The Queen of Distraction – Book Review

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One of my goals with this blog is to do the research for you so that you can more easily hone in on the information that is relevant to your life. I will periodically post book reviews on this blog as a way to bring attention to the writers, psychologists and other specialists that have more knowledge than myself on the topic of adult ADHD.

As I have said before I am not a licensed psychologist or specialist on this topic, I just live with it. I will try to structure each of my book reviews the same way so there is some consistency, which is important for folks like us.

I recently read The Queen of Distraction by Terry Matlen. I bought the book for my kindle but you can also buy it here in paperback. (Sometimes I like the feel of a real book.)

Anyhoo, Ms. Matlen knows what is up with women who struggle with ADHD. What I like best about her writing is that it is divided up into short subcategories and chapters with bulleted information.

If there is one thing this ADHD girl likes it is bulleted information! So usable and easy to navigate!

I found myself taking notes and writing down quotes as I went along. For instance when Ms. Matlen described the inattentive subtype she wrote the following: “prone to daydreaming, feels a chronic sense of being overwhelmed, and worries and ruminates.” It was like reading a description of myself.

I also enjoyed the fact that she touched on the idea that those of us with ADHD can in fact focus, or even hyperfocus, on something that holds our interest. Many people lose sight of this and the fact that you can be ADHD and also OCD. I should have that tattooed on my forehead, no?

Another thing Ms. Matlen did well was to describe how we tend to label our clutter and organizational difficulties. Matlen writes, “having heard negative comments about this for years, you probably associate your clutter with the words lazy, unmotivated or selfish.” I personally do this all the time. I berate myself for not having all of my son’s toys neatly stored in his room, and I berate myself for not having a house decorated for every season.

I am so glad this author was able to point out that this is a common source of negative self -talk.

Ms. Matlen’s book was also the first time that I made the connection between my ADHD and over exercising, overeating, and zoning out in other ways. Without realizing it we sometimes seek out sensory stimulation through activities that on the surface seem healthy, but can quickly spiral out of control.

Ms. Matlen pointed out the connection between eating disorders such as binge eating, and the need for sensory stimuli. Again this was a revelation for me. Ms. Matlen goes on to explain how ADHD affects our interpersonal relationships.

All things considered this was a fast and fascinating read. I would recommend it to any woman with a short attention span who is seeking information on her ADHD diagnosis.

The only negative I can come up with might be her advice to hire professional help for cleaning and such. Believe me, if we could all afford it, we would do it! But honestly, none of her suggestions were overreaching or pretentious in nature. Her writing is accessible and it feels like she is speaking to you directly.

I had the opportunity to hear Terry Matlen speak through the ADHD Women’s Palooza and then also during a teleconference with ADDitude.  I enjoy how “real” she is.  I enjoy the fact that she admits to having not just a “messy space” in her house, but a messy floor.  She has a way of describing the way women with ADHD feel and think that is so soothing.

Terry Matlen has her own websites, which I have included below.  There is a community feature available. Frankly, the only reason I have not joined is because it costs money. I would love to communicate with her more directly but at this point I cannot justify the expense.  (This website costs $$ and all.)

From what I can tell her communities are active and supportive.  I highly recommend anything associated with Terry Matlen.