Driven to Distraction

Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
Narrated by: John McDonough
Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (705 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Through vivid stories of the experiences of their patients (both adults and children), Drs. Hallowell and Ratey show the varied forms ADD takes - from the hyperactive search for high stimulation to the floating inattention of daydreaming - and the transforming impact of precise diagnosis and treatment.

©1995 Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D. All rights reserved. ©1995 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
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Informative

As an adult with a husband, 2 kids under 4, a full-time job in a classroom and a budding business owner I thought I was lazy, crazy, and something was just missing. Everything I tried to do from lesson plans, to baby schedules, to cooking, etc took me 2-3 times longer than my peers. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe ADD in August and my dr recommended this book. I bought it right away but was never able to read much because of my lack of focus and time. The audible version was perfect and I just about cried as every new topic, every case study, every description is what I had been living with my whole life but has gradually gotten worse as my responsibilities increased. I had my husband listen too and it has really added another level to his understanding of me and what I go through on a daily basis. While the information wasn’t a cure it certainly is a great starting point to a better understanding of what add is and what it does in my life. It is definitely a better alternative to researching online which would lead to 1,000 open tabs of partially skimmed information and new avenues to explore and coming out the other end none the wiser.

16 people found this helpful

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If you or a loved one has ADHD, this is a must-read.

The most important book for helping me understand my life with adult ADHD. So glad it was on Audible. I've had the print version for years, but kept getting distracted from finishing it.

16 people found this helpful

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So many lists

While I absolutely loved the lessons that this book gave me I couldn't help but notice that the book does lists very regularly. These weren't very short lists either so it made it slightly difficult to stay on track with the book. I did especially enjoy the stories of others that struggle with ADHD. It helps to know that you are not alone when it comes to these things. I would recommended this book to adults looking to educate themselves on ADHD.

11 people found this helpful

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  • JT
  • 10-28-18

A must for those with or close to ADD

I'm 35 and was diagnosed with ADHD just a few years ago. Being diagnosed answered a lot of questions, but also left a lot unanswered. Why can it be so hard to focus on a task, but then I'm able to hyper-focus at times too? Maybe my diagnosis was wrong? Through the stories of the patients in this book, I got a much better understanding of how ADHD shows up. There were several stories that were so similar to mine, and seeing these patients' experience was such a relief to me. I also had my wife listen in on a couple specific sections that I felt explained what happens in my head better than I have been able to, which has provided some benefit and ease in our relationship.

This book is long- ironically so, given the audience, and I'm sure glad it is on Audible as I couldn't have focused well enough to read it on paper. Though long, I do see the value in the broad coverage of the topic and stories covering the spectrum of how this disorder appears in people's lives.

The narrator was very pleasant. His voice is soothingly wonderful, and perfect for this potentially challenging topic.

I highly recommend this book!

7 people found this helpful

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ABetyer Understanding of ADHD

Nice, matter of fact narration. If you have ADHD, recommend listening at 1.15 speed and possibly have a paper copy to follow along with when listening. (Or take notes, if that's one of your strategies for paying attention)

the book itself is very good, especially since it's written by someone who has ADHD, and plenty of stories from others who have it. Information on meds somewhat dated, but the strategies and talk about effects of ADHD on those who have it and people around them (us) is still timely and worth the listen

5 people found this helpful

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Very informative

I am grateful for the information I learned in listening to this book. My spouse and lots of family members have been diagnosed with ADD and I feel I have a much better understanding of what that means.

3 people found this helpful

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Very helpful!

Helps me to understand the syndrome. A lot of unexplained things leading to questions of charachter flaw gets answered.

3 people found this helpful

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A Bit Outdated

While this book is helpful in some ways, and continues to inspire hope within many who struggle with ADD (particularly in adults), some of the information is quite outdated. During the 1980's and early 90's, not much was known about Autism Spectrum Disorders, therefore some of the anecdotes used seem to describe forms of high functioning ASD rather than ADD, though they do share some overlapping symptoms. Overall, it's not a bad read; if one has spare time and happens to be curious about this book, I would not try to dissuade anyone... just keep in mind that there are better, more up to date reads on the subject.

