Top 10 ADHD Books For Inspiration, Insights, and Compassion

Julia Ovcharenko, CEO of Numo
May 21, 2024

Everyone’s journey with ADHD is different. While doctors and experts give us a basic understanding of the condition, real stories from real people add more to the picture. Sometimes, because the ADHD science is still in its infancy, stories and anecdotes from others can spotlight some things that otherwise would not have been discussed.

That’s why today, I wanted to share with you the eleven best ADHD books (in my opinion). Through science, anecdotes, and a bit of philosophizing, these books offer insight into the mysterious world of ADHD and are just a joy to read, all in all!

Are you ready?

Well, let’s dig in then! 

[Driven to Distraction] Driven to Distraction

"Driven to Distraction" is one of the books on ADHD. Penned by the duo Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey, this book brings expertise and empathy into exploring ADHD. It unveils its many facets, breaking down complex medical jargon into words that are easy to understand.

The beauty of "Driven to Distraction" lies in its compassionate take on ADHD. It shatters the common misnomers surrounding the condition, instead painting a picture of hope and manageability. The book doesn’t just stop at explaining the what and why of ADHD; it propels further into - how to manage it, celebrate it, and perceive it beyond its stereotypical bounds.

Buy this book if... you or a loved one are navigating the mysteries of ADHD. It’s a reassuring pat on the back, reminding you that with the understanding and strategies, ADHD can be more of a unique trait than a limitation.

[Delivered from Distraction] Delivered from Distraction

Book sequels sometimes feel like just a cash grab on the hype, but this isn’t one of those cases. In this book of “Distraction” series, the authors plunge deeper into the practicalities of living with ADHD. 

"Delivered from Distraction" extends a hand of guidance to those finding their footing in the ADHD world. It’s a more mature, evolved conversation compared to its predecessor, tackling various topics from diagnosis to management with a blend of professionalism and warmth. The real-life examples resonated well, making the text less of a clinical discourse and more of a friendly dialogue. It’s a well-rounded piece that doesn’t just skim the surface but dives into the nitty-gritty of everyday life with ADHD.

Buy this book if... you found "Driven to Distraction" insightful and are hungry for more real-world strategies and a deeper understanding of ADHD.

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[Smart but Scattered] Smart but Scattered 

“Smart but Scattered" is a departure from solely focusing on ADHD, as it hones in on executive skills, the building blocks of successful task management and focus. Authored by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare, this book is a treasure trove of practical strategies to bolster these crucial skills. It’s tailored not just for individuals with ADHD but also for anyone struggling with organization and task completion.

The genius of "Smart but Scattered" lies in its universal appeal. While it’s a fantastic resource for parents of children with ADHD, adults striving for a semblance of order in their chaotic routine will find it equally beneficial. The text is peppered with relatable scenarios, assessments, and actionable strategies, making it a practical guide in the truest sense. It’s not preachy but empowering, encouraging readers to take the reins of their lives by tweaking their approach to tasks.

Buy this book if... you’re looking to transition from the whirlwind of disorganization to a structured, manageable routine, whether you have ADHD or not.

[Taking Charge of Adult ADHD] Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

“Taking Charge of Adult ADHD" is a sturdy bridge between understanding ADHD and managing it daily. Authored by Russell A. Barkley, a notable figure in the ADHD realm, this book is laden with evidence-based strategies for adults grappling with ADHD. It’s not just a monologue of text but an engaging dialogue, inviting readers to introspect, interact with self-assessments, and develop personalized action plans.

Barkley's writing blends professional insight and friendly advice. He delves into the core of ADHD, unearthing the underlying issues and providing solutions to build a structured life. The book leans heavily towards practicality, making it a useful companion for adults striving for a semblance of order amidst the whirlwind that ADHD often brings. It’s not a one-size-fits-all narrative but a guide encouraging tailored solutions for individual challenges.

Buy this book if... you are an adult with ADHD seeking a structured, practical guide to managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life. It’s like having a roadmap that navigates through the rough terrains of ADHD, pointing towards a horizon of better management and self-understanding.

