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Having ADHD as a woman poses its own unique challenges. Here are some of the best books for ADHD in women, from scientific texts to memoirs.
For books that will help you be more informed patient, it’s critical to stick to established experts in the field such as Sari Solden and Edward Hallowell. If you’re looking for shared experiences, memoirs may be more suitable. In many cases, these books are a hybrid of definitive text and memoir.
In addition to informative books and memoirs, I’ve also included helpful tools I’ve come across in my journey, such as blank books for bullet journaling and the pomodoro method. For subjects I know little about, such as home organization, I hand-picked the most recent best-sellers out there at the moment.
Okay, this first one isn’t a book-book but stick with me here a minute … Most of the women in my accountability group are huge bullet journal fans, and we’re always excited to get new supplies. I personally use this blank book, which is a good starter for bullet journaling because it already has the numbered pages. I don’t get super intricate with colored pens and stencils, but there are plenty of those out there as well. And stickers! For me, I just need a bold Pilot pen and I’m set.
A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD: Embrace Neurodiversity, Live Boldly, and Break Through Barriers
by Sari Solden and Michelle Frank
A self-guided workbook for women with ADHD that addresses the negative self-talk we so often give ourselves. Released in July 2019, it’s working off of the latest information we have on ADHD and women, although I would still add the second edition of the next book to your must-have list!
Amazon Description: A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD is the first guided workbook for women with ADHD designed to break the cycle of negative self-talk and shame-based narratives that stem from the common and limiting belief that brain differences are character flaws. In this unique guide, you’ll find a groundbreaking approach that blends traditional ADHD treatment with contemporary treatment methods, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), to help you untangle yourself from the beliefs that have kept you from reaching your potential in life. Read More
About Sari Solden: Sari Solden, M.S., LMFT, is a psychotherapist who has counseled adults with ADHD for 30 years. She serves on the professional advisory board of ADDA and has received their award for outstanding service by a helping professional. Her areas of specialization include women’s issues, inattentive ADHD, and the emotional consequences and healing process for adults who grew up with undiagnosed ADHD. She is a prominent keynote speaker on these subjects nationally and internationally.
Women with Attention Deficit Disorder
by Sari Solden and MS
Part autobiographical, part educational, Sari takes us through the journey of what it’s like to be a grown woman with ADHD. And immediately I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one hurrying home for the weekends so that I could spend my entire weekend organizing my life just to survive. She doesn’t only get the ADHD part. She gets the woman part. For every man who asks why my podcast and accountability group are for women, I want to point to the chapters that explain how it really is different for women with ADHD. Not just physically (hello, hormones), but in terms of societal norms (hello, domestic life and mommyhood).Read or Listen To My Review
Amazon Description:Newly revised and updated to reflect the latest clinical research, the book explores treatment and counseling options, and uses real-life case histories to examine the special challenges women with ADD and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) face, such as the shame of not fulfilling societal expectations. Included is a brand new chapter on friendship for women with ADHD. Three empowering steps restructuring one’s life, renegotiating relationships, and redefining self-image help women take control of their lives and enjoy success on their own terms. Read More
Driven to Distraction
By Drs. Edward Hallowell and John Ratey
This one’s a classic and belongs on any ADHD reading list. Though not exclusively for women, I like it for the case studies.Right off the bat I related to Jim, but in the entire book there were so many relatable moments. My favorite part, aside from the stories, were the lists of practical actions at the end of each section. Read or Listen To My Review
Amazon Description: Through vivid stories and case histories of patients—both adults and children—Hallowell and Ratey explore the varied forms ADHD takes, from hyperactivity to daydreaming. They dispel common myths, offer helpful coping tools, and give a thorough accounting of all treatment options as well as tips for dealing with a diagnosed child, partner, or family member. But most importantly, they focus on the positives that can come with this “disorder”—including high energy, intuitiveness, creativity, and enthusiasm. Read More
Adulting With ADHD
Struggling at work? This PDF walks you through the basic steps I took to get my career from striving to thriving within a year after my diagnosis. Includes includes three of my favorite worksheets for handling ADHD on the job and covers the following topics: ADHD & Women, Your Treatment, Your Rights In The Workplace, Productivity Tools, and Building Your Support System. Buy Now
Quick Start Guide
Adulting With ADHD
So you got your diagnosis – now what? The 15-page Quick Start touches on the basic areas of life with ADHD. Includes chapters on Self-Care, Domestic Goddessing, The Workplace, Finances, and Relationships. Buy Now
Cluttered Mess to Organized Success Workbook
by Cassandra Aarssen
An Amazon bestseller, this book offers you everything you need to organize your home, family and your time. Not only just a book, it’s jam packed with over 100 worksheets, forms, labels, schedules and everything else you need to organize your life. Written by a professional organizer and founder of the YouTube channel Clutterbug, Cassandra s also the author of the smash hit Real Life Organizing. Read More
Amazon Description: Do you dream of getting organized, but have no idea where to start? Cluttered Mess to Organized Success: Declutter and Organize your Home and Life with over 100 Checklists and Worksheets offers you everything you need to organize your home, family and your time.
