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481 of 488 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Know you're smart but think you're nuts? Then read this!
I first bought this book strictly because of it's title. Having spent 45 years feeling crazy & stupid and being accused of laziness most of my life, I decided this book was for me.
I didn't realize how very right I was! When I started to read I realized I was reading about myself. I identified with many of the descriptions of ADD from childhood through to...
Published on January 5, 1997

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357 of 378 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs updating
While reading some of the previous reviews, I saw one that mentioned "contemporary science" - written in 1999. The first Amazon.com customer review for this book is from 1997. If I'd read it then, I would have rated it higher. But a book that deals with anything medical needs to be updated long before it's a decade old, which this one now is. The chapter on medication is...
Published on March 10, 2006 by Trudy Shaw


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481 of 488 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Know you're smart but think you're nuts? Then read this!, January 5, 1997
By A Customer
I first bought this book strictly because of it's title. Having spent 45 years feeling crazy & stupid and being accused of laziness most of my life, I decided this book was for me.
I didn't realize how very right I was! When I started to read I realized I was reading about myself. I identified with many of the descriptions of ADD from childhood through to adulthood.
It was incredible to learn I was not alone in my daily frustration. This wonderful, informative book started me on a road of self-discovery. I was subsequently tested and diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.
The authors describe this "disability" as an "ADD-ed dimension" and they are so right! I now have self-esteem and self pride. My intelligence has been tested and verified .. I'm not lazy, crazy or stupid and I thank
the authors of this book for that discovery. This book has changed my life. I can now read a page without losing my place. I don't forget what I'm saying or lose things as often. I have learned that I am one of many who
use an additional area of my brain & must therefore learn to "process things differently". I no longer feel timid, ashamed, afraid or just plain different. I can now accept and like myself for the first time in my life.

This book is written in a very "easy-reading" style. There is a wonderful blending of research facts and referenced stories and quips. As an adult diagnosed with ADD at the age of 45, I can attest to the value of this book.
I highly recommend "You mean I'm not lazy, stupid or crazy" to anyone who has ever felt they were!
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357 of 378 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs updating, March 10, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While reading some of the previous reviews, I saw one that mentioned "contemporary science" - written in 1999. The first Amazon.com customer review for this book is from 1997. If I'd read it then, I would have rated it higher. But a book that deals with anything medical needs to be updated long before it's a decade old, which this one now is. The chapter on medication is completely outdated; it shouldn't be referred to by anyone who wants to know what options are available now. And while all the scientific/medical questions about ADD/ADHD haven't been answered, more is known now than when this book was written.

The fact that this book has helped many people understand themselves better is great, and I'm not one who equates wanting to understand yourself with looking for excuses. This book has been recommended not only doctor to patient but friend to friend for a long time, and what it has can be helpful - the reason I gave it three stars. But I hope a second edition isn't being held back by the fact that the first one is still being recommended and purchased; it could be so much better if the information were updated.

I personally had a more general problem with the book, which may also be related to its age. I'm primarily inattentive type ADD, and felt like I was a real outsider while reading this book. Some things applied to me, but a lot didn't. And anytime there was a statement like, "We all remember from our childhood..." I'd think, "Nope. Not me." Not that there's anything wrong with a book aimed at people with combined or primarily hyperactive ADD, and I didn't take away a star because of it, but "nowadays" that would probably be stated more clearly in the information about the book, or even on the cover. But back in 1996, that might have been less likely. (I told my doctor that reading this book reminded me of my experience of going to a support group for people with depression and being the only unipolar one there. You're "supposed to" fit in, and you kind of do, but not really.)

If this is the first book about ADD someone reads, it would be eye-opening, and it was probably the best around 10 years ago. But I don't think that's true anymore. A second edition of it would be very useful.
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84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most useful book I've found, April 4, 2005
I was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 9. In the seven-plus years since then, I've read a great deal of books about ADD. Almost all of them rely on the same "You're a unique and special snowflake!" attitude, and the same generalizations about people with ADD.

