Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review: Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?

Marriage always involves compromise and adjusting for differences, and that’s even more true when one partner has a diagnosis, like autism, Asperger’s, or ADHD. In my therapy practice I work with many of these mixed couples, where it’s not just two different personalities, but also two different ways of experiencing and dealing with the world. These differences can bring a refreshing sense of novelty, perspective, and balance to a relationship, but they can also result in conflict, disappointment, and disconnect. Fortunately, understanding those differences between partners can be the first step in bringing a troubled relationship into one that’s supportive and satisfying for both.

Gina’s Pera’s  Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?  was written as a support group in book form, focused on the partners of adults with ADD or ADHD, and Pera uses the voices and examples of support group members throughout. But, don’t be fooled by the support group theme. This book is an extensive and well researched resource, covering not just anecdotal examples but also thoroughly detailing treatment options, historical background and professional discussions of ADHD. I always appreciate writing that’s easy to read while still being informative and professionally referenced. This book will serve as a useful long term reference as well as a book to read through.

I read some reviews criticizing Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD? for siding with the non-ADHD partner and blaming all the marital problems on ADHD and the ADHD partner. Although I think this can be a fair criticism in general, the book really isn’t directed at those couples where ADHD is bringing creativity and spontaneity to the marriage. People attend support groups because they need support with problems and they pick up a book like this because there’s something wrong in their relationship. It’s reasonable to address the problems the diagnosis brings in these cases.

Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD? is an excellent resource for couples dealing with ADHD and I recommend it highly.