Amazon Description: Physician-researcher Dr. Lidia Zylowska has created an 8-step program for using mindfulness practice (attention and awareness training) to overcome the symptoms of ADHD. The program includes practices such as sitting meditation, body awareness, thoughtful speaking and listening, development of self-acceptance, mindful self-coaching, cultivation of a balanced view of thoughts and emotions, and more. Read More
About The Author: Lidia Zylowska, M.D.is a psychiatrist specializing in integrative treatment of adult ADHD and application of mindfulness-based training in mental health.
Amazon Description: A paradigm-shifting study of neurodivergent women—those with ADHD, autism, synesthesia, high sensitivity, and sensory processing disorder—exploring why these traits are overlooked in women and how society benefits from allowing their unique strengths to flourish. Read More
About The Author: Jenara Nerenberg lectures widely on neuroscience, innovation, sensitivity, leadership, and diversity. Selected as a “brave new idea” presenter by the Aspen Institute for her work on re-framing mental differences, Jenara is also the founder and host of The Neurodiversity Project.
Amazon Description: Based on the latest research in neuroscience, Self-Regulation & Mindfulness provides highly practical, kid friendly lessons to teach therapists, parents, educators and children about their brain and body, so they can build the needed skills to self-regulate. Read More
About The Author: Dr. Gibbs received her professional degrees from Columbia University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Seton Hall University. As a former clinic owner, she had several opportunities to provide education, treatment, and research in the areas of sensory integration, Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as family-centered care.
Amazon Description: This creative toolkit takes you through 100 exercises to help you reframe your priorities, and find more time for you. With chapters exploring Body, Mind, Feelings, Relationships, Time, Work, Environment, Creativity and Change, every page contains a fun new interactive challenge and a new way of seeing your world. Read More
About The Author: Ellen is a work psychologist, writer and digital nomad. She is on a mission to bring practical, useful and fun development suggestions and personal improvement ideas to those who are long on interest and short on time.
Changing for Good
By James O. Prochaska, John Northcross and Carlo Diclemente
Not exclusively about ADHD, this book is for anybody who wants to change something huge in their life. Not only is it research-backed, I found it to be incredibly spot on about how “self changers” change. It happens in cycles. You have to have the right awareness for it and be in the right mindset before making the change, and there are setbacks. It’s rarely this linear line and it rarely goes like you’re loved ones (or prime time TV) would have you believe. Read or Listen To My Review
Amazon Description: This groundbreaking book offers simple self-assessments, informative case histories, and concrete examples to help clarify each stage and process. Whether your goal is to start saving money, to stop drinking, or to end other self-defeating or addictive behaviors, this revolutionary program will help you implement positive personal change . . . for life. Read More
About Dr. Prochaska: James O. Prochaska is Director of Cancer Prevention Research Center and Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He is internationally recognized for his work as a developer of the stage model of behavior change. He is the principal investigator on over $80 million dollars in research grants for the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases.
The Queen of Distraction
by Terry Matlen and Sari Solden
Something’s got to give, and therapist Terry Matlen is here to the rescue with practical skills to help women reclaim their lives. Topics covered include parenting, relationships, skin issues, hormones, meal planning, and more. This how-to on how to thrive is more than just a survival guide, it’s a new way of living. The authors take a realistic, everyday approach to dealing with the pressures and stresses of real-life in while dealing with ADHD. Tips and ideas throughout the book offer tiny changes women with ADHD can make that can reap huge benefits. You can have ADHD and live a “normal” life that does not revolve around your disease.
