because hopefully you find at least one that you can relate to personally... and I did! These are the things that I found particularly helpful:1) The Suggested Diagnostic Criteria For ADD in Adults (page 73)2) The case study about Sarah on page 94 (because she was the one that I could relate to the most.)3) The Tips for Couples on page 1204) The 25 Tips on the Management of ADD within Families (page 141)5) The Diagnostic Criteria for ADD in children (page 200)6) The Suggested Diagnostic Criteria for ADD in Adults (page 201) Not the same list as the one on page 737) The Questionnaire on page 2098) The Fifty Tips on the management of Adult ADD (page 245)I know that this is a book that I will refer to over and over. I look forward to reading Mr. Hallowell's latest book: Delivered From Distraction.