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Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,021 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
In 1994, Driven to Distraction sparked a revolution in our understanding of attention deficit disorder. Widely recognized as the classic in the field, the book has sold more than a million copies. Now a second revolution is under way in the approach to ADD, and the news is great. Drug therapies, our understanding of the role of diet and exercise, even the way we define the ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published August 30th 2004)
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May 23, 2012 Christen rated it it was ok
To be honest, I only read a few chapters. It was annoying. The authors are so proud of themselves for having ADHD that they draumatically forgo putting this book in any kind of order. It's so random- almost as bad as Glenn Beck. I love ADD (ADHD) people. I am very ADHD riddled myself. It has presented problems in the past, but I was one of the lucky ones to be blessed with a steel resolve (I get what I want)... and I wanted to conquor ADHD.

Every effort should be made by the individual- no matte
Jun 04, 2015 Courtney rated it really liked it
This book is a good overview of what ADD is, both as a medically-diagnosable condition and as a collection of strengths and weaknesses in real people.

Chapters talk about how ADD manifests in kids, adult diagnosis, living with loved ones with ADD and coping with your own ADD. There's a fair amount of coverage of other challenges that somtimes occur at the same time as ADD, such as dyslexia. There are a number of scenarios and success stories that can guide people and families in through their pa
May 05, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psycology
Incredibly insightful and re-assuring. Not quite as practical in day to day strategies as I was hoping, but had some good insight into life and some unexpected suggestions that have already helped me. I’d recommend this book to anyone who has ADD, thinks they might have ADD, loves someone with ADD, loves someone they think might have ADD, or anyone who “doesn’t believe in” ADD.
Loy Machedo
Jul 10, 2013 Loy Machedo rated it really liked it
Loy Machedo's Book Review - Delivered from Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

What do the following people have in common?
Abraham Lincoln, Agatha Christie, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Beethoven, Cher, Dustin Hoffman, Ernest Hemingway, Isaac Newton, John Kennedy, Leonardo da Vinci, Lewis Carroll, Michael Jordan, Mozart, Ozzy OsbourneRobert Kennedy, Robin Williams, Rory Bremner, Salvador Dali, The Wright brothers, Walt Disney, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith and Winston C
Amber Koppenhofer
Apr 22, 2015 Amber Koppenhofer rated it really liked it
Shelves: informative, adhd
I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, so I'm reading up on my options for treatment, particularly non-pharmaceutical options. This book is informative and a confidence booster, especially if you have thought your whole life that your were crazy, unorganized, lazy, etc. I get why I function the way I do now, and there are some great suggestions in this book on how to cope with your quirky brain, both behavioral and pharmaceutical. I highly recommend this to anyone who thinks they have ADHD/ADD, who ...more
Dec 17, 2010 Leslie rated it it was amazing
This is an important book for anyone who has ADD, or anyone who loves someone who has ADD. It is a comprehensive overview of what is currently known (and some of the edges of the science). It's humorous. It contains helpful dietary, sleep, exercise, and medication advice. It also contains some "brain exercises" that seem like a sophisticated form of patting your head and rubbing your stomach that apparently engage and develop areas of the brain that have more difficulty integrating information i ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: psycology, re-read, 2014
guess I better do something about this....
good book!
Apr 25, 2014 Sheri rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I’m just gonna put a warning out there that this review is not politically correct. It does not follow the socially acceptable ideal that all people are equal and that unlimited resources should be spent bringing up the bottom.

I am, in fact, an elitist. I recognize that I am LUCKY to have been born with above average intelligence and above average appearance. I am the first to tell you that who I am and where I am in life is dependent upon both my brains and my looks, but I have also worked hard
Dec 21, 2012 Kayt rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Irony: Taking nine freaking months to finish this because...I kept getting distracted.

This is a great overview of adult ADD/ADHD, everything from which acronym to use to dead-on descriptions of the ADD brain to overviews of various treatments.

One thing that was helpful just as a reader was being able to see myself reflected in it: I've come up with explanations for my default circadian rhythm (noon-four am) or "distracting myself enough to pay attention," and then to see those same things writte
Feb 03, 2009 Sam rated it it was amazing
I misunderstood ADD completely before I read this book. I used to associate ADD with hyperactive 10 year old boys who couldn't sit still, but it turns out that this is only the stereotypical condition. If you've ever felt frustrated with yourself for being unable to start or end tasks or just want to learn how those who have ADD see their world, buy yourself this book.

