Driven to Distraction

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Millions of adults have long considered these the hallmarks of a lack of self-discipline. But for many, these and other problems in school, at work and in social relationships are actually symptoms of an inborn neurological problem: ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder. Through vivid stories of their patients' experiences, Drs. Hallowell and Ratey now offer a comprehensive overview of one of the most controversial psychiatric diagnoses of our day.

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They show the varied forms ADD takes -- and the transforming impact of precise diagnosis and treatment. And, as successful professionals who are both living with ADD, they extend a message of hope and compassion to all listeners struggling with ADD in their own lives or in the lives of loved ones.

An enlightening exploration of a condition only recently identified, Driven To Distraction is a must for everyone intrigued by the workings of the human mind. This book was very helpful.

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Read it twice in the first week and will read it several more times. Have referred it to a few friends already. The author spends time, through actual clients of his, showing the different symptoms by which ADD manifests itself and then gives good concrete methods to combat the negative aspects. Good information but a lot has changed since this was published. My husband was recently diagnosed with ADD. I found this book very helpful in understanding what he is going through and to see how it has affected me as well.

This book is the right mix of informative but not too scientifically based to feel like a textbook. Very insightful. Gives a clear vision into the person with ADHD! A must read if you think you be, or think you are living with someone who might be ADHD. I really found alot in this book. I had alot of aha moments.

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It explained some of what I and my kids have been going through for years. Thank you. I was hoping for many more tips on the subject, but also realize this was one of the first books to appear on the subject. If you looking for a overall general info, go for it. But if you need something more detail oriented and practical, this is not the book for you. This book was very helpful since my son was recently diagnosed with ADD. ADHD is a highly heritable childhood behavioural disorder characterized by continuous procrastination, the inability to complete tasks, mind wandering and a restlessness of the body and mind Demontis et al.

In modern times, a diagnosis of ADHD prescinds from the level of intellectual ability and is increasingly more recognized among university students and adults with successful careers Palmini, Arguably, if positively channeled, some characteristics of ADHD can bear an advantage: mind wandering can fuel creativity and originality; restlessness can move to seeking novelty and action for change. There is also unquestionable evidence that Leonardo was constantly on the go, keeping himself occupied with doing something but often jumping from task to task.

Like many of those suffering with ADHD, he slept very little and worked continuously night and day by alternating rapid cycles of short naps and waking.

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In modern neuroscience, problems with executive functions are thought to underlie procrastination and impaired concentration. Neuroimaging studies of children and adolescents with ADHD indicate differences in regions of the frontal lobe and basal ganglia responsible for executive functions and impulse control. About two-thirds of children with ADHD continue to have behavioural difficulties in adulthood, which can be ameliorated with therapy Palmini, He was left-handed and aged 65 he suffered a severe left hemisphere stroke, which left his language abilities intact.

Furthermore, his notebooks show mirror writing and spelling errors that have been considered suggestive of dyslexia. Atypical hemispheric dominance, left-handedness and dyslexia are more prevalent in children with neurodevelopmental conditions, including ADHD. And what is the possible link between left-handedness, dyslexia, ADHD and artistic abilities? Some epidemiological studies indicate that left-handed students are more likely to major in music and visual arts, while dyslexics often have superior performances in tasks for visuospatial discrimination and visual memory Swanson, Furthermore, not only is dyslexia more prevalent among art students than students in other areas, but art students with dyslexia have superior mental imagery and 3D mental visualization of objects than art students without dyslexia Winner and Casey, Abilities in 3D mental rotation are an important ability in those with pareidolia, an ability to recognize figures in the surrounding environment, a method that Leonardo used to boost his visual inspiration—he would contemplate for hours the changing shape of the clouds.

In the initial stages of the creative process, people with ADHD may be facilitated by mind wandering and impulsivity. However, the same traits can hinder progression once the novelty of the project wanes and the interest shifts to something else. Most adults with ADHD are negatively affected by their symptoms, even if endowed with great talent. The finding of the same genetic association in those who in the general population show ADHD traits and risk-taking behaviour without a diagnosis suggests ADHD sits at the extreme end of a continuum of symptoms.

Within this continuum the line between those with and without a clinical diagnosis is often marked according to the impact of symptoms on the quality of life and mental wellbeing of those affected.


  • Stalking Horse;
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  • Driven to Distraction author Dr. Edward Hallowell.

The lack of objective biological indicators of ADHD often makes drawing that line very difficult as its negative impact depends also on a number of personal, family, professional and social circumstances, which often have a protective or a detrimental effect. There is evidence that Leonardo was often short of money and paid much less than other artists of his calibre.

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His behaviour negatively affected his career and relationships to the point that it is difficult to find among his contemporaries someone who had not commented on his unreliability. He was often employed in modest roles, such as the party organizer, and many of his architectural and engineering ideas were disregarded for being too unrealistic and impractical. Undeniably Leonardo accomplished more than any other human being could possibly dream of in a lifespan, but one wonders what would have been the impact of his work on history if he had managed to apply himself more consistently to his art and effectively disseminate his intuitions and discoveries.

Besides the beauty of his art and the mesmerizing power of his observations, in the th anniversary of his death, Leonardo da Vinci should also be remembered for his resilience. The difficulties linked to his extraordinary wandering mind caused him deep regrets but did not prevent him from learning and exploring the wonders of human life and nature. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

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Driven to Distraction II

Sign In. Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents. From the resulting mountain of data, the three researchers were able to work out the conditions that stressed drivers the most increasing their heart rates or causing them to hold their breath briefly , and also those that pertained when a driver undertook a peripheral action. Taking such actions, in the view of the researchers, meant that drivers had a bit of cognitive capacity going spare and might thus be interrupted with reasonable safety to, say, listen to a voice translation of an incoming text message.

Obviously, the average driver is not going to want to wear body sensors all the time. Moreover, Dr Kim says, a future version of the software could be tweaked to add in personal preferences. One driver might prefer to be interrupted when on a straight, flat road, for example.


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Another might like to wait until he was stopped at a red light. Google and Apple, authors of the two most widely used smartphone operating systems, are both developing software, called Android Auto and CarPlay respectively, to do that. Even low-tech approaches still have a part to play. In , the Governors Highway Safety Association, a state-level road-safety watchdog in America, released an extensive report on distracted driving. Among its first recommended countermeasures was the humble rumble strip. Join them.

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