I Always Want to Be Where I’m Not – ADHD Book Review

Dr. Brett HowardADHD

An ADHD Book Review
My new favorite ADHD book, I Always Want To Be Where I’m Not: Successful Living With ADD & ADHD by Dr. Wes Crenshaw, reads as though the author split open the heads of those with ADHD and took to the halves with a juicer to extract every detail of what it is like to live, love and work with this condition. The first few chapters were not only insightful and full of specific & actionable next steps for life-improvement, but I could’ve Xerox’d each one to stick in my clients’ charts as my folks tell stories that eerily mimic the book’s case examples practically word for word.
 book jacket
I Always Want to Be Where I’m Not is also written in the same efficient style & format that I wish was applied to all of the the patient summary emails I receive from my favorite Social Worker colleague, Ms. Sarah. Although her emails are thorough, they are also exhausting. Dr. Crenshaw certainly writes some prose, but it is cut up with a host of lists, headers and bullet points that provide sufficient stimulation to treat the focus impairments of most readers.
I am completely on board with any self-help book’s requirement to address softer topics (i.e., love, relationships, responsibility, “following your heart?”), and Dr. Crenshaw does a brilliant job of doing so while not wasting any time in answering the reader’s question, “that’s great, but what exactly do I need to do?” The last few chapters are packed with even more helpful tips for the ADHD community as the author hashes out steps to improve organization (my favorite), one’s love life and the practical matters of getting tested for ADHD and medication management.
Dr. Crenshaw’s life-organization advice is fantastic, and I plan on implementing several of his ideas regarding:
  • using workarounds
  • living a minimalist life
  • creating organizational systems
  • capitalizing on technology, and
  • daily habits that make life easier
His tips are well-informed and he seems pretty tech-savvy. As a nurse, I also am particularly fond of his public-health message to the ADHD gentlemen who are reminded to “pack your own parachute” when intimate relations are in the future.
Opportunities for Growth (aka, the stuff I didn’t like)
I do not have too many qualms about this fantastic ADHD resource. It is well written and has a very conversational and supportive tone that does nothing to talk down to the reader, those with ADHD, or the mental health community. Dr. Crenshaw tackles the difficult topics of assessment and medication management, while still being humble enough to offer some caveats to his advice (especially about medications) that address his limits of expertise.
I would, however, like to offer Dr. Crenshaw some assistance in re-crafting the description of the group of mental health professionals characterized in the book as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). He writes a few mistakes in terminology and some out-dated and over-generalized characterizations are made regarding APRN prescribing rights. But most importantly, receiving healthcare (mental health or otherwise) from an APRN is not “your best workaround for the shortage of psychiatrists,” but your opportunity to work with a well-trained and caring professional who will provide you with high quality, effective and collaborative treatment. More accurate information about APRNs and Nurse Practitioners can be found at the website for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
  • A fantastic ADHD resource by somebody who truly understands the disorder.
  • Definitely worth the money and time.
  • Full of insightful and actionable tips in a variety of areas pertinent to those living with ADHD.
  • Written in an efficient and ADHD-friendly style.
  • Ignore the section on APRNs.
  • Pack your own parachute if you anticipate sexy time.