Amazon Description: The Queen of Distraction presents practical skills to help women with ADHD achieve focus and balance in all areas of life, whether it’s at home, at work, or in relationships. Psychotherapist Terry Matlen delves into the feminine side of ADHD―the elements of this condition that are particular to women, such as: relationships, skin sensitivities, meal-planning, parenting, and dealing with out-of-control hormones. In addition, the book offers helpful tips and strategies to get your symptoms under control, and outlines a number of effective treatment options for you to pursue. Read More
Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD
by Terry Matlen MSW
This collection of tips and tricks aims to relieve women of the anxiety and guilt of living with ADHD. In this collection of hidden gems, hundreds of real women living with ADHD share what works for them. This easy-to-flip-through-manual will help you once and for all get to the bottom of the laundry pile or that out-of-control junk mail. Not only is this an easy read, but many of us find comfort in knowing other women have the same struggles as we do. Reading their stories can bring great motivation to any woman dealing with ADHD, or anyone with someone in their life sharing that struggle.
Amazon Description: Written to accommodate readers with AD/HD who often have difficulty reading a book from cover to cover, this guide is designed like a manual, allowing them to flip through to areas of interest without having to read the entire book to find what they need. Practical tips provide help in dealing with organizational tasks, including paperwork in the home and office, preparing meals, social situations, paying bills on time, household chores, shopping, and personal and family health. Read More
ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life
by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadau
Amazon Description: Readers will enjoy all new content on organizing digital information, managing distractions, organizing finances, and coping with the “black hole” of the Internet. This exciting new resource offers three levels of strategies and support: self-help, non-professional assistance from family and friends, and professional support; allowing the reader to determine the appropriate level of support. Read More
About the Authors: Acclaimed professional organizer Judith Kolberg and Dr. Kathleen Nadeau, renowned ADHD clinical psychologist, are back with an updated edition of their classic text for adults with ADD. Their collaboration offers the best understanding and solutions for adults who want to get and stay organized.
Understanding Girls with ADHD
by Kathleen Nadeau, Ellen Littman & Patricia Quinn
From the home and workplace to school and in relationships, this update from the 1999 classic is more comprehensive than ever. The complexity of women and girls is captured by team of two therapists and a pediatrician/ADHD specialist using clinical examples, research and case material and does not shy away from controversy. All of us have our own pre-conceived notion of the disease and are aware of stereotypes, but this book is straightforward and to the point and does not focus on either of those. As we all know, relationships can suffer greatly when ADHD is involved, and this book can help identify why we do some of the things we do, and how to understand and correct those behaviors.
Amazon Description: Always sensitive, and without hesitation in providing an authoritative tone, this book will empower girls and their families in ways that are sorely needed. Its emphasis on gender-specific manifestations of ADHD and its inclusion of practical means of attacking the executive-function deficits that plague girls and women with ADHD will ensure its continued status as core guidebook. Read More
ADHD According to Zoë
by Zoë Kessler and Patricia O. Quinn MD
This memoir by journalist and blogger Zoë Kessler gets real on what it’s like being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. Using creativity and humor, Zoë tells her entertaining story, not holding back on what it’s really like to have your career and relationships challenged with ADHD.This personal account is a fun read, which is hard to find when the topic is ADHD. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine,” and you will find that in this book. If you or someone you know has ADHD, you will probably find at least one familiar experience throughout this book that you can identify with.
Amazon Description: In this unique and engaging memoir, Kessler shares her own stories of living with ADHD in a way that is relatable, but never predictable. Inside, she describes how her impulsive behavior has affected her love life; how being disorganized once stood in the way of landing a job; and how inattentiveness has caused certain challenges in her relationships. Kessler also offers key coping skills based on her experience; skills that you can use to focus your energy, become more organized, and boost your self-esteem while tapping into creativity and humor.. Read More
Pediatrician and renowned ADHD Patricia Quinn answers all of your questions about ADHD in women and girls. An ideal selection for anyone wanting a comprehensive look at the symptoms, diagnosis process, ADHD management and everything in between. It is hard enough being a young girl, dealing with puberty and the changes of our bodies, let alone the social stresses that occur in middle school and high school. Throw ADHD on top of that, and you may feel a hint of despair. Don’t worry. This is a good book to start finding some of the answers to your questions.
Amazon Description: 100 Questions & Answers About Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Women and Girls provides authoritative, practical answers to common questions about this disorder. Written by a renowned ADHD specialist, this book presents important information about common symptoms, the diagnosis process, management, and sources of support for women and girls with ADHD. An invaluable resource, this book provides the necessary tools for anyone coping with the emotional turmoil caused by ADHD. Read More
Help for Women with ADHD
by Joan Wilder
Journalist Joan Wilder delves into the challenges of womanhood that can be compounded by ADHD, and you may not even know it. For example, post-partum depression, menopause, PMS, and even dietary sensitivities among many, many other experiences can lead to symptoms of ADHD. This book offers truly unique insights to a woman’s struggles with ADHD and other experiences only other women can understand. Conquering the symptoms is possible, and Joan Wilder offers tips and stories that will get your started on your journey. Knowledge is power, and you will have renewed faith that you can conquer and excel any obstacles you face after reading this book.