6 people found this helpful

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Good in general

Good in general though somewhat dated (eg. Makes reference to DSM-III, instead of DSM-5 (which includes adult ADHD), doesn't reference newer drugs. research etc).

6 people found this helpful

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A life changer

The pace is soothing, the narration is very ‘dignified’. The content is thorough and extremity helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-22-16

Just what I needed to hear!

Hooray for this book! I have finally heard something that perfectly sums up how I've felt all my life. I'm not going crazy after all!

All jokes aside, this book is expertly written and backed up with both anecdotes and medical studies.

As someone with suspected adhd (awaiting consult), I did wonder if I would be able to make it through with the narrator's long drawn voice. So much so that I nearly didn't buy it. I'm so glad I did though. The narration was engaging and kept my interest throughout. It was a great tool for keeping me in one room at a time while I cleaned!!

Will definitely be listening again (as I have forgotten most of the things I want to take from this book hahaha!).

8 people found this helpful

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  • 36RPM
  • 09-21-19

Should be given with you when your diagnosed. A must for anyone whose life is affected by ADHD

As someone recently diagnosed (4months ago) at 36 years old this has been an revolutionary experience. I’m Scottish so the diagnosis is not so widespread here and maybe less well understood. Maybe, not professionally but definitely in the wider population.
Ive developed many sayings through the years to explain my behaviour to others which I’ve now discovered are all hallmarks of ADHD
“I’ve only 2 modes. Raging or ecstatic”
“At least you can get peace from me. I can’t. Even when I’m tucked away up ma loft I’m still there bursting my own chops”
“Every time I leave somewhere I usually have at least 2 encores - to go back for whatever it is I’ve forgotten”

I don’t think there is enough space to accommodate the endless list I could continue with here but I’m sure you get the idea. So to find these aren’t all negative parts of my character but in fact ways in which my brain processes information and more do with chemical imbalance. Not laziness and attitude that has been drummed into me through school and into work.
I’ve been put on medication and I am feeling the benefit but I’ve also got a part to play in understanding ADHD (I’ve got the hyperactive branch) and this book nails that. It’s done in a sympathetic manner which as I’ve said earlier is not what my schooling or work had/has ever afforded me. It’s comforting knowing the author has ADHD and this added to the fact he’s a doctor with the appropriate qualifications to comment on the syndrome. I defo tapped into my hyper focus element cos I’ve done the full book in less than a week and given I work full time and 13hrs is hardly a short read. I’ve always had problems taking in what I read. The fact it’s read for me helps eliminate that. To anyone who has ADHD, knows someone who has or thinks they do. Read or listen to this. It’s an absolute must. I feel a million times better about myself after getting through this book as it’s a wealth of information and given the subject it’s a particularly hard audience to captivate for 13hours. Dr Hallowell you are a legend. Thank you for the knowledge gained in this book and I will now Endeavor to put all the tips into practice.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Giles K.
  • 02-28-18

Really helpful and insightful book

After "ignoring" my childhood diagnosis of ADD after highschool, I've run into myself so many times it's a wonder I made it this far. Still, the amount of unfinished and unfulfilled plans, projects and ideas is weighing me down. This book gave me insight of where it is coming from and how I might cope with it in the future.
I'd recommend this book for everyone that has ADD or a loved one with. It made me work on myself again and recognise that some of my "quirks" have a basis in ADD and can be treated.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Laura Bennewith
  • 04-24-19

Amazingly helpful

After my initial diagnosis and whilst waiting for my final diagnosis, I was advised to read this book and I can honestly say it is changing my life. If you have ADHD it's like hearing your biography. I'm 42 and I've discovered I'm not rubbish I've just been born with a bit missing. In fact, im rather fab. If you want to know what ADHD is like, read this - it describes it perfectly. After telling a colleague at work is been diagnosed she told me her son was also ADHD and told me this was the best book. I cannot stress how important it is to read this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Heather
  • 05-06-19

So Glad I'm Knot Mad !!! ..... Thank You.

