Edward Hallowell’s Delivered from Distraction

Edward Hallowell is an extremely gifted writer. His work is lyrical, poignant, often funny, and always to-the-point and accessible. I seldom want to write a review which is nothing but quotes from the book under consideration, but I had to fight the impulse this time.

Instead, I will simply urge everyone who has any interest in ADD/ADHD to read this companion edition to Driven to Distraction. Driven can be broadly described as “My reader thinks s/he has ADD, or thinks someone s/he knows has ADD, but isn’t sure. I’m a guide to ‘Now what’.” (follow my link for a more detailed review.) Delivered is far closer to a compendium “You know you have ADD/ADHD, here are next steps.” Answers to Distraction is companion work to both Driven and Delivered. It’s for ADD-abled readers in particular, giving its information in short statements organized by browsable chapters.

The different perspectives of the three books are invaluable, and none of the three entirely duplicate each other. I will include this short, particularly startling statement which I only found in Answers (2010 edition, p. 267, last paragraph) as an example:

“Q: In your experience, what is the most dangerous substance of addiction for the ADD adolescent?
A: Without a doubt, it is marijuana. Rachel Gittleman-Klein, a pioneer in studying ADD’s course through the life cycle, warns against an ADD child using marijuana even once. Its effects are so compelling for the ADD brain that it seems to become immediately psychologically addictive. It creates a calmness with a heightened sense of adventure – all within the brain. One of the true delights for ADD people is to play with their thoughts and their ideas and build intense and intricate fantasies. Marijuana accentuates the zaniness and doubles the intensity, all within the backdrop of serenity.
We see so many adults in their late twenties who have been addicted to heavy daily does of marijuana for years, and have their great potential wasted in acrid smoke. The irony is that marijuana makes ADD symptoms worse. It makes you more distractible, worsens your memory, increases the tendency to procrastinate, and decreases motivation. It should be avoided at all costs, for it lurks as a temptation that can destroy a life.”


About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®

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