Hallowell and Ratey offer concrete solutions to ADD problems. Some may be expensive, involving the hiring of an organizer or a business manager, but when they explain why that step may be necessary it makes a lot of sense. There are also a number of suggestions for doing some of the things a professional organizer would do.
Answers to Distraction offers information on the various drugs available, as well as treating ADD without drugs. There are chapters specifically relating to children and women. The authors explain the effects of ADD on couples and families, and offer coping advice. There are also chapters on “ADD and Addiction,” and “Aggression and Anger in ADD.” Health care professionals have questions about ADD, and those are answered.
Three brief appendixes offer concise tips for managing ADD. A fourth appendix offers “Where to Go for Help” resources. “Fifty Tips on the Management of Adult ADD” offers easy-to-understand advice such as “Let yourself work under whatever conditions are best for you,” and “Know that it is okay to do two things at once.” These are supported with examples and details. Appendix I is broken down into four sections: “Insight and Education,” “Performance Management,” “Mood Management,” and “Interpersonal Life.”
The second appendix is “Twenty-five Tips on the Management of ADD in Families.” It details the strains ADD places on a family and how they can be handled, and emphasizes how important it is to hope. The third appendix is for couples, “Twenty-five Tips for the Management of ADD in Couples.” It outlines the types of relationships that result from ADD, how to have a healthier relationship, how to communicate, and how to balance expectations with reality.
No, having ADD is not fun and games, but understanding its effects can help people focus more on the positive aspects in their lives and not be ruled by the negative. Answers to Distraction is must reading for those who have resigned themselves to a life of chaos, and is a valuable addition to the library of anyone trying to better understand this complex disorder.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Answers to Distraction? Yes. Definitely. I recommend it for anyone who needs easily comprehensible information about ADD.