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

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,535 ratings  ·  177 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
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published August 30th 2004)
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Christen
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
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Courtney
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
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Laura
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
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
...more
Amber Koppenhofer
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
Leslie
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
Stephanie
guess I better do something about this....
good book!
Sam
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
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Simon
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
...more
Sheri
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
...more
Kayt
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
...more
Sumit
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
Joe
Jan 22, 2013 Joe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Viessind
Apr 03, 2013 Viessind rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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See-ming Lee
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
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Loriann Oberlin
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
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Adrienne Donner
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
...more
Laura
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.
Girly
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
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
Karen
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!
Hal
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.
Cassandra
hard to keep concentration while reading heh
Lorie
Aug 19, 2011 Lorie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Annie
The notion that others minds work differently than mine has always been fascinating to me. Perhaps it is a reason I majored in psychology. I wanted to learn more about ADD and this comprehensive book fulfilled that request. It was very informative and interesting. Both authors are Md.’s with illustrious teaching careers. They also have ADD, so their insight was especially valuable. The book covered a wide range of topics, everything from characteristics of people with ADD to new treatments to di ...more
Rebecca
Jun 10, 2011 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone affected in any way by AD/HD
So thrilled to finally have this book. (WHAT! It was published six years ago! Why didn't I know about it sooner! Oh, yeah, I guess I did see it last year as an Amazon suggestion when I was checking out ADD books. Too bad I only thought, "Ha, great title" and didn't continue contemplating it long enough to make the connection between it and the other classic ADD book, Driven to Distraction, sitting on my nightstand...Sheesh. I even thought, after finishing that book, "But, wait! A few pages is al ...more
Eric
Useful enough. Mercifully short chapters (deliberate, of course), many topics.

The usual standard American style attitude of "Everbody is a Snowflake. Have a Trophy" was a bit irritating, but eh what can you say? Also a bit over the top is gushing about how special and gifted ADHD people are. Yes, I think the positive message about ADHD (that it can be as much a blessing as a curse) and the attitude of unleashing our potential rather than just fixing problems is essentially the right one. But gaw
...more
M
Feb 26, 2010 M is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I have traits of this although since I've been able to get through school, uni and postgrad I guess I've coped pretty well overall. Anyway, there's always room for improvement and I'd like to be more organised. What I like about this book is that both the authors are doctors with ADH/ADHD so right from the start, you do feel like this isn't the cop out that it's sometimes made to be in the media. Repeatedly, the reader is shown the examples of people who excell and shine in some areas but seem u ...more
Nicholas
Solid medical / science writing for a public office. Hallowell is up front about when he is writing from research and when he is winging it. He wings it a lot, and there's a sense of snake oil sales in the book, but I appreciated his clear communication of where his suggestions come from.

So despite that bit of faint praise, I strongly recommend this to adults diagnosed w/ ADHD. I was diagnosed at 42. I recognized my symptoms and many of my coping mechanisms in his writing. I feel informed and be
...more
James Martin
This is useful in places, especially for someone entirely unfamiliar with the disorder, but it also veers, at times, into an extended and somewhat repetitive pep talk. While I'd like to believe in things like a link between ADHD and creativity, there's not any science to support such a belief. And, while Hallowell & Ratey are generally good at pointing out when they're making recommendations based on anecdotal evidence, the ADHD as marker of creativity myth is one that they deploy without an ...more
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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
More about Edward M. Hallowell...
Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Coping in a World Gone ADD The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child Answers to Distraction

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“1.  Position one blank sheet of paper to your right and another to your left; then take a pencil in each hand. Simultaneously, draw a vertical line on the right sheet and a circle on the left sheet. Repeat three times, alternating figures on the right and left sheets.  2.  Draw a triangle on one sheet while drawing a square on the other. Then switch: draw the square on the first sheet and the triangle on the other.  3.  Draw a circle on one sheet while drawing a triangle on the other. Switch figures and do it again.  4.  Draw two circles on one sheet while drawing one square on the other. Then switch.  5.  Draw two squares on one sheet while drawing one triangle on the other. Then switch.  6.  Draw a triangle on one sheet while drawing a square on the other and also tracing a circle on the floor with one leg. Then switch hands (and switch to the other leg).  7.  Draw a circle with one hand and a triangle with the other while tracing a square on the floor with one leg. Then switch all.  8.  Draw a triangle with one hand and two squares with the other while tracing a circle on the floor with one leg. Then switch all.  9.  Draw a triangle with one hand and a square with the other while tracing a circle on the floor with one leg and nodding your head twice forward and twice backward. 10.  Draw a triangle with one hand and a square with the other while tracing a vertical line with the leg on the same side as the hand that is drawing the triangle, and a horizontal line with leg on the same side as the hand that is drawing the square. Then switch all.” 0 likes
“1.  Position one blank sheet of paper to your right and another to your left; then take a pencil in each hand. Simultaneously, draw a vertical line on the right sheet and a circle on the left sheet. Repeat three times, alternating figures on the right and left sheets. 2.  Draw a triangle on one sheet while drawing a square on the other. Then switch: draw the square on the first sheet and the triangle on the other. 3.  Draw a circle on one sheet while drawing a triangle on the other. Switch figures and do it again. 4.  Draw two circles on one sheet while drawing one square on the other. Then switch. 5.  Draw two squares on one sheet while drawing one triangle on the other. Then switch. 6.  Draw a triangle on one sheet while drawing a square on the other and also tracing a circle on the floor with one leg. Then switch hands (and switch to the other leg). 7.  Draw a circle with one hand and a triangle with the other while tracing a square on the floor with one leg. Then switch all. 8.  Draw a triangle with one hand and two squares with the other while tracing a circle on the floor with one leg. Then switch all. 9.  Draw a triangle with one hand and a square with the other while tracing a circle on the floor with one leg and nodding your head twice forward and twice backward. 10.  Draw a triangle with one hand and a square with the other while tracing a vertical line with the leg on the same side as the hand that is drawing the triangle, and a horizontal line with leg on the same side as the hand that is drawing the square. Then switch all.” 0 likes
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