I'll add that DELIVERED FROM DISTRACTION is written in a style that is a pleasure to read for people who have a hard time focusin
Sep 09, 2009 Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, adhd, own
This book showed me I'm not lazy, stupid, undermotivated, or fundamentally flawed -- I have ADD. It's both a challenge and a "gift that's hard to unwrap," but it's not insurmountable, and it's not a personality defect.

This book taught me many incredibly useful coping strategies. It made me laugh with recognition; it made me cry with relief. And it gave me hope.

If you have ADD/ADHD, or you think you might have it, or you know or love someone who has it, you owe it to yourself (and/or to them) to
Doranne Long
Jul 19, 2013 Doranne Long rated it it was amazing
this book was very helpful, and I highly recommend it for those who wish to better understand ADD.
Jan 08, 2012 Sumit rated it liked it
This book was a good overview of ADD in adults and children, its symptoms, its manifestations, and various strategies for treatment. The tone was conversational and supportive, directed mostly at people who had ADD, reassuring them that there were benefits along with the weaknesses of the condition, that they were different rather rather than deficient, The book also contained many pracitcal tips to control ADD symptoms or to fight its negative consequences - getting enough sleep, daily exercise ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it
Recommended to Joe by: Leslie Haas
Shelves: recommended
Overall, a great introduction to ADD for people with an interest, but no in-depth understanding. Also seems like a good starting point for people who suspect they, or a loved one, has ADD symptoms. (Hallowell insists it should not be called ADHD, because hyperactivity isn't always present). The book is generally easy to read (except for the scattered organization - see below) - written for the lay person.

Two kinds of chapters: long ones that are mostly anecdotes and stories about ADDers Hallowel
Apr 03, 2013 Viessind rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Viessind by: Amazon
More like "Delivered into Distraction," and, no, it's not a laughing matter. This book truly is a huge waste of one's time when that person with ADHD could be looking for a professional therapist, particularly one specializing in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy). Also, finding a book or some other excellent resource on either therapy of the therapies mentioned above would greatly help with one being able to manage one's own mental illness.

This book hardl
See-ming Lee
Aug 21, 2009 See-ming Lee rated it it was amazing
As a highly stressed ADD'ed individual working in the information systems / design industry, this book has helped me tremendously and I have as a result recommended to many of my friends.

Written by two Harvard Medical school graduates, both of which have ADD, this book demonstrate through real-life examples how to live one's life to the fullest.

Written in ADD-friendly writing style--lists, dialog, etc.--the book serves as an excellent guide to hack your life:

1. How to take advantage of all the p
Wayne Alder
Mar 04, 2016 Wayne Alder rated it really liked it
This can be an encouraging book for those with ADD/ADHD. The authors claim that ADD is a huge asset with minor drawbacks, that can be largely kept under control--a very hopeful prospect for those with ADD. How is it an asset? They say that the ADD mind is both fast, and has the ability (ironically) to super-focus. The fast mind makes it easy to get distracted by something else vying for attention, which makes the ADD person have to train themselves in the special skill of staying focused on what ...more
Loriann Oberlin
May 25, 2014 Loriann Oberlin rated it really liked it
With so many adults with ADHD, relationships and marriages affected as well as workplace considerations, Hallowell's and Ratey's book was long overdue when it came out in 2005, but today in 2014 when I write this, it's still so pertinent.

I recommend this book often to clients impacted by attention deficit. The self-assessment quiz that Hallowell offers is no substitute for official testing but it gives a feel for ADHD traits and habits. I also particularly liked the chapter on "The Seven Habits
Adrienne Donner
Apr 07, 2014 Adrienne Donner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adhd
This was a good book. I listened to the abridged version first then flipped through looking for what I needed.
The self assessment quiz was written based from tests for children (mostly boys) as that is where the most research has been seen and done. I am a women with ADHD and found that much of this didn't line up with what I have experienced (quiz/assessment).
The book gave some good ideas of plans to work on and some thoughts about nutrition that I will try until I found more current research
Apr 04, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-books
Of all the ADHD books I've read, I would put this one at the top of the list. An update to Driven to Distraction, it has the latest in the last 20 years of research on ADHD. This is the most dog-eared and underlined book I own! I expect it will be a good parenting reference for us over the years.

The best part I would emphasize to anyone with a child with ADHD is the 8 area plan for treatment. Medication is only one of the eight areas of treatment.

