Newest ADHD Info from Hallowell and Ratey

Interested in the newest ADHD info from experts Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey? See ADHD 2.0: New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction–from Childhood through Adulthood. Among other goals, in this update the authors aim to depathologize ADHD. They express a preference, for example, to rename this diagnosis VAST, or Variable Attention Stimulus Trait.

From the Publishers Weekly review of ADHD 2.0:

Despite the disorder’s reputation as a condition that occurs in childhood, the authors write, ADHD can often appear in adulthood, when ‘the demands of life exceed the person’s ability to deal with them.’ ADHD can be channeled in healthy ways once it’s understood, they posit: because people with ADHD feel ‘an omnipresent itch to create,’ the authors encourage readers who have the condition to find a job that highlights creative strengths.

As Dr. Lloyd Sederer states in his review (Psychology Today), “Both Hallowell and Ratey take ADHD personally and seriously: Because they too have this condition, and clearly are exemplars for making a big and rewarding life with ADHD.”

Management of ADHD is of course a major focus of this book. Hallowell, says Dr. Sederer, believes that interpersonal “connection” is the top treatment. In addition to other suggestions for effective management of ADHD, the authors note that medications can also be of great benefit.

Featured below are quotes from ADHD 2.0 as well as two of the previous Hallowell/Ratey books, Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder, and Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder.

ADHD 2.0

A person with ADHD has the power of a Ferrari engine but with bicycle-strength brakes. It’s the mismatch of engine power to braking capability that causes the problems. Strengthening one’s brakes is the name of the game.

The great mathematician Alan Turing summed us up when he said, “Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.” That sums us up perfectly.

ADHD is worse than the top 5 killers in the U.S. combined. Having ADHD costs a person nearly thirteen years of life, on average….And that’s on top of all the findings of a greater risk for accidental injury and suicide….About two-thirds of people with ADHD have a life expectancy reduced by up to 21 years.

Driven to Distraction

...You don’t mean to do the things you do do, and you don’t do the things you mean to do.

To tell a person who has ADD to try harder is about as helpful as telling someone who is nearsighted to squint harder.

While we all need external structure in our lives—some degree of predictability, routine, organization—those with ADD need it much more than most people. They need external structure so much because they so lack internal structure.

Delivered from Distraction

It is not a deficit of attention that we ADD-ers have, it is that our attention likes to go where it wants to and we can’t always control it.

You can superfocus sometimes, but also space out when you least mean to. You can radiate confidence and also feel as insecure as a cat in a kennel. You can perform at the highest level, feeling incompetent as you do so. You can be loved by many, but feel as if no one really likes you. You can absolutely, totally, intend to do something, then forget to do it. You can have the greatest ideas in the world, but feel as if you can’t accomplish a thing.

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.

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