20 Best Books for Adults with ADHD: Learn About ADHD

ADHD is a neurodiversity that individuals can struggle to manage on a daily basis. Read our round-up of the best books for adults with ADHD to learn more.

Adult ADHD can manifest in frequent overwhelm, challenges with executive skills, disorganization, and high emotions. Unfortunately, many adults never receive an ADHD diagnosis, so they don’t know why they are not managing life the same way as their peers.

Learning more about adult ADHD can help people who may have this condition learn to manage it, and it may help them get the proper care from the health professionals in their lives. Journaling is a great coping tool for some, so try our journal prompts for adults. These best books for adults with ADHD have practical guidance for living life fully when impacted by this condition.

Contents

Here Are The 20 Best Books for Adults

1. Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

Edward M. Hallowell
Edward M. Hallowell via Wikipedia, Public Domain

Driven to Distraction discusses ADHD treatment options, causes, and symptoms. This book contains case studies to help adults understand what they are experiencing with the condition. These case studies come from Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Ratey’s experiences working with ADHD patients, and they can put a personal touch on thoughts about the disorder. This bestselling ADHD book has had several revisions to keep it in line with current research.

“Once you catch on to what this syndrome is all about, you’ll see it everywhere.”

Edward M Hallowell and John J. Ratey, Driven to Distraction

2. ADHD 2.0: New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

Instead of revising Driven to Distraction again, in 2022, its authors decided to write a new book, ADHD 2.0. This one introduces cutting-edge strategies designed to help ADHD adults thrive. This book takes on the positive approach that the ADHD brain in action, with the right coping strategies, is what creates many of today’s greatest and most successful creative minds.

“ADHD is a far richer, more complicated, paradoxical, dangerous and also potentially advantageous state of being than the oversimplified version most of the general public takes it to be.”

Edward M Hallowell and John J. Ratey, ADHD 2.0

3. Scattered Minds: Hope and Help for Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Lenard Adler and Mari Florence

Author Dr. Lenard Adler is the director of New York University’s Adult ADHD Program. In Scattered Minds, he uses the information he’s gathered from years of working with people with ADHD to help them understand how to get an accurate diagnosis and their disorder. He also provides practical coping strategies he’s used with his students and clients to help them get organized and thrive while managing this neurodiverse condition.

“I do not believe ADD leads to creativity any more than creativity causes ADD. Rather, they both originate in the same inborn trait: sensitivity. For creativity, a temperamental sensitivity is indispensable. The sensitive individual, as we have seen, draws into herself the unseen emotional and psychic communications of her environment. On some levels of the unconscious, she will, therefore, have a deeper awareness of the world. She may also be more attuned to particular sensory input, such as sound, color or musical tone.”

Lenard Adler and Mari Florence, Scattered Minds

4. Mindfulness for Adult ADHD: A Clinician’s Guide by Lidia Zylowska

New research finds mindfulness is an excellent practice to add to the treatment of adults with ADHD. This manual shows evidence that mindfulness works, and explores Mindful Awareness Practices for ADHD. Adults with the disorder can get practical advice, guided meditation scripts, and improved self-acceptance through this book. While Mindfulness for Adult ADHD is technically written for clinicians, patients can also benefit from reading it. Many share it with their therapists and clinicians to receive additional support.

“Mindfulness-based approaches can complement other commonly used treatments such as medications, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or coaching.”

Lidia Zylowska, Mindfulness for Adult ADHD

5. Taking Charge of Adult ADHD: Proven Strategies to Succeed at Work, at Home, and in Relationships by Russell A. Barkley and Christine M. Benton

Written for adults with ADHD, Taking Charge of Adult ADHD explains common symptoms of ADHD in adults, what it takes to get an evaluation and how to build systems in daily life that make managing the condition more manageable. It also discusses tackling common challenges of inattention or hyper fixation caused by this condition. Dr. Russell Barkley pulls from his extensive clinical experience to write this novel.

“ADHD is real. And it’s not a condition that affects only kids.”

Russell A. Barkley, Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

6. Understand Your Brain, Get More Done: The ADHD Executive Functions Workbook by Ari Tuckman

Understand Your Brain, Get More Done is a workbook designed to help people with executive dysfunction that makes everyday life challenging. The workbook teaches techniques for planning and how to make better use of time. It has information to help people understand the why behind their executive function issues, and has practical brain-based activities that can help people manage their condition more effectively to improve their productivity and memory.

“Unfortunately, ADHD makes it easy to misinterpret your actions and what they mean about your traits and skills. For example, repeatedly forgetting about meetings could be interpreted to mean that you’re irresponsible or even stupid, even if you’re very diligent and intelligent.”

