I’ve never had a book hit so close to home as this one did; it felt almost as if Dr. Mate had looked into my innermost self and mirrored back at me many of the experiences and the feelings from my life that have gone unspoken of because I never quite knew how to explain them. I felt like he could have been talking about me in many of the scenarios he described.
I found this book to be really easy to read in the sense that it wasn’t overly technical. Dr. Mate’s moving and heartfelt narrative on ADD does a solid job of introducing a controversial topic in a way that is equally as appealing to someone completely unfamiliar with the condition as it would be to someone who has been living with it for their entire lives whether diagnosed or not; and he does so with empathy and compassion.
The examples he provides, including the example of himself, as an accomplished medical practitioner and author as well as an adult living with ADD, help to dispel many of the misconceptions concerning who can have ADD or what it may look like. I was also able to appreciate his balanced explanation that genetics and environment, are equally responsible for its existence; and found his assertion of the disproportionate role that the first several years of a child’s life, its relationship with its mother/caregiver, and the mental/emotional state of the mother/caregiver has in determining who will develop ADD, regardless of genetic predisposition to be fascinating.
Most importantly, Dr. Mate warns against placing too much emphasis on treating ADD with medication only and offers us his common sense recommendations for healing one’s relationship with their ADD child, or ADD selves, the most important of which being to create an environment of unconditional positive regard without which it is impossible for the person living with ADD to fully heal emotionally.
Without first beginning to heal their “self” first and foremost, the person living with ADD will find themselves continuing their present pattern of strained relationships lacking intimacy, tasks left undone, and unmet potential; regardless of whether they are being prescribed any sort of pharmacological treatment or not.
Do yourself a favor and read this book, you won’t regret it.