After I was given this book as a gift, I put off reading this book for a while, sure thatit would be more of the same. Instead, it was incredable in its honesty. Instead of playing up the benefits of ADD, making it sound like a wonderful blessing, Kelly understands that, sometimes, it's also a curse. Those recently diagnosed need may reassurance, of course. However, when that's ALL a book is, it loses its value as a resource. That's why this book was so great- it stated that there's nothing wrong with ADD in the first couple chapters, then moved right along (giving it a more believable tone than most books, whose constant "There's nothing wrong at all!" statments make me suspect that maybe the author is trying to hide something) to talking about theories involving ADD (which was pretty cool).

My favorite thing about this book is that it talks about the problems ADD can cause in various aspects of your life, and how ADD can manifest itself in different people. Rather than make general assumptions about people with ADD, the authors recognize that ADD is a complex, varied condition. Before this, I'd no idea that my sluggish periods might be part of my ADD, that it manifests itself verbally, and that my tactile defensivness (an occasional aversion to physical contact) wasn't because I was aggressive or weird- I was just overstimulated! No other book had even MENTIONED this kind of thing.

Keeping with the diversity of problems, the authors offer a diversity of possible ways to deal with problems arising from ADD. Each idea can easily be altered to fit your needs- another big plus.

Honestly, if you or your teenage child have ADD or ADHD, you should not be without this book.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that I often recommend to newly diagnosed adults, January 15, 2005
By 
First, I want to start with the title: It is so reassuring and affirming. How many adults and older teens have thought this when they first realized that they had AD/HD? Even the illustrations have a humorous, comfy, reassuring feel.

This book deals with the every day practicalities of living with AD/HD. First, the authors reassure the reader that he or she is not bad or blameworthy. This is good, but then they go on to help the individual to take charge. Ultimately this leads to a new sense of empowerment and an enlightened sense of responsibility. The book deals with the often overlooked issues of scheduling, spirituality, adequate sleep and maintaining social supports.

My favorite chapter is the one on how to organize your workspace. This chapter is worth the price of the book. So often people waste time getting up and looking for the stapler or the stamps when a few organizational tips could give them less reason to get up and get distracted.

Best of all for this book: It also comes as an audiocassette!! I personally prefer the book because you can refer back to the individual chapters. If you are not a book reader, consider getting the cassette, and then buying the book so that you can refer to pertinent chapters.
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217 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TERRIFIC resource! - 2013 update, January 18, 2000
As an ADDer, ADD Coach, founder of the company that trained the world's first ADD Coaches, and co-founder of the ADD Coaching field itself, I not only recommend "Lazy/Crazy" to almost anyone who requests an ADD book recommendation, it was required reading for OFI's 2-to-3-year ADD Coach Training program since the first classes in 1994.

To answer the unasked questions: NO, I don't make a cent from this book, and NO, it was required reading for OFI's training long before I became good friends with the authors (and several years and many trainings before we began working together). Our friendship and working relationship was A RESULT of my high opinion of their excellent book, not the other way around!!!!

Kate joined the OFI staff several years after its inception, first as a TeleClass Leader, eventually became President; Peggy joined us in 1999, heading up OFI's Sliding-Scale Coaching Clinic until she became Director of Training --knowing the authors so well is all the more reason I can recommend their book WITHOUT reservation!
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Revision, January 3, 2013 - to add content, note the fact that my dear friend and colleague, Kate Kelly, co-author of this book, left this earth in October, 2012, and disclose the fact that Peggy, the book's other co-author and I are currently business partners

It is important that you keep in mind, as you read the "behind the scenes" information below, that even though I became extremely close to both authors, this remains a *professional* recommendation for an excellent resource, and is in NO way a make-nice-as-a-favor review for my friends' book.
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My original review began with the following sentence, and I wouldn't change of word of it in 2013:

"You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy!" belongs on the bedside table of every ADDer and of every parent, spouse or teacher who is trying to understand the ADDers in their lives. It was cutting edge when it was written, and its information is still right on target years later.
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In my May 2011 update I added: "My original review of this book was written many years ago for the first edition (link to hard cover version inserted: You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: A Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder 1st Scribner edition by Kelly, Kate; Ramundo, Peggy published by Scribner Hardcover ) - and I still stand strongly by my high praise for the book, years later."

"Lazy/Crazy" was SO cutting edge when written, it has aged amazingly well.

By the time of my May 2011 update, however, Kate and Peggy had founded their own coaching company, and mine was just coming out of hiatus in the midst of its fourth redesign consistent with my new, brain-based focus in response to the current understanding of neuroplasticity. I had formally joined forces with the two of them as one of the coaches in The ADDed Dimension Coaching Group, and was also training ADD Coaches with their ADD in the Spirit Coach Training.

