Recommended Books on ADHD

With all the books on ADHD, it can be hard to know where to start.  Below I have listed classics as well as some more recent ones that I recommend. Excerpts are taken directly from Amazon.com descriptions.

Books are listed by three categories:

  1. General Books about ADHD
  2. Books on Relationships
  3. Organizing and ADHD

General Books about ADHD

A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults:
Executive Functioning Impairment

By Thomas Brown

This cutting-edge book pulls together key ideas of this new understanding of ADHD, explaining them and describing in understandable language scientific research that supports this new model. It addresses questions like:

  • Why can those with ADHD focus very well on some tasks while having great difficulty in focusing on other tasks they recognize as important?
  • How does brain development and functioning of persons with ADHD differ from others?
  • How do impairments of ADHD change from childhood through adolescence and in adulthood?
  • What treatments help to improve ADHD impairments? How do they work? Are they safe?
  • Why do those with ADHD have additional emotional, cognitive, and learning disorders more often than most others?
  • What commonly held assumptions about ADHD have now been proven wrong by scientific research?

Answers to Distraction
By Edward Hallowell, MD and John Ratey, MD

Drs. Hallowell and Ratey answer the questions most frequently asked at their nationwide workshops and seminars, resulting in an easy-to-read reference that covers every aspect of the disorder: from identifying symptoms and diagnosis, to the latest treatment options, as well as practical day-to-day advice on how you or a loved one can live a normal life with ADD.

Delivered From Distraction
by Edward Hallowell, MD and John Ratey, MD

In this new book, Drs. Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey build on the breakthroughs of Driven to Distraction (see below) to offer a comprehensive and entirely up-to-date guide to living a successful life with ADD.

As Hallowell and Ratey point out, “attention deficit disorder” is a highly misleading description of an intriguing kind of mind. Original, charismatic, energetic, often brilliant, people with ADD have extraordinary talents and gifts embedded in their highly charged but easily distracted minds. Tailored expressly to ADD learning styles and attention spans, Delivered from Distraction provides accessible, engaging discussions of every aspect of the condition, from diagnosis to finding the proper treatment regime. Inside you’ll discover:

  • Whether ADD runs in families
  • New diagnostic procedures, tests, and evaluations
  • The links between ADD and other conditions
  • How people with ADD can free up their inner talents and strengths
  • The new drugs and how they work, and why they’re not for everyone
    exciting advances in no pharmaceutical therapies, including changes in diet, exercise, and lifestyle
  • How to adapt the classic twelve-step program to treat ADD
  • Sexual problems associated with ADD and how to resolve them
  • Strategies for dealing with procrastination, clutter, and chronic forgetfulness

ADD is a trait, a way of living in the world. It only becomes a disorder when it impairs your life. Featuring gripping profiles of patients with ADD who have triumphed, Delivered from Distraction is a wise, loving guide to releasing the positive energy that all people with ADD hold inside.

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with
Attention Deficit Disorder (Revised Edition)
by Edward Hallowell, MD and John Ratey, MD

Through vivid stories and case histories of patients—both adults and children—Hallowell and Ratey explore the varied forms ADHD takes, from hyperactivity to daydreaming. They dispel common myths, offer helpful coping tools, and give a thorough accounting of all treatment options as well as tips for dealing with a diagnosed child, partner, or family member. But most importantly, they focus on the positives that can come with this “disorder”—including high energy, intuitiveness, creativity, and enthusiasm.

More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD
By Ari Tuckman

This is the only book on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) written in a structure that caters to the tendency for adults with ADHD to jump around. This essential guidebook begins by describing how the ADHD brain processes information and how that leads to typical challenges that people with ADHD experience, as well as why certain strategies are effective and others aren’t. This lays the foundation for everything that follows, from getting diagnosed to an overview of the research of how ADHD affects people’s lives.

A thorough explanation of standard treatment options-including medication, therapy, and coaching-as well as alternative treatments, helps guide adults with ADHD to get the most from their healthcare providers. From there, the book provides an extensive collection of practical strategies to overcome common struggles in the areas of self-esteem, work, relationships, friendships, parenting, and everyday life. It covers everything from time management to getting organized. Brief, ADHD-friendly articles can stand alone or be read in sequence, making it the perfect book for the busy adult with ADHD who wants rock-solid information that is easily digestible.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
By John Ratey, MD

In SPARK, John Ratey, MD embarks upon a fascinating journey through the mind-body connection, illustrating that exercise is truly our best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to menopause to Alzheimer’s. Filled with amazing case studies (such as the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, Illinois, that has put the local school district of 19,000 kids first in the world of science test scores), SPARK is the first book to explore comprehensively the connection between exercise and the brain. It will change forever the way you think about your morning run.

Taking Charge of Adult ADHD
By Russell Barkley

For adults with ADHD, problems with attention, planning, problem solving, and controlling emotions can make daily life an uphill battle. Fortunately, effective help is out there. No one is a better guide to how to get the best care—and what sufferers can do for themselves—than renowned ADHD researcher/clinician Russell A. Barkley. Dr. Barkley provides step-by-step strategies for managing symptoms and reducing their harmful impact. Readers get hands-on self-assessment tools and skills-building exercises, plus clear answers to frequently asked questions about medications and other treatments. Specific techniques are presented for overcoming challenges in critical areas where people with the disorder often struggle—work, finances, relationships, and more.

