ADHD Books That I Love!

As promised, here is a list of some of my favorite ADHD books, just in time for Prime Days on July 11 and 12. Here we go!

Your Brain’s Not BrokenTamara Rosier

If you are only going to buy one book from my recommendations, this would be the one I would say is a must. I have been fortunate enough to attend a few webinars held by Tamara Rosier, so I was excited to read her book-and it did not disappoint! Your Brain’s Not Broken has user-friendly explanations of ADHD brain differences, including examples. Additionally, the strategies presented, which take the emotional dysregulation ADHDers can experience fully into account, are explained so well that they can be put into action quickly and easily.

What I love about this book: I love everything about Your Brain’s Not Broken! First of all, the notion of motivation being determined by emotions is so thought provoking; it makes so much sense, but this is the first time I’m seeing it spelled out so clearly. Also, Rosier’s presentation of different clients, and her own ADHD, makes this book so relatable. I couldn’t put it down! https://amzn.to/3NF0YzH

ADHD 2.0 – Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

Dr. Hallowell could be called one of the Grand Poobahs of ADHD research, treatment, and writing. ADHD 2.0 is an update to Hallowell’s original book, Driven to Distraction, which was (and still is) the ADHD bible. ADHD 2.0, in addition to explaining the brain science behind ADHD, also discusses different ways to enable ADHDers to thrive (such as exercise and connecting with others).

What I love about this book:  Dr. Hallowell’s approach is strengths based, meaning that rather than focus on what one has difficulty with, ADHDers are encouraged to lean on what they are great at. Dr. Hallowell is such a positive force in ADHD treatment, and that shines through in ADHD 2.0. https://amzn.to/44EculN

how to keep house while drowningKC Davis

This book, and the YouTube and TikTok videos that KC Davis has created, are legendary among ADHDers. Ms. Davis has developed Struggle Care, a very basic plan for keeping your house in some form of order, based on the (very true) concept that having a messy house is not a moral failure, it is simply a functional challenge. how to keep house while drowning has suggestions for housekeeping that take into account ADHD, depression, anxiety, postpartum…basically, life. You can use the 31 day plan that is presented, or just read through and choose what you’d like to work on.

What I love about this book:  Throughout how to keep house while drowning, one feels like you are sitting and schmoozing with a friend who is telling you that it’s all going to be okay, and that you’re being too hard on yourself. It’s a comforting little booklet. https://amzn.to/46EJfAY

Smart But ScatteredPeg Dawson and Richard Guare

Smart But Scattered is a great book for parents who are looking for practical advice on how to help their ADHD child work with their challenged executive functions. There is a terrific explanation of what the executive functions are, with examples. A section on general strategies to employ when dealing with your child follows. Finally, there are suggestions (with implementation plans) and examples relating to a variety of issues that any ADHD parent will recognize.

What I love about this book: The approach that is presented in Smart But Scattered towards working with your ADHD child is on point. Dawson and Guare tell parents to “modify tasks to match your child’s capacity to exert effort,” and “begin by changing things outside the child before…strategies that require the child to change.” In other words, work with your child, not against them. Doesn’t sound terribly profound…but it is. https://amzn.to/3O4zUuR

All Dogs Have ADHD – Kathy Hoopmann

All Dogs Have ADHD is a picture book full of dogs doing, well, dog things. But what makes this book special is that the pictures tell the story of ADHD. So, a dog jumping into a lake is “diving straight into a situation without thinking about the consequences.” You get the idea. This book is great for kids who have ADHD, and also those who don’t, but spend time around ADHDers. The photographs are beautiful, and the pups are adorable.

What I love about this book: Parents often want to sugarcoat for their kids. All Dogs Have ADHD doesn’t do that-while the book does end on a very positive note, the positives and negatives are given equal time. Also…dogs. Need I say more?? (PS-there is a companion book, All Cats Are On The Autism Spectrum) https://amzn.to/46RhntE

I could go on and on..but I’ll save some of my faves for another post down the road. Happy Reading!!

Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate, and have an affiliate relationship with Amazon.

Strategies To Lean On During The Stimulant Shortage

If you have not been hit by the shortages of stimulant medication, consider yourself lucky. Maybe even blessed.