[The ADHD Advantage] The ADHD Advantage: What You Thought Was a Diagnosis May Be Your Greatest Strength

"The ADHD Advantage" explores the potential silver linings of having ADHD. With a lens of optimism, Dale Archer dissects ADHD beyond its stereotypical bounds, unveiling how the same traits that seem like disadvantages can be channeled into strengths. It’s a refreshing take amidst a sea of literature focused primarily on the challenges ADHD presents.

Archer’s narrative is like a breath of fresh air, pushing readers to view ADHD from an empowerment lens rather than solely a disorder. He delves into stories of successful individuals who’ve harnessed their ADHD to propel them forward, breaking the mold of negativity that often surrounds the diagnosis. While it doesn’t dismiss the challenges, it urges individuals to explore the untapped potential that ADHD may harbor. It’s a refreshing read that challenges conventional narratives and ignites a spark of optimism.

Buy this book if... you’re eager to explore the narrative of ADHD beyond its challenges and are curious about how to channel the traits associated with ADHD into avenues of success and self-fulfillment.

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[ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life] ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life

Description: "ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life" is a playbook of practical strategies tailored for individuals with ADHD. The duo, Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau, navigate the common pitfalls of an organization that individuals with ADHD often encounter and present a bouquet of realistic and easily implementable solutions. It’s like having a friendly coach by your side, guiding you through the maze of organization with a light of empathy and understanding.

This book is filled with actionable tips that don’t demand a complete overhaul of one's life but offer small, manageable steps toward a more organized existence. The tone is friendly, the advice is practical, and the empathy is palpable. It’s a gentle nudge towards creating a more structured environment without feeling overwhelmed.

Buy this book if... the clutter of disorganization has been your companion for too long, and you’re ready to embrace a semblance of order that resonates with the ADHD mind.

[Healing ADD] Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program that Allows You to See and Heal the 7 Types of ADD

“Healing ADD” takes you on an exploratory journey through the seven distinct types of ADD identified by Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a renowned psychiatrist and brain health expert. This book isn’t your run-of-the-mill ADHD guide; it’s an eye-opening endeavor to understand the diverse manifestations of ADHD, each with its unique challenges and solutions. Dr. Amen’s holistic approach focuses on medication and dietary changes, physical activity, and other lifestyle modifications.

Dr. Amen challenges the one-size-fits-all notion, offering a tailored approach to managing and healing ADHD based on its specific type. 

The comprehensive yet accessible information, paired with actionable advice, makes this book a valuable resource for anyone looking to delve deeper into the intricacies of ADHD. It’s a compassionate guide that empowers individuals to take charge of their ADHD holistically and informally.

Buy this book if… you’re seeking a deeper understanding of ADHD beyond a singular narrative and are open to exploring a multifaceted approach to managing it.

[The ADHD Effect on Marriage] The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps

Navigating the waters of a relationship where ADHD is a third wheel can be challenging. With empathy and expertise,  Melissa Orlov delves into the common hurdles couples face and offers a structured, six-step approach to rebuilding and strengthening the relationship. It’s a heart-to-heart conversation that offers understanding and actionable steps.

The author takes a candid, no-nonsense approach to addressing the often-ignored impact of ADHD on relationships. Through the shrewd blend of anecdotes and expert insights, she crafts a roadmap to not only understanding the effects of ADHD on marriage but also overcoming the associated challenges. 

It’s a refreshing, hopeful narrative that encourages open communication, understanding, and collaborative effort to build a stronger, more resilient bond.

Buy this book if... ADHD has been an uninvited guest in your marriage, and you’re ready to work through the challenges to foster a deeper understanding and stronger bond with your partner.

[ADHD Does Not Exist] ADHD Does Not Exist: The Truth About Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

In “ADHD Does Not Exist,” Dr. Richard Saul provokes a conversation that challenges the mainstream understanding of ADHD. This book is less of a guide and more of a discourse, urging readers to explore ADHD beyond its conventional diagnosis. Dr. Saul posits that ADHD is often a misdiagnosis for a spectrum of other conditions and advocates for a more thorough evaluation to ensure accurate understanding and treatment.

