This isn’t really a reflection, more an observation. Out of the last few things I’ve posted, I see that people have gravitated towards my post about ADHD and the relationship I have with the medication I take.
That got me thinking about whether there is enough information on the web for people who have ADHD to really explore, and I mean the real-life stuff that people care about rather than the science. I know there are some of us who love the science stuff – I actually own the book “ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says” by Russel A. Barkley, Kevin R. Murphy, and Mariellen Fischer (experts in the field).
But what most people want to know about ADHD is what life is like when you have it, not about the science. That’s true of anything though – we tend to be drawn to experiences rather than explanations, as we can see better through other people’s eyes than we can through the scientific nitty-gritty facts. It’s just how we’re hardwired.
So, as I was thinking about that, I was thinking about what kind of blogs and websites about ADHD exist, and there are a lot of them. Not all of them are high quality, of course (fact #1 of the internet: you can’t trust everything you read on the internet), but there are a few. All of the ones I am going to mention deals primarily with Adult ADHD, which, to be fair, can present some problems when you’re looking for resources.
ADHD in Adults: This is where experts talk about ADHD, so it’s still pretty heavy on the science side of things. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing interesting there – for someone who has ADHD, it is imperative that you learn exactly what it means to have the condition. Living with it is unavoidable, but the more you know about ADHD, the better off you are in terms of your ability to cope with it. This is probably the best site to keep up with the current research about ADHD.
ADHD Roller Coaster: This blog is run by Gina Pera, who is the author of “Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone Your Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder” , and there are both personal stories and research-based news pieces on this site. This is a good place to go for a blend of professional and personal. She has written other books, but this title is the one I own, so it is the one I chose to mention.
Totally ADD: This website is run by Rick and Ava Green, two Canadians who are responsible for the documentaries ADD & Loving It?! and ADD & Mastering It! The website itself is more of a blog where the two of them discuss the personal ramifications of dealing with ADHD, particularly the difficulties those who have ADHD face.
In addition to websites, there are some pretty good books that I’d recommend to anyone who has ADHD. A lot of them are science heavy, but there are a few that are books written by those with ADHD to share their personal experience with the disorder.
ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says by Russel A. Barkley, Kevin R. Murphy, and Mariellen Fischer. I mentioned this book very briefly, but it is one of the best books on the current science surrounding the condition. Barkley is the leading authority on ADHD, and he is the one who demonstrated that executive functioning is what is most-impaired in those who have ADHD, which was such a critical finding that a case could be made that his research completely changed the way ADHD is handled as a diagnosis as well as the way further research on the condition has been done.
Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey, as well as their other books including Delivered from Distraction and Answers to Distraction are invaluable books. They were among some of the first I read when I was diagnosed, and I can’t properly express how much the science combined with the anecdotes of others with ADHD helped me come to terms with the disorder.
I Always Want to Be Where I’m Not by Wes Crenshaw may easily be the book that finally gave me the tools I needed to be able to cope with ADHD on a day-to-day basis without feeling like I was spinning out of control. He offers 13 principles for people who have ADHD to utilize, and I have found all of them to be incredibly useful. Out of all the books I have listed thus far, this is the book I would recommend if you read no other book at all.
Here’s to Not Catching Our Hair on Fire by Stacey Turis. This is a book that is 100% anecdote, as Stacey takes us through what she experienced as a gifted individual who happened to also have ADHD. This book is invaluable because it reaffirms the fact that ADHD does not discriminate based on IQ. This helps put to rest the idea that a person can be “too smart” to have the condition – which was something I heard a lot from some of my family members when I was first diagnosed.
There are, of course, many more resources, but these are the ones I’d recommend first to anyone who seriously wants more information about what ADHD is, how it impacts your life, and how to manage it.