On various forums and FB groups, I’m seeing posts from people who haven’t had their medication in weeks, or months. People calling around to different pharmacies, and in doing so, feeling like (and sometimes being treated like) a drug seeker. 

And no one knows when this will end.

While some ADHDers have switched medications to one that is, at least currently, not in short supply, that doesn’t work for everyone. Some medications just aren’t the right medication for everyone; add to that the insurance barrier, and you have people who are truly not living their best lives right now-and even worse than that.

Here are some strategies that, while totally not replacing your medication, can mitigate some of the loss in focus, regulation, and organization that you might be feeling.

1 – Recognize that your life is being impacted. Because of society’s often dismissive attitude towards ADHD, it’s easy to fall into the “I shouldn’t need this medication to function anyway.” ADHD is a result of neurological and brain chemistry differences that cause issues with task management, time management, attention, and emotional regulation. It is not a choice. These challenges are mitigated by medication, just like vision issues are mitigated by glasses.

2 – Lean hard on lists, calendars, Post It notes, reminders. Even if these have not worked in the past, at this point they are what you have. If you need to write a giant list of your morning routine to post on your bathroom mirror, do it. If you need Alexa to ping you every 10 minutes to make sure you’re on task, do it. Using a calendar, task management system, and bullet journal? That’s fine. What might seem like overkill when you’re medicated is actually a failsafe system during this emergency.

3 – Automate as much as you can. This is actually a great strategy even when you can get your medication. Auto refill on meds (yours, family, pets), auto pay on bills, anything that can become something that you don’t have to remember is a good thing.

4 – Make sure you are getting the right food and sleep. Having protein at breakfast is crucial! It’s brain food! Your ADHD brain might crave sugar, but that will cause a crash that you will have a hard time bouncing back from without your meds. Also, getting the right amount of sleep for you is super important. You might have a difficult time falling asleep; think about what might help you to have more success (sleep routine, putting screens away earlier, reading before bed…just a few suggestions!)

5 – Exercise! Studies have shown that exercise is an important part of an ADHD treatment plan, whether medication is involved or not. Going for a walk, jumping jacks, yoga, a YouTube exercise video, dancing to music in your kitchen-anything that gets you moving is going to provide dopamine to your system. I cannot stress enough how important this is.

6 – Try body doubling. Body doubling is working on something while someone else is also working. You do not need to interact, or be working on the same project or assignment. For example, I can be paying my bills, while you fold the laundry. This strategy is very effective in eliminating procrastination and increasing on-task behavior. If you don’t have someone you can body double with, you can use a body doubling website (Focusmate.com is a good one), and be set up with someone with whom to work in tandem.

7 – Lean on your support system shamelessly. If you have an understanding spouse, parent, friend, ask them if they can help you out during this crisis. They might be able to insert some accountability into your task plan (a text asking if you’ve done something), to help keep you on track (and If you don’t have an understanding person in your life, well, that’s a topic for another blog post).

8 – Realize that you will not be able to attend to everything at the same level as you did while you were medicated. Decide where your focus should be. If it’s work, then let the housecleaning slide. If it’s taking care of your kids, then maybe order in for a while instead of meal prepping. In other words, expend your energy wisely.

9 – Be extra cautious while driving. Research shows that adults with ADHD are more likely to have car accidents than adults without ADHD. While stimulant medication can mitigate some of the danger, when you can’t get your meds, you are at risk. Take a breath before you start the car to get centered. Put your phone in the trunk. Shut off the radio. If you have a passenger and their conversation is distracting you, ask them to stop talking-I think they’ll be less offended if you tell them it could save their lives.

10 – Keep up with your appointments with mental health professionals, and let them know if you are struggling. You might be able to try a different medication. Your therapist might be able to give you some ideas for dealing with the anxiety that this can cause. 

It can be very discouraging and frustrating to be unable to get your medication, something that enables you to live your best life. You might feel sad, angry, scared-these are all valid feelings when you don’t feel like you are in control. Don’t let anyone tell you that “it’s no big deal.” It IS a big deal-but by adopting some of the strategies above, you may be able to move through this crisis with a little more ease.