At 62yrs Young, Many Years of Questioning and Major Mis-Diagnosis. ADHD Confirmed, Awaiting ASD Assessment. This Book Has Helped Me to Answer Questions I Would Have Had No Idea to Ask !!! .....Thank You.
DARE I SAY ? ..... Potential Life Saver and a Great Springboard for Ones Journey to A Far Better Way to Live Ones Life, Using The Insights and Tools to Lead a Full and Fulfilling Life....So There ! Xxx

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hamza Sadique
  • 02-14-20

Outstanding. Changed my life.

What a fantastic book read by a fantastic narrator. I have learned so much about myself through reading this that I will never be the same again.

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  • Liz
  • 05-22-19

Fairly easy to listen to for someone with ADHD

Also seems quite well evidence based. Not too many tables and lists just read out, like some books on the subject.

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  • krystell
  • 04-11-19

great book

A fantastic book helping people to understand ADHD and peoplw with ADHD. I loved it

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-19-18

I expect every ADD Adult would benefit reading

This book, which I listened to via audio books, was great. Insightful, compelling and written in a format/structure that I found very beneficial. My first ever audio, something I am no doubt hooked on now.

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  • rysfeelinit
  • 07-24-17

Best way to start your journey

It's the best way to start learning about your ADHD. It's easy to understand and full of personal stories.

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  • Huge Ackman
  • 07-30-15

Content is 20 years old - not a 2013 release.

Audible advertises this as being released in 2013 - the content is from the original 1995 pressing, which you can buy for 1c + postage on Amazon. It references the DSM-3R diagnostic manual, today we are up to the DSM-5.

Listening to this is a waste of your time, potentially dangerous. It is 20 years out of date. Science moves a lot in 20 years.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-14-19

helpful in more ways than one

There are plently of newer books on ADHD but none cover all the issues of childhood adhd to late adulthood adhd. This book even contains tips on chapter 14 that are very useful for all ages. If you understand ADHD but want to know more for yourself or loved one this is a good read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jules Hyde
  • 06-09-20

loved the voice

great info. easy to listen to. very helpful. recommend to those new to. understanding adhd

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  • Ashley Jane
  • 06-08-20

A must read

Best book on adhd I've read to date. Has helped me enormously in my adult adhd journey

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-20

Enlightening

Enhanced my understanding of ADD and empathy for those with ADD. A must for parents and teachers with or without ADD.

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  • Samar Yassine
  • 02-18-20

I'm BLOWN away!

I've listened to many books on the topic of ADHD as I've been recently diagnosed. I cannot recommend this audiobook enough. I'm blown away by the level of detail, understanding, explanation and super engaging style of writing. The first hand experiences of people with ADD and those closest to them is so invaluable. And oh my goodness, the narrator is PERFECT!!! Soothing, engaging, and never ever was I bothered.
I am so thankful for this book in it's entirety and for the impeccable performance in delivering its contents.

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  • Dirk Schmitt
  • 10-29-19

Excellent book on ADD

A brilliant book by people who actually have ADD. The case studies and information is excellent. Narration is brilliant too.

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  • Chey
  • 09-10-19

A helpful listen

lot of anecdotes which are reaffirming but would've been nice to hear more about the brain as well as things to help make life easier. I got so good nuggets from it for sure. Absolutely worth the listen

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  • Howard K
  • 06-02-19

An excellent, very useful book but needs an update

This book is nonjudgemental, helpful and gives understanding and usable strategies for dealing with ADHD. I have read several books on the topic, this offers little of the unhelpful and sometimes ill-founded neurobiological explanations for ADHD and no moralistic tone or judgements found in others. It gives examples from clinical practice and the author's experience with his own ADHD and it has been very valuable to me.

This book is over 20 years old. Information about medications is out of date and it does not address the problems and benefits of modern technology as applied to those dealing with ADHD. I recommend this book but I hope someone will update it.