Ari Tuckman, Understand Your Brain, Get More Done

7. Order from Chaos: The Everday Grind of Staying Organized with Adult ADHD by Jaclyn Paul

Author Jaclyn Paul is a mom and wife who has ADHD. She takes advice from her own life and combines it with research-driven facts to help people learn how to become more organized. With her practical strategies, adults with ADHD can learn how to manage their disordered thinking and restore order to their lives. Because the author has the condition herself, the tips in Order from Chaos are practical and work.

“The only thing more overwhelming than the need for order was the difficulty of getting there.”

Jaclyn Paul, Order from Chaos

8. Still Distracted After All These Years: Help and Support for Older Adults with ADHD by Kathleen Nadeau

Adults with ADHD may struggle with depression and anxiety, procrastinate, and often forget to pay bills. Their living environment may be disorganized and messy. Yet, as older adults, they often get overlooked and struggle with co-occurring disorders on top of their ADHD. If this is you, then Still Distracted After All These Years may provide the effective strategies you need to live a more fulfilling life and build a support system around yourself.

“Surprisingly, almost nothing targeting the general public has been written for or about older adults with ADHD. I saw a huge unmet need and decided to explore and write a book about my impressions, hoping to spur others to understand the tremendous and growing demand of older adults with ADHD.”

Kathleen Nadeau, Still Distracted After All These Years

9. Your Brain’s Not Broken: Strategies for Navigating Your Emotions and Life with ADHD by Tamara Rosier

People with ADHD often believe that something is wrong with them. Your Brain’s Not Broken strives to dispel this myth and give people practical strategies to live a fulfilling life with ADHD. This book explains that the brain is wired differently, explores how this wiring impacts daily life, and provides practical tools for managing mental health and daily life tasks with the condition. If you enjoyed our round-up of the best books for adults with ADHD, we have many more educational articles you can check out. You might want to check out our list of the best books for adults with autism.

“As she talked, I could hear the frustration spilling out in her words and tone of voice that are typical in adults who share her disorder. Her complaints were far from unusual. Many of my clients, adults of any age or gender, tell variations of the same story.”

Tamara Rosier, Your Brain’s Not Broken

10. Focused Forward: Navigating the Storms of Adult ADHD by James M. Ochoa

Adults with ADHD can often feel like they are battling their neurology. This creates severe emotional stress, and Focused Forward helps teach readers how to manage this emotional fallout. This is written by a licensed counselor and provides essential tools to help manage the disorder and the emotional concerns it creates.

“But people don’t come to me for counseling to discuss how contented they are. They’re not. Something is wrong. Some things are wrong! A lot of things aren’t right – everything from catastrophic lives to a vague sense of disconnection that persists, year after year.”

James M. Ochoa, Focused Forward

11. The Fight for Focus – Embracing Adult ADHD: An Insightful Guide to Help Adults Understand and Strengthen Executive Functioning by Melinda Riley

Telling someone with ADHD to “get more organized” is futile. The Fight for Focus provides practical guidance for neurodiverse adults struggling with high frustration levels due to their executive function differences. It explains the science behind ADHD and helps readers reach a place of self-acceptance. It also helps them learn how to manage their mindset and environment to thrive with ADHD.

“You deserve to feel proud of yourself. You deserve to take life at your own pace without being made to feel shame for operating differently. You don’t have to feel trapped in a cycle of overachievement and burnout.”

Melinda Riley, The Fight for Focus

12. The CBT Workbook for Adult ADHD: Evidence-Based Exercises to Improve Your Focus, Productivity, and Well-Being by Kristen Baird-Goldman

CBT can be a helpful tool for adults with ADHD. The CBT Workbook for Adult ADHD has practical exercises to help adults with this condition learn organizational skills and emotional regulation. A licensed therapist writes it with ADHD, and the result of reading this book is better confidence through improved emotional regulation.

“When ADHD is undiagnosed and untreated during childhood, adults are left with cognitive distortions of guilt and shame and, as a result, they develop poor coping strategies.”

Kristen Baird-Goldman, The CBT Workbook for Adult ADHD

13. The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD: An 8-Step Program for Strengthening Attention, Managing Emotions, and Achieving Your Goals by Lidia Zylowska

The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD provides eight steps adults with ADHD can use to manage their condition without prescription medications. The mindfulness program helps them learn to stay organized and become less restless. The goal is to help in every area of life by giving people the tools to live with this condition effectively.

“Strategies that relax and replenish can restore one’s reservoir of willpower and are thus helpful in ADHD. These strategies include: times of relaxation such as meditation, positive emotions, self-talk that is encouraging, time of play, physical exercise, adequate breaks, or even having a snack that increases blood glucose.”

