Reply To: A friend upset me… destroyed me for the week.

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#102234
ADHDinPGH
Participant

Tomhurting: you’re right on the money, actually. There is a HUGE emotional component to ADHD. unfortunately, it is not yet part of diagnostic criteria as the last DSM came out five years ago. This means many doctors (and even ADHDers) don’t know enough or understand enough about it.

What you are experiencing as you have described it sounds very much like rejection sensitivity dysphoria and emotional hyperarousal — extremely common with adhd. It’s a blessing and a curse that I know very well. When you feel emotions more deeply…significantly so…it’s very alienating, but it does not necessarily mean you are suffering from other mental illness. And in fact, medicating for other mental illness can make things WORSE.

When you deal with emotional hyperarousal, it’s important to know that what is happening in your brain is *very* similar to what happens in the brains of people with PTSD(studies are even showing that adhd stimulant meds can relieve some ptsd symptoms because they act on the same parts of your brain!)….which is why strong emotional events can feel so downright traumatic! You brain is responding like they are!

Don’t get discouraged; just because some people on this forum aren’t qualified to help you doesn’t mean we all are not! You’ll find that some of us are licensed and trained coaches, social workers, and outreach professionals so even if you run across an armchair psychiatrist or two who can’t help but project on you, some of us are armed with science, experience, and professional credentials.

It sounds like you know your intense feelings around this situation aren’t “normal” and you’re doing the right thing by trying to find out why this is plaguing you. It seems like the help you are getting now isn’t, well, helping…so I would look for a mental heath or medics professional who *specializes* in adhd and follows the latest research.

Don’t get discouraged! I know how crippling and alienating emotional hyperarousal is ( if that’s what you’re experiencing, which IMO it sounds like) and if you’re also suffering from rejection sensitivity dysphoria (which is EXTREMELY COMMON in adhd) then that would explain a lot. It sucks when you’re in so much emotional pain. I used to try and describe it as “if your ‘soul’ could bleed to death, it would feel like this” so others could attempt to understand the gravitas of it all. Don’t let the haters get you down! Everything you’ve described sounds exactly like my adhd experience and I have been diagnosed for over 20 years.