You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
By Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo

With over a quarter million copies in print, You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! is one of the bestselling books on attention deficit disorder (ADD) ever written. There is a great deal of literature about children with ADD. But what do you do if you have ADD and aren’t a child anymore? This indispensable reference — the first of its kind written for adults with ADD by adults with ADD — focuses on the experiences of adults, offering updated information, practical how-tos and moral support to help readers deal with ADD. It also explains the diagnostic process that distinguishes ADD symptoms from normal lapses in memory, lack of concentration or impulsive behavior.

 

Books on Relationships

The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps
By Melissa Orlov

This book is an invaluable resource for couples in which one of the partners suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  It authoritatively guides couples in troubled marriages towards an understanding and appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of a relationship affected by ADHD, and to look at the disorder in a more positive and less disruptive way. Going beyond traditional marriage counseling which can often discount the influence of ADHD, this straight-forward discussion offers advice from the author’s personal experience and years of research and identifies patterns of behavior that can hurt marriages —such as nagging, intimacy problems, sudden anger, and memory issues —through the use of vignettes and descriptions of actual couples and their ADHD struggles and solutions. This resource encourages both spouses to become active partners in improving their relationship and healing the fissures that ADHD can cause. Also included are worksheets and various methods for difficult conversations so that couples can find a technique that fits their unique relationship and improve their communication skills.

It is You, Me, or Adult ADD?  Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder
By Gina Pera

Everyone knows someone with adult AD/HD. Yet we misattribute the symptoms to anxiety, depression, or even laziness, selfishness, or moodiness. Moreover, we assume AD/HD means “little boys with ants in their pants.” In fact, childhood hyperactivity goes “underground” as the person matures, resulting in a mentally restless state. (By the way, the former, and still better known, official term is ADD, plus or minus Hyperactivity. The new term, AD/HD, uses a slash mark to indicate that hyperactivity is not central to the diagnosis.)

Meticulously researched by award-winning journalist Gina Pera, Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? is a comprehensive guide to recognizing the behaviors where you least expect them (on the road and in the bedroom, for example) and developing compassion for couples wrestling with unrecognized ADHD symptoms. It also offers the latest information from top experts, plenty of real-life details, and easy-to-understand guidelines for finding the best treatment options and practical solutions. The revolutionary message is one of hope for millions of people–and a joyous opportunity for a better life.

Married to Distraction: How to Restore Intimacy and Strengthen Your Partnership in an Age of Interruption
By Edward Hallowell

Are you more distant from your spouse than you’d like to be? Do you or your spouse waste time mindlessly viewing email or surfing the Web? Welcome to the club! Modern marriage is busy, distracted, and overloaded to extremes, with ever-increasing lists of things to do, superficial electronic connections, and interrupted moments. The good news is that there are straightforward and effective ways to restore communication and connection, resurrect happiness and romance, and strengthen—even save—a marriage.

  • Observe the natural sequence of sustaining love: attention, time, connection, and play.
  • Develop and nurture empathy—the essential building block to healthy communication.
  • Carve out small moments of uninterrupted attention for each other.
  • Identify the pressures that our crazy busy lifestyles put on love and marriage, and fight back with tenderness and appreciation.

Complete with scripts, tips, communication techniques, and a detailed 30-day reconnection plan, as well as inspiring real-life stories, Married to Distraction will set couples on a course of understanding, healing, and love.

 

Organizing and ADHD

ADHD- Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life
By Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau

Organizing books fall short of addressing the unique needs of adults with ADD. They fail to understand the clinical picture of ADD and how it impacts the organizing process often making their advice irrelevant or frustrating when put into application. Books about ADD may address organization/disorganization but do so in a cursory fashion and on a very small scale in what are usually long books on the subject. This is a book that has ADD-Friendly advice with the ADDer in mind. This collaboration brings forth the best underlying understanding with the most effective and practical remedy from ADD experts in two important fields — professional organization and clinical psychology. Finally, it offers organizing advice that ranges from self-help to utilizing the help of non-professionals, to using professional assistance. Thus it permits the reader to decide where they are at personally in the organizing process, and what level of support will be most beneficial to their unique situation.

Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD: Tools and Tips to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized (2nd Edition- Revised and Updated)
By Susan Pinksy

Written by professional organizer Susan Pinsky, this book outlines a practical, ADHD-friendly organizing approach that emphasizes easy maintenance techniques and methods for maximum efficiency, catering to the specific needs of the ADHD population. Susan’s practical solutions address the most common organizing dilemmas among her ADHD clientele, while also drawing on her own personal experience as the mother of a child with ADHD. Color photos, useful tips, and bulleted lists make this a quick and manageable read, no matter how fleeting your attention span.

Armed with this unique, step-by-step approach to organizing, you’ll receive the tools and the knowledge you need to eliminate stress from your home and lead a happier, healthier, more organized life.