Amazon Description: This short book, written by a journalist is filled with stories about how it feels to have ADHD and what you can do to make things better. Woven into the anecdotes of frustration and chaos are various tried and true tools, strategies, and supports (printed in bold text) that have helped her – and thousands more — tackle a handful of classic ADHD challenges. Each chapter covers a different issue, and the clickable Table of Contents makes it easy to fly to the parts of the book that interest you the most. Read More
Raising Girls with ADHD
by James W. Forgan Ph.D. and Mary Anne Richey M.S.Ed.
As anyone who was raised a girl can tell you, it can be tough. Tough being an understatement. The drama, hormones, and meltdowns that ensue can leave us pulling our hair out. Raising a girl with ADHD greatly increases the difficultly level and at times, may challenge our sanity. In recent history, typically the focus of ADHD resources has been on boys, as they were the first to be diagnosed. Understandably, parents of girls with ADHD are sometimes at a loss for resources and research that is focused on girls with the same disease. Finally, here is a book for those parents.
Amazon Description: Raising Girls with ADHD provides expert information to empower parents to make decisions about identification, treatment options, behavioral strategies, personal/social adjustment, educational impact, and many other issues from preschool through high school. These girls’ struggles with socialization and peer acceptance, executive functioning skills like memory and organization, and emotional well-being and self-confidence are discussed with a goal of maximizing strengths and providing supports for weaknesses. Complete self-reflection surveys and action steps for parents and girls alike are included to create a dynamic action plan for your daughter’s success in school and beyond.. Read More
The Girls’ Guide To AD/HD
by Beth Walker
Beth Walker is talking directly to the girls in this book with tips for being successful while growing up with ADHD. If your tween or teen is a girl that struggles with ADHD, I highly recommend this book. It is funny and lighthearted, yet points to the issues that girls with this disease can have, and offers tips and ideas so they can identify their weaknesses and find ways to turn them into strengths. Written for the girl and not the parent, this unique format and combination may be just what your growing girl needs to know she is not the only one who feels the ways she does.
Amazon Description: Examines Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder from teen girls’ perspectives with suggestions on how to cope with emotions, treatments, school, and friends. Read More
The Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD
by John F. Taylor, PhD
Targeted at pre-school and elementary aged children, this kid-friendly book is great for introducing your young one and their peers about ADHD and what it means to have ADHD. Dr. Taylor includes activities and quizzes to keep easily-distracted children engaged and focuses on resources surrounding them that will help them with their struggles. Making friends can be difficult for kids with ADHD, but this book may help them and other children overcome that challenge. The Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD is essential for any kid beginning school and may help ease some of their fears.
Amazon Description: In kid-friendly language and a format that welcomes reluctant and easily distracted readers, this book helps kids know they’re not alone and offers practical strategies for taking care of oneself, modifying behavior, enjoying school, having fun, and dealing with doctors, counselors, and medication. Includes real-life scenarios, quizzes, and a special message for parents. Read More
Pomodoro Technique Illustrated
by Staffan Noteberg
Organization using a pencil or a pen, paper, and a kitchen timer is the focus of this self-help book by Staffan Noteberg. The Pomodoro Technique is an inexpensive way to apply time-management and organizational strategies that some people pay thousands of dollars for. Many people have found life-changing benefits by utilizing this method, including an increased ability to focus and ability to achieve everyday goals. The timer allows for short bursts of activity, which is great if you have difficulty focusing for longer periods of time and are easily distracted. Those diagnosed with ADHD have found particular success with the Pomodoro Technique.
Amazon Description: The Pomodoro Technique puts you back in charge of your day. You’ll apply successful techniques from software engineering to identify what you should be doing today and to help you achieve your goals. Your mind won’t wander when it is fully engaged in short bursts of focused activity. Read More
We all know it is difficult to live with ADHD, let alone raising children with ADHD, or both. Fortunately, every day we get closer to conquering this illness. People with ADHD can excel at whatever they choose by utilizing the knowledge found in the books listed above. Whether you need a book for yourself as a parent or a book targeted to your elementary aged child, tween, or teen, you will find what you are looking for in just a few clicks. Tips and ideas for dealing with the symptoms of ADHD and related experiences await that can change your life forever.