Lidia Zylowska, Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD

14. Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embracing Disorganization at Home and in the Workplace by Sari Solden

ADHD is often undiagnosed in women because females exhibit symptoms different from their louder, faster male counterparts. Women with Attention Deficit Disorder is a book that tries to change this. It focuses on helping chronically overwhelmed women and withdrawn little girls overcome the challenges of ADHD and learn coping mechanisms so that they can thrive.

“Ultimately what I’m talking about is living with controlled disorder, not trying to get rid of it or waiting to get over it. It is not done in a day, and it is not done with medication alone.”

Sari Solden, Women with Attention Deficit Disorder

15. A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD: Embrace Neurodiversity, Live Boldly, and Break Through Barriers by Sari Solden

Women with adult ADD were once little girls with the condition. A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD focuses on breaking the stigma these girls grow up with that their differences are in some way “bad.” It focuses on stopping negative self-talk and limiting beliefs while giving women help to move forward with this disorder in a positive manner.

“We often leave out experiences or information that doesn’t fit with the incomplete picture or story we have been telling ourselves. If we only see the challenges, we won’t have anywhere to add new positive experiences—and they will disappear before they have room to take root and grow.”

Sari Solden, A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD

16. Men with Adult ADHD: Improve Concentration, Increase Productivity and Stop Feeling Like a Failure by Edgar Wise

Men with Adult ADHD was written for men who think they have ADHD or who have a diagnosis. It breaks down misconceptions about the disorder and presents five habits that can help people manage it. It also helps men learn how to achieve their goals while managing their ADHD symptoms.

“The more you know about the condition, the easier you can open your minds to being helped. You do not need to suffer from ADHD alone.”

Edgar Wise, Men with Adult ADHD

17. ADHD Managing Workbook for Men: The Truth About ADHD in Men by Olivia L. Snader

ADHD Managing Workbook for Men focuses on practical strategies for dealing with ADHD in adult males. This provides a definition of ADHD and practical strategies people can use to manage it, even while understanding how it affects the male brain. The main focus is learning how to improve memory and become more productive.

“ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition with a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity that interferes with a person’s overall functioning.”

Olivia L. Snader, ADHD Managing Workbook for Men

18. The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps by Melissa Orlov

Named the “Best Psychology Book of 2010” by ForeWord Reviews, The ADHD Effect on Marriage aims to help troubled marriages affected by adult ADHD. It gives six effective strategies to build appreciation and reduce the struggles of the condition. It draws from the author’s own experiences with the disorder and its effect on their marriage. Are you searching for books to give to someone? Check out our round-up of the best books to give! Or you can also search for our best book guides using our search bar.

“The shame that people with ADHD, male or female, carry around with them after years and years of being told that they are inadequate is a critical factor when a marriage starts to fall apart, or when they are approached by a well-meaning spouse about asking for an evaluation for ADHD.”

Melissa Orlov, ADHD Effect on Marriage

19. ADHD and Us: A Couple’s Guide to Loving and Living with Adult ADHD by Anita Robertson

When a relationship has neurodiversity in it, communication can be hard. ADHD and Us strive to give couples tools and strategies to overcome the challenges they face in this situation. Couples can learn to thrive with the tools in this book, drawn from years of counseling from the author’s own practice.

“People are generally at their best and worst in intimate relationships, so doing the work can be both rewarding and challenging.”

Anita Robertson, ADHD and Us

20. The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD by Melissa Orlov and Nancie Kohlenberger

Relationship struggles, especially in marriage, can often be due to undiagnosed adult ADHD. The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD aims to explain these couples’ differences and teach them how to find joy in their lives together rather than struggle with frustration and anger. The goal is to learn to rebuild trust and acceptance in a marriage impacted by adult ADHD.

“It is time for a new coping strategy. The old one—creating a high pain threshold and going along—has not served you as well as you have convinced yourself. It is part of the reason that your relationship is in trouble. That pain threshold does not align with your partner’s needs. A better relationship strategy is to face the ADHD symptoms head-on and treat them, using every resource science suggests will work.”

Melissa Orlov, The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD

FAQs About The Best Books for Adults With ADHD

How do ADHD adults learn best?

ADHD adults, like ADHD adolescents, learn best through concrete, hands-on learning. These individuals learn best by doing. Reading should be paired with hands-on learning whenever possible to increase the amount of learning. Short breaks between learning activities can also help.

What activities are good for ADHD adults?

Activities that move the body are great for ADHD adults. While too much sensory stimulation can be overwhelming, activities involving two senses simultaneously can be enjoyable. Reading can be challenging, which is why audiobooks can be pretty helpful for adults with ADHD.

Check out our articles about anxiety to learn more.

 

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