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The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done Paperback – October 1, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 295 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Queen of Distraction strikes gold! It is the mother lode of wisdom, practical nuggets, humor, and insight. Terry Matlen is a true veteran of the ADHD saga. This book is authoritative, yet warm; up-to-date, yet timeless. Terry’s masterful guide will help you feel less stressed, more successful, and happier in pursuit of your goals. I recommend it most highly.” 
―Edward Hallowell, MD, coauthor of Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction


The Queen of Distraction is an oasis of acceptance and practical ideas for women with ADHD―compassionate and approachable.”
Melissa Orlov, author of The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD
 
 


“As a woman who suffers from ADHD herself, Matlen has personally walked the talk. Professionally, she’s worked with countless others with adult ADHD through her coaching and consulting practice. Matlen’s new book serves as an ADHD primer and introduction to all things ADHD. Keep it by your bedside, handy for when you feel low, confused, or alone. Terry’s warm, knowledgeable voice will shine through like a beacon, guiding you with a voice that is supportive and accepting, knowledgeable and practical. Use it as a roadmap and companion as you navigate your journey with adult ADHD.”
―Zoë Kessler, BA, BEd, author of ADHD According to Zoë


“Terry has done an exceptional job bringing together what is known about the science of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults as it applies specifically to women, making it live with numerous case examples of women with ADHD telling their own personal stories, and chock-full of sound advice for how to manage the symptoms, deficits, and impairments that are often associated with this disorder in adults. It is among the best and certainly the most current book on the topic of women with ADHD and will be exceptionally valuable to not only women with the disorder but those wishing to better understand it. It is certainly a must-read for therapists and coaches who assist such women through their practices.”
―Russell A. Barkley, PhD, clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Medical University of South Carolina, RussellBarkley.org and ADHDLectures.com


The Queen of Distraction is a must-read book for understanding how to deal with all the critical problems women with ADHD face daily. It is an appealing, practical, and easy-to read book written with insight, humor, and honesty. The real-life stories and examples provide the optimism and motivation to use the work/life tips to overcome ADHD-related challenges. Matlen provides a gift to women with ADHD. If the goal is managing difficulties such as transitions, clutter, time, emotions, relationships, or parenting, then Matlen provides a critical guide to greater productivity and life satisfaction.”
Geraldine Markel, PhD


“Terry Matlen has learned the hard way how to live a good life with ADHD. Fortunately for her readers, she is smart and funny enough that they can benefit from her experience and wisdom. She does an excellent job of explaining how ADHD impacts the specific demands women face today and offering solutions to make their lives better. This book will make your life easier―you need it!”
―Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA, author of Understand Your Brain, Get More Done; More Attention, Less Deficit; and Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD


“Like most of my colleagues, I read each ADHD book that comes out, comparing the usefulness of one to the other. Terry Matlen has hit it out of the ballpark with this one. From the unique and relatable cover, which hints at humor, yet promises content, Ms. Matlen delivers to the reader a most thorough and helpful handbook for living inside a female, ADHD body (my personal favorite chapter: ‘Clothing Loathing’). Not only does this book lighten the guilt of how we all feel in our clutter, chaos, and ‘lack of measuring up’ to Sally Struthers next door, it also takes each symptom and breaks it down into practical, easy steps to living a more productive and comfortable life! What a concept! Bravo to Matlen for this treasure, which will no doubt become the most worn-out book in any woman’s ADHD library.”
Wilma Fellman, MEd, LPC, career counselor, ADHD coach and trainer, and author of Finding a Career That Works for You and The Other Me: Poetic Thoughts on ADD for Adults, Kids and Parents


“Terry Matlen gives the royal treatment to the topic of women with ADHD in her new book, The Queen of Distraction. Weaving together a combination of stories from her professional work and her own experience of living with ADHD, Matlen takes readers through all the struggles confronted by women with ADHD in today’s world and provides useful coping tips for tackling them. Whether you are a woman with ADHD or you want to understand the impact of ADHD on the life of your mother, sister, daughter, partner, or any other woman in your life, this book is for you.”
―J. Russell Ramsay, PhD, associate professor of clinical psychology in psychiatry, codirector of the Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Adult ADHD Tool Kit


“It’s a fact! Women with ADHD are overwhelmed and hurting. Dial 911 and along comes Terry Matlen’s The Queen of Distraction to the rescue, offering a prescription to help these women overcome chaos, clutter, and other everyday challenges. Like a skilled surgeon, Matlen cuts to the core of the problem and offers relief. I would recommend this book to every woman with ADHD. It doesn’t matter whether she has an acute issue needing immediate attention or a chronic problem, is newly diagnosed or an ‘old timer’ looking for practical tips: help can be found within these pages.”
―Patricia O. Quinn, MD, Center for Girls and Women with ADHD, Washington, DC