The content of their book had also been refreshed in a major revision in 2006.

The newer edition is an easier read, I'm told (hard for me to tell, since I know the material so well), there are a few totally new topics, and recent discoveries of medical science have been incorporated (correcting, for example, the ADD field's original thinking that more boys than girls were diagnosable, simply because more boys than girls were *diagnosed.*)

I went on to say that I owned both editions, referred to them both repeatedly, and (still, in 2013), recommend this title regularly and often. Reader response remained overwhelmingly positive.

I will now admit to my own preference for the first edition, not only because it is most familiar to me, but because it includes a more detailed look at a number of topics (medication and neuroscience in particular) - but many prefer the update for exactly the same reason.

More than a few ADDers have commented that, to them, the update seems more "human," warmly reflecting, especially, Kate's post-ordination preference for the spirituality underlying the ADD experience to the more scientific approach that characterized her earlier years, coming out of her experience as a psych nurse.

Whatever your preference, you simply MUST have SOME version of this book in your personal library if you have (or suspect you have) Attention Deficit Disorder (now officially named ADHD until they change it again for DSM-V!)
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A Bit of Background:

When I stumbled across the book originally, on the "New Books" table only a few steps from the entrance doors of the large Manhattan Barnes and Noble (BEFORE I had met either of these authors), I started reading immediately, from the strength of the title alone.

It was several hours, lost in time, still standing right in front of that book table, before I finally forced myself to close the book, pay for it, and take it home. My original copy is more than well-worn and multi-colored from all the highlighting I do to focus my attention.

An extremely readable book, obviously written from an "insiders" viewpoint by two very ADD-knowledgeable authors, Lazy/Crazy immediately made me feel deeply understood. It described (and validated) my own experience of attempting to coordinate my holographic ADD-styled efforts with the linear, non-ADD world I had to live in, attempting to "drive" my ADD brain in what I came to call a "vanilla" fashion (meaning "unflavored by any mix-ins," like the ice cream that forms the base of many other flavors in an ice cream shop).

From the moment I picked up this book, it read like great advice from good friends who really "got" what was going on with me and all of the ADDers in my coaching/training experience. Not only that, they had suggestions that would be helpful! This I knew from finding my own path to similar discoveries, through that difficult trial and error process that many still were experiencing.

This was a book that could change lives!

Many don't realize that, while its splashy public debut coincided with Hallowell and Ratey's Driven to Distraction, the Kelly/Ramundo book actually pre-dated the book by the good doctors, the very first edition having been self-published through "Tyrell and Jerem Press." The name was coined to honor Kate's young ADD daughter Tyrell and Peggy's young ADD son Jeremy, both now grown and trained ADD Coaches themselves. (BOTH books were on OFI's original Required Reading List, by the way, along with others)

Another fun, little known, factoid is that the title of this book came right out the mouth of a recently diagnosed ADDer, uttered by a patient of a colleague, upon hearing his ADD diagnosis for the first time. Kate and Peggy were in the process of culling through a long list of potential titles prior to publication when they got a phone call saying, effectively, "Stop the presses, I've got your title!" You have to admit, its one of the best titles for a book about ADD anyone could come up with!

None of which I knew when I began my quest to contact the authors of this amazing book immediately following my discovery at Barnes and Noble. I was able to locate Kate's home phone number after a few phone calls to colleagues, and placed a call to introduce myself and to rave, practically immediately. I also informed her that her book would be on the Required Reading List for the first ADD-specific Coach Training about to debut, which amused and delighted her to no end. I can still hear her wicked laugh.

We hit it off famously from the first words of that phone call, got to know each other better on the conference circuit, and the rest is history. I share these insights with you to underscore the fact that this is a book, while extremely informative, that was written from the trenches TO the trenches -- by two perfectly human ADDers who struggled with ADD themselves.

That's why they wrote the book!

If you locate a copy of the hot pink version (the first one), DO take the time, as the authors advise, to carefully read the first chapter (deleted in the rewrite). Although the original Chapter One is a little "heavier" reading than the rest of the book, the ADD information it provides will prove well worth the concentration it may take to go through one small chapter.