Dr. Saul’s narrative is a bold, controversial stance in ADHD literature. While it may ruffle feathers, it also ignites a necessary conversation about the diagnostic process and the importance of a thorough evaluation. It’s a challenging read that encourages readers to question the status quo and seek a deeper understanding of ADHD and its diagnosis. Whether you agree with Dr. Saul’s perspective or not, it’s a thought-provoking book that fuels a much-needed dialogue in the ADHD community.

Buy this book if... you’re intrigued by alternative perspectives and are open to exploring a contentious yet enlightening discourse on ADHD and its diagnosis.

[Scattered Minds] Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder

"Scattered Minds" offers a fresh perspective on ADHD, delving into its root causes and suggesting a holistic approach to managing its symptoms. Gabor Maté, a physician with a profound understanding of ADHD, explores the medical and psychological dimensions and touches on the social and environmental factors that may contribute to ADHD. It’s not merely a clinical discourse but a compassionate narrative that resonates with individuals and families affected by ADHD.

Gabor Maté's approach is deeply empathetic and insightful, offering a blend of professional knowledge and personal understanding. He challenges the conventional narrative surrounding ADHD, urging a shift from merely medicating symptoms to understanding and addressing the underlying causes. 

Buy this book if... you're keen on exploring ADHD beyond the conventional narratives and are open to a more holistic, compassionate understanding of the disorder. 

[What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew] What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew

Let’s take a break from ADHD books for adults and focus on the most precious and little ADHDers out there. 

In "What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew," Sharon Saline dives into the heart of what it’s like to be a child with ADHD. This book is a window into their world, struggles, and wishes. With her empathetic and insightful approach, Saline bridges the gap between parents and their ADHD children, promoting understanding and effective communication. 

Instead of merely focusing on managing symptoms, she invites readers to take a step closer and see the world from the eyes of ADHD children. Her writing is rich with empathy, insight, and practical advice. Her voice to the children stands out, shedding light on their thoughts, fears, and hopes.

 The book is structured in a way that’s easy to follow, with real-life examples that tug at the heartstrings and actionable professional advice. Saline doesn’t just stop at providing strategies; she fosters a nurturing environment where the child feels understood and supported.

Buy this book if... you are a parent, teacher, or caregiver to a child with ADHD and wish to foster a deeper understanding and a stronger connection with them. This book isn’t just about managing symptoms; it’s about nurturing a supportive, empathetic environment where the child can thrive.

[Numo: ADHD App] Numo: Your Friend in the ADHD Journey

ADHD can be tricky, and having support from others can make things easier. While we learn more about ADHD from science, the advice and stories from people living with ADHD are also really helpful.

Not everything can be gleaned from scholarly papers; sometimes, the wisdom of another can become a saving grace and a helpful companion. 

That’s why we created Numo – a place for people with ADHD to connect and share advice. Numo has groups where you can chat with others and learn from their experiences, especially about handling overstimulation.

But Numo offers more:

  • ADHD Planner: Makes managing tasks fun. Every task you complete helps you level up. It’s a fun way to track what you need to do.
  • Noise Generator: Sometimes, static noise helps you focus and relax. It’s a simple tool to help calm the chaos around.
  • Knowledge Library: A place for quick tips and strategies. It’s like having small bites of advice ready whenever you need them.

Numo is about building a community to share, learn, and manage ADHD together. It’s not just an app but a friend on your ADHD journey. If this sounds good to you, we’d love to have you. Come say hi and join a community that understands! 🤗

[Conclusion] Conclusion

Understanding and managing ADHD is a personal journey. Books about ADHD that I’ve shared today are more than just good reads. They can help you guide the ADHD journey and offer you new and exciting perspectives on living with this condition you may not have considered before. 

Each one offers a different way to look at ADHD and many strategies to handle it better. Whether you’re just starting to learn about ADHD or going deeper, these books have lots of useful information. And while books are helpful, talking with others with similar experiences can also be great.

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