A Guest Post by Roger C. Parker
I wish I had read Nancy Ratey’s The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain to Take Control of Your Time, Tasks, and Talents 20 or 30 years ago.
Reading The Disorganized Mind could have made a huge difference at several key points in my life.
The Disorganized Mind is a jargon-free story of self-coaching and learning to live with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Written from the perspective of someone who has struggled with ADHD throughout their life, then became a successful coach who helped thousands of Adult ADHD sufferers learn to succeed in spite of its symptoms, it's remarkably convincing.
Reading The Disorganized Mind, I frequently felt a strong sense of déjà vu. At numerous points, I recognized behaviors and habits that have—over and over again—interfered with my success or caused embarrassing, expensive, and painful mistakes.
One of the most riveting chapters in The Disorganized Mind describes the experiences of “Sam,” one of the author’s clients suffering with Adult ADHD who had enjoyed a great deal of creative and sales success accompanied by frequent career setbacks. Sam had been successful and well-liked, but was perennially on the verge of dismissal. His ADHD symptoms were constantly undermining his creativity and ability to instantly assess situations.
Themes of control, coping, and optimism resonate throughout The Disorganized Mind. Ratey reports that either Child or Adult ADHD is not an “excuse” for inappropriate behavior, nor are medications—by themselves—miracle cure-alls.
In Nancy Ratey's excellent book success comes from following a 6-step program, reduced to an acronym, ANSWER:
The Disorganized Mind contains hundreds of ideas, structures, strategies, and tips that can be successfully used to cope with the 16 key Symptoms or Issues of ADHD that are summarized in Appendix A, an Index of Strategies.
The book, itself, is a fast read that is well organized in 4 parts:
Twenty pages of resources and an unusually comprehensive index round-out The Disorganized Mind.
The Disorganized Mind is an excellent and logical complement to ADHD Medication Rules: Paying Attention To The Meds For Paying Attention by Dr. Charles Parker—in combination with, of course, qualified medical advice.
ADHD Medication Rules will help you understand the variables that influence the effectiveness of any medications prescribed for you. By understanding the variables, you’ll know what to look for in your reaction to medications. You’ll also be better able to discuss their effectiveness with your physician or physicians. ADHD Medication Rules is the perfect “patient user guide for the medication side.”
But for either Adult or Child ADHD, medication, alone, may not be enough! You’ll also want to take action on your own—and either hire an ADHD coach to help you develop your own coping strategies—or you’ll have to become your own self-coach and take specific actions on your own. And this is where The Disorganized Mind comes in, outlining what you can do to develop the day-to-day strategies to maximize the effectiveness of your prescriptions.
Either way, these two books point the way to a happier, more successful future.
Roger C. Parker is an author, book coach, designer, consultant who works with authors, marketers, & business professionals to achieve success with brand-building books & practical marketing strategy. Visit Roger’s blog or to ask a question about writing & branding.
On a personal note:
I enjoyed coaching with Roger years ago whilst initially working on ADHD Medication Rules – he's a phenomenal writing coach with outstanding credentials and a gift for what-works-best. You will appreciate his candor in this piece, an interesting and intimate view of another exceedingly successful professional working, as many of us are, on the ongoing process of self discovery.
Thanks Roger for posting this piece – and thanks for your kind remarks!