Helpful Hint: If your dominant modality is visual you will either LOVE the graphics - either version - or hate them. For my clients in the latter group, a sticky-note covering the graphics allowed them to focus more easily on the text.

Feedback on this book is universally excellent still. It is a classic for a reason. Bottom line: you simply must buy it and read it.

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, MCC, SCAC -- founder & CEO of The Optimal Functioning Institute(tm) & ADDCoach.com(tm), blogging at ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld - dot com!
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and common sense, May 24, 2001
I found the book rather practical.
First three chapters talk a lot about the symptoms and describe the nature of ADD. For a person who is not well acquainted with attention deficit disorder these three chapters would be a great jump-start.
The rest of the book gives very common-sense, down-to-earth recommendations and ideas on how to "get used" to living an ADD life. A lot of time is spent on dealing with depression and anxiety thoughts. Various portions of the book are devoted to issues like ADD vs. work-place environment, family relations, and social interactions.
I personally do not believe you have to be an MD or a professional of any other kind to have a sound and solid opinion on a subject as some of the reviewers have mentioned here. On the contrary - the most brilliant, the most ingenious, if you wish, ideas frequently come from "outsiders" who are not caught in the "routine thinking pattern" of a discipline or a field of studies. I express this opinion as a professional who worked with "outsiders" a lot and found their fresh thoughts very encouraging and breaking-through.
Read this book and let it challenge you to think over the ways you live your ADD life, let it open some doors you were scared to open before, and find peace in acting in the ways you never thought you would ever act.
Would make an intricate and a valuable gift for a person with an ADD! Will not offend your buddy in any way.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but can be hard to get through, February 2, 2003
By 
E. Platas (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My daughter has ADD, and I probably do as well, so I've read quite a bit on this subject. While the book is very informative and does give personal accounts of what it's like to live w/ AD/HD, I found it hard to get through. It seems to ramble a bit at times and the organization and even the choice of print size and font made it hard for me to stay interested after a while. Basically, it reads as if was written by someone with AD/HD-- (which of course, it was), but that's what makes it hard to get through at times! I found Driven to Distraction by Hallowell and even Women With Attention Deficit Disorder by Solden much easier to read and just as (if not more) informative, especially for an ADDer with a tendency to lose interest if the book doesn't captivate me early on. Also, if you are very well informed on the biology/neurology etc. of ADD the first three chapters don't offer anything new. Bottom line, worth reading, but there are better choices out there.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD REALISTIC ACCOUNT..., July 11, 2001
By 
Christina (Wahsington DC) - See all my reviews
I have ADD. I am 36 yrs old, female. I LIKED this book because it was written from a "Regular-Joes" perspective. Don't pay any mind to the guy who gave it "one star". He missed the point of this kind of book. He may not know it, but not everyone wants to read a hoity-toity physician's perspecitve on a complex condition. My experience has been, I think the people who actually HAVE it tend to have the most accurate information. It was very nice to just RELATE to what these 2 women journaled and observed through their own experiences - on the job and personally. I know ALOT about ADD ADHD and I appreciate ALL types of materials on this subject. Even when I don't agree with them sometimes, the only way you learn is by learning others perspectives. And this book is really - just that. I felt it was pretty much on target - quite honestly. I purchased the book about 5 years ago, and still use it as part of my ADD library. I find it very helpful and useful.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on ADD self-help I've read!, September 10, 1999
By A Customer
I have read more than ten books about adult ADD since I was diagnosed a few months ago. While this one does not provide a lot of technical information about ADD, it is by far the best self-help book I've read. Hundreds of pages are devoted to teaching the ADD adult better ways to manage paperwork, housework, time management, social events, relationships etc.etc. It highlights the many positives of ADD, and sheds light on how to control the negatives. If you feel that you are fairly well-educated about what ADD is, but want to know what you can do about it to improve your life, this is definitely the book for you.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to learn all about ADD - read this book!, November 16, 1999
As an ADD coach and head of the American Coaching Association I heartily recommend reading this book. One of the primary missions of ADD coaching is to assist clients in learning all they can about their own ADD symptoms. Once they have accomplished this they can begin the process of using this knowledge to develop coping strategies and techniques to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. This book provides abundant information to help coaches and their clients on this journey. Hats off to Kelly and Ramundo!
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