• Sean Flac

Book Report: Driven to Distraction

The book Driven to Distraction, by Edward M. Hallowell, is a non-fiction book that focuses on a mental disability called Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. The first chapter of Driven to Distraction was written to introduce the disorder to the reader, and it does so with different cases of people with ADHD that the author has treated. Here are a couple of them.

The very first case in the book was about a guy named Jim. Jim was a guy with the ideas and brains, but when it came down to putting it down on paper he struggled miserably. While talking to Dr. Hallowell he illustrates this, "How do I screw up? I forget. I argue. I postpone. I procrastinate. I get lost. I get mad. I don't follow through. You name it, I do it." (Jim,9) It turned out Jim had ADD and was unaware of it. To help him Dr. Hallowell treated Jim's ADD for about a year. It included psychotherapy once a week as well as small doses of medication. As the treatment went on, Jim had started developing techniques to help him stay on on task and keep focused. In the end he was very successful.

The next case in the book is about a woman named Carolyn. Carolyn came to Dr. Hallowell just to talk. She already knew she ADD and was even a therapist that specialized in ADD. She reveals this in the talk with Dr. Hallowell, "We both have ADD. I'm a therapist, you're a therapist... I've been a psychologist for twenty years now and I've been specializing in ADD for the past ten." (Carolyn, 26) Carolyn wanted to talk to Dr. Hallowell to get a second opinion about her, because she mainly only had herself to confirm her diagnosis. That wasn't the only thing though. She also wanted him to tell her that she had done a good job with her life. She needed to know that all the effort she put into becoming the successful person she was wasn't for nothing.

The final case that I thought was interesting was the case of Penny McBride. Penny's fifth grade teacher suggested that Penny's parents should take her to get a psychiatric evaluation because she was falling behind in school. Her mother says that Penny was a good girl that never caused any trouble, but she daydreams all the time. She reveals this to Dr. Hallowell, "She just daydreams all the time, her mother picked up. Ever since I can remember, She's been my little dreamer, my faraway child" (Mrs. McBride, 38) After the meeting Dr. Hallowell went to Penny's school and watched how she behaved in class. He could see that she was often attracted to the window by her desk and could see symptoms of ADD. After that he started to treat her, and she started to catch up in school.

As I read through the first chapter of Driven to Distraction I started to familiarize myself with different symptoms of ADHD. Some of them being that I have a hard time focusing on task, I can't sit still sometimes, I procrastinate on assignment in school, and many more. I also realize that if I want to be successful in life, then I'm going to have to put in a lot of effort. Even as an adult. Also I realize that it is possible for me to do that, but I have to change my mentality.

~The Boy, 14



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