ADHD Book Review: The Queen of Distraction by Terry Matlen

Health Writer

The Queen of Distraction:  How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus and Get More Done

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Terry Matlen has ADHD. She learned the same way that many other mothers discover they have ADHD. She was researching it because her child had ADHD and when reading about the symptoms she saw herself. Luckily for all women with ADHD, Terry didn't hide behind the diagnosis, instead she uses her personal knowledge, her wit and her education to help all women with ADHD make the most of their lives. Her newest book, The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus and Get More Done, provides a glimpse into the everyday life of a woman coping with ADHD symptoms and gives suggestions, recommendations and tips on coping with a variety of situations.

As a woman with ADHD, you might measure your worth based on how clean your house is, how well behaved your children are, the types of dinners you can pull off after working all day. You might compare yourself to your friends, your neighbors, the parents of your children's classmates. If you have ADHD, you might notice another mother's extraordinary organization skills or be in awe of the perfect cupcakes at the classroom party. You might notice that other women's houses always look neat and clean while yours looks like a tornado recently went through. And you might feel inferior. You aren't alone. Terry starts off her introduction by saying,

"I have been in your shoes. I lives with undiagnosed ADHD for over forty years.

When my kids were little, figuring out what to make for dinner each night-and pulling it off-felt like an Olympian challenge. I faced piles of laundry because I struggled to decipher the seemingly simple steps of sorting, washing, drying and putting it away"I avoided talking on the phone because if I couldn't see the speaker's mouth, I couldn't focus on the words and my mind would drift a hundred miles away. My house was cluttered, bills were paid late and, over and over, I asked myself, How can I earn tow academic degrees but not be able to file ten papers? What is wrong with me?

If you are a woman with ADHD, Terry has been where you are. She knows what you are going through and the difficulties you have making it through every day. Through her experiences, and those of many women she has worked with through the years, Terry shares a wealth of information to help you manage your ADHD so it doesn't take over your life.

While many books give you general information about ADHD, Terry takes it several steps further and provides realistic strategies for managing clutter, grocery shopping and time management. Terry discusses how ADHD impacts relationships and gives you advice on improving your communication. She talks about the struggles to find clothing that is comfortable and doesn't irritate your sensory sensitivities. She explains how hormones affect the symptoms of ADHD.

But Terry doesn't just explain how ADHD impacts your life. She gives step by step solutions as well as extra tips so you can create a solution that fits your life. Whether you are bothered by clutter, mood swings, relationship woes or raising your children, Terry gives you hope that it can get better and suggestions on how to take control of your ADHD so that it becomes part of you, rather than defining you. For women with ADHD, this book is a must.

Discloser: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.