“Many books offer advice to adults with ADHD about how they might cope more effectively with difficulties of daily life. This book is unique in its empathic understanding of emotional needs and stresses of women with ADHD who struggle to manage the complex demands of their daily life. It offers many very practical suggestions from an understanding friend who has been there and has learned from her experience.”
―Thomas E. Brown, PhD, associate director, Yale Clinic for Attention & Related Disorders, Yale University School of Medicine, and author of Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD

About the Author

Terry Matlen, MSW, is a psychotherapist, consultant, writer, and coach. She is the author of Survival Tips forWomen with ADHD and founder of addconsults.com. Matlen has been interviewed by National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the New York Times, US News and World Report, Newsday, Today, CBS This Morning, The Jane Pauley Show, Ladies’ Home Journal, Glamour, and others.

Foreword writer Sari Solden, MS, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and consultant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who has counseled adults with ADHD for over twenty-five years. She is the author of the pioneering books Women with Attention Deficit Disorder and Journeys Through ADDulthood, as well as a prominent keynote speaker at national and international ADHD conferences. She serves on the professional advisory board of the National Association for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADDA) and was a past recipient of their award for outstanding service by a helping professional. Solden’s areas of specialization include women's issues, inattentive ADHD, and the emotional consequences and healing process for adults who grew up with undiagnosed ADHD.

 

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ New Harbinger Publications (October 1, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1626250898
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1626250895
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.11 x 0.52 x 8.98 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 295 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
295 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2015
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2.0 out of 5 stars Struggling with ADHD? Pay someone to solve your problems or visit my website!
By Savv on December 15, 2015
The title of this review is the author's main message in this book, which is a VERY basic introduction to ADHD in women. It has a LOT of white space and very large print and subtitles; it needn't have taken up as many pages as it did. Also, the incredibly large print makes for awkward situations where anyone sitting near you in public could easily read the book along with you.

The organization within chapters is pretty good, easy to follow, but the only chapters I found very useful were the first couple, one on why women with ADHD are always late to things, and one on organizing papers and making to-do lists that emphasized the importance and time-sensitivity of items. Basically, get a lot of clocks and put them all around your house, and actually time your morning routines, such as putting on makeup or showering, so that you can schedule your mornings realistically. One of the big problems women with ADHD have is a sort of time-optimism, thinking more can be done in a certain amount of time than is actually possible.

There are a couple chapters on relationships and communication about the unique challenges of ADHD, but there isn't any really groundbreaking information in here. There is a chapter on "sensitivity," which helped to explain why I have always had so much trouble finding comfortable clothing (itchy or uncomfortable clothing is yet another stimulus that demands attention), and one chapter on why shopping can be challenging because there are so many things demanding attention.

I managed to read this whole book in one day, starting at 8:30am and ending at 2:30pm. I doubt that I'll read it again other than to refer to the organizing parts, which I easily could have written on a post-it after my first read through, but didn't.

One of THE WORST parts about the book, is that the author is CONSTANTLY referring you to visit her website for lists, explanations, tips, and other resources. She mentions her website in every chapter, sometimes multiple times on a page. I understand the need to reference a website when it comes to a list that might be regularly updated, but she could have put a small icon or footnote next to the sentences mentioning such lists instead of saying "visit my website here" every time such things came up. After awhile, the book began to feel like a $15 website advertisement disguised as a book. (See photo)

Additionally, her solution for a lot of the problems that women with ADHD face is "hire someone else to do it!" and "hire a counselor to give you advice." Very little advice for women who don't have money to throw at all of their problems or for women who want to learn to take control of their ADHD themselves. Not everyone can afford to have a personal assistant or to contract a professional organizer to remodel a closet.

I'd recommend this book as a quick, cursory read for an overview on women in ADHD, but I wouldn't suggest buying it. You'll read it once and put it back on your shelf, so save yourself some money and check it out from the library instead. Additionally, there are online forums for people with ADHD that provide the same quality of personal anecdotes and individual testimony to tips on dealing with ADHD, all without the constant advertisements and money-based solutions.
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237 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Written in an accessible, chatty style
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2018
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wrappedinplastic
3.0 out of 5 stars Beginner level strategies for ADHD
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2019
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TG
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of great tips and easy to read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2021
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Laura Bateson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good easily digestible read with helpful insights into adhd
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2016
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