Excellent resource.
Dec 13, 2009 Girly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you're an adult and have been diagnosed with ADD (hyperactive-, inattentive-, or combined-typed) this is the first book you should read. Most content applies to the hyperactive type, like many of the books out there. But we all have the impulsivity and other traits common which this book covers. I was diagnosed with inattentive type and found this book very helpful and therapeutic.
Sara Jane
Aug 31, 2014 Sara Jane rated it it was amazing
This book is a great resource for anyone who either has recently been diagnosed with ADD, or who happens to have someone in their live that has recently been diagnosed with ADD. Although I do not have ADD, I appreciated how ADD-friendly the book was: the chapters were short, and the author encourages readers to skip around as they'd like, and even suggests that the ADD-afflicted give the book to someone else to read and summarize. It gave me great insight into the ADD mind, and I loved its empha ...more
Jul 21, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
An absolutely fascinating read--if you or someone you love has ADD/ADHD. Helped me understand better the minds of 3 of my very favorite people in the world, and made me much more sympathetic to their challenges (and more patient in the process :o) It's also great as an audiobook--the author (who has ADD) reads it himself!
Apr 08, 2009 Hal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I wish I'd read this book ten years ago. Then, I wouldn't have thought this was just a unique problem that my dad and I suffered from. I would have been able to address issues from a much more scientific, healing standpoint instead of just beating my head against the wall over and over.
Feb 23, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to wade through this book - even though it is well written and engaging. It seems like I needed to absorb each chapter a bit before moving onto the next.

My husband has ADD and it's been suggested to me that I exhibit a lot of the calling cards. I'm not sure either of us is in need of big treatment but reading this book gave me a useful lens to examine our lives.

There are several tip sheets and suggestions for working through common issues. The best part of the book for me was
Jul 28, 2013 Cassandra rated it really liked it
hard to keep concentration while reading heh
Johan Falkenjack
Aug 23, 2015 Johan Falkenjack rated it did not like it
Based on the "ADHD is a gift" bullc**p and filled with advice with no reference to research showing whether the proposed idea works or not. Probably OK if you are totally new to the subject and want to know what's available, regardless if it works, or just want som feel good stories. If you, like me, want something with real substance and a basis in the scientific litterature I recommend Thomas E. Brown or Russel Barclay instead.

Note that this book has recommendations both on diets and nutrition
Oct 19, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
Dr. Hallowell, a psychiatrist who is an expert in ADD, not only because he treats it for a living, because he lives with it himself. This book is a comprehensive look at all the different aspects and treatments for ADD, and even includes a chapter at the beginning that summarizes everything, just in case you can't focus enough to read the whole book ;). He not only teaches about the disorder, but he teaches how to make the most out of it, and all the great things about it as well.

My friend gave
Oct 02, 2015 Maryc rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
Its been years since I read the previous book, "Driven to Distraction," and there were some differences (relying on my memory). The first book seemed to emphasize the gifts that go along with ADD/ADHD and encouraged folks to think of this as a difference rather than a disability which I really appreciated. As a parent of two gifted and talented ADD kids, I was told by folks in the G/T educational community that ADD is VERY common among gifted kids. This was less emphasized in the second book, "D ...more
Aug 19, 2011 Lorie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Written by 2 doctors who are ADD or ADHD themselves, this book gives tremendous insights on how such people (LIKE ME!!) are crushed and disabled from their childhoods by adults that don't understand, and who heap criticism, shame, disgust and even physical abuse upon us. A.D.D. is a PHYSICAL symptom of brain differences, not a moral weakness, laziness, nor disability!

I was delighted and exonerated by their chapters on how a different TYPE of brain in the ADD skull makes such people more creativ
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Edward M. Hallowell is a child and adult psychiatrist who specialises in ADD/ADHD and who also has ADHD. He is the co-author of the book Delivered From Distraction. He also created The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, MA. He is a Harvard alumnus and has been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School since 1983. He received his medical degree from Tulane University Med ...more
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“To tell a person who has ADD to try harder is about as helpful as telling someone who is nearsighted to squint harder.” 4 likes
“THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE ADD ADULTS 1. Do what you’re good at. Don’t spend too much time trying to get good at what you’re bad at. (You did enough of that in school.) 2. Delegate what you’re bad at to others, as often as possible. 3. Connect your energy to a creative outlet. 4. Get well enough organized to achieve your goals. The key here is “well enough.” That doesn’t mean you have to be very well organized at all—just well enough organized to achieve your goals. 5. Ask for and heed advice from people you trust—and ignore, as best you can, the dream-breakers and finger-waggers. 6. Make sure you keep up regular contact with a few close friends. 7. Go with your positive side. Even though you have a negative side, make decisions and run your life with your positive side.” 4 likes
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