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Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder Paperback – September 13, 2011
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“A very readable, highly informative and helpful book.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Conversational in tone, encyclopedic in content, and, best of all, utterly convincing because of its grounding in clinical experience, Driven to Distraction should make Attention Deficit Disorder comprehensible even to the most distractible reader.”—Peter D. Kramer, M.D., author of Listening to Prozac
“This is an important and much-needed book! Wise, practical, and reassuring.” —Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., author of Endangered Minds and Different Learners
“The first comprehensive book on the subject for the lay reader.” —The Boston Globe
About the Author
Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., is in private practice in adult and child psychiatry and has offices in both the Boston area and New York City. He lives with his wife, Sue, and children, Lucy, Jack, and Tucker.
John J. Ratey, M.D. is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is in private practice. He lives in the Boston area.
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Despite calling the disorder ADHD in the intro, he calls it ADD throughout the rest of the book. Despite saying that ADHD affects men and women in equal numbers in the intro, soon after in the book he says that it affects men three times more than women. The research he describes is largely from the early nineties or before, despite the explosion of new ADHD research findings in the past 22 years (although there is updated medication information).
This makes me angry because the author's grab for money in releasing an "updated" version of a book about a disorder that is hardly updated at all is unacceptable and negligent. Clinicians and patients will read this inaccurate/unupdated information and not deliver or receive the best treatment they could potentially have. Dr. Hallowell stresses in his book how dramatically the disorder can negatively affect one's life and how important treatment is — yet he presents vastly outdated information and pretends it's new, doing a great disservice to ADHD sufferers like myself who want to heal.
I had a lot of pain growing up and thought there was something very wrong with me. This led to many instances of depression, self-esteem issues, suicidal ideation, isolation, anger, and self recrimination. Why couldn't I just get it together? Why was I angry so often? (one story was particularly illuminating--in which the therapist asks the guy WHY he has so much anger and he says it's from many years of built-up frustration. It made so much sense.) Why couldn't I stay motivated in school or work? Why am I so scattered and disorganized?
I was born in 1980...ADHD research was still in its infancy, and so my symptoms weren't recognized. I remember one kid that was diagnosed as having it and everybody made fun of him and I was under the impression that it was an excuse. As I got into adulthood, I remember seeing a commercial for adult ADHD that put a name on what I was experiencing, but still tried to deny it was a problem. This has had wide-ranging effects on my life that I didn't even realize. Through this book, I have found that there is no shame in choosing to take medication or seeking out coaching or therapy. I have found a new appreciation for my creative ADHD brain and a way to approach awkward situations with humor so people can understand me better. I have also reached out to many people that I fear I may have alienated in my past or hurt with my impulsive behavior. I have rebuilt many bridges and mended friendships and even my family.
This is not a made-up disorder. It's not laziness and cannot just be overcome by sheer willpower. I've tried. I eventually run out of steam and it took so much effort to keep it going for so long that when I ran out of steam, my motivation and willpower to do just about anything went out the window. I'm so grateful to the authors of this book. I found so many answers that I have been looking for for so long. I didn't even realize this was the answer I was searching for, even though it was in front of my face for a very long time.
Thank you SO much for the detailed descriptions that explain how ADHD affects ALL areas of life. Thank you also for the case histories that I could relate to and feel like I wasn't alone. Excellent book and VERY highly recommended for sufferers of adult ADHD, or those that choose to be in relationship with someone that has it.