Reply To: Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria? This is what's ruining my life?

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Hey Ranma. I have RSD too, or so I believe taking the test but I only got a 67%, still, I think mine is worse than the test thinks because I have other issues which counter acted some of those issues. Also, I have gone through a lot of growth and healing in that area. I attribute it to reading a lot of articles about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It really has helped me to see and therefore change some of the negative cycles of thinking that I was in. I’m still working on it and I still have a long way to go. Having ADHD doesn’t make it any easier most of the time either but I hope you know that there is hope and your situation can change.

If your insurance will cover it I suggest going to see a therapist who is trained in CBT because they can start the wheels turning and the change coming.

It was my friend who helped me realize that my view of myself was very distorted compared to the reality of the situation. I also happened to be learning about psychology in school at the time and so gained interest in it and learned a lot about myself and how to handle those critical thoughts more clearly.
Here’s how it happened for me in a few small steps.

One day I was berating myself over something small and I was sitting down wanting to start something and I started to really hear some of the negative and insulting things I was saying to myself.
Once I realized I was saying these things to myself I was able to see how different who I thought I was, was from who my roommate thought I was. I thought I was lazy and always making mistakes (aka stupid) she thought I was very hard working and would often find herself in awe of all the things I got accomplished.
After that I took a few times to listen to and follow my train of thought when I would start berating myself. It would start out calm and small and then it would turn really ugly and horrible. That’s when I started to see what I really thought of myself. My friend helped me to see that it wasn’t true (we are very close and I trust her judgement and that she is being truthful and not going easy on me).
So, whenever I would start doing that in the future, before I could end up in a downward spiral I would stop myself and say, no, that’s not true, this is what is true instead. Which might look like this; I did something that I think was selfish: I am a selfish person, I always hurt the people around me, I only think about myself. I’m so lazy and unmotivated, I can never get anything right, that’s why I always let people down because I’m only thinking of myself, and so on and so on (trust me, it gets much worse if I let it continue). But now I can tell myself; no, that’s not true, I’m not a selfish person. In fact, I often put others above myself and I spend a lot of time worrying about how I can help others or what I can do to not hurt other people. I enjoy being around people and I like making them happy, that’s why I’m worrying about being selfish, because I don’t want to hurt someone else. I may have said the wrong thing there or I maybe completely blowing things out of proportion because I felt like I did something for myself rather than doing something for someone else like I always do. That doesn’t make me selfish, that just makes me human and it’s ok to want things for myself and to want to be happy.

That’s kind of how it goes. Over time you start to see how, the way that you view yourself is distorted from what is actually the reality of the situation. Because you can see it and see the truth a lot clearer, you can now guide yourself out of your negative spirals. Sometimes you need help from others, some times you just need a little self-love but it can really help a lot.

I don’t know if I made this clear but I feel like this RSD comes from perfectionism and holding yourself to unrealistic standards (mine was that if I’m not always thinking about other people and walking on eggshells around them to make sure that they stay happy then I’m a bad person and selfish). It takes time and reflection but for me it has spread to other areas of my life because it helps me to see things in a different view than just my distorted one.

Your mind is telling you that you will be let go at this new job (possibly because you make mistakes or don’t feel that you’re good enough?) so your anxiety comes into play and brings up all the times you failed before and reminds you that this is the inevitable outcome. But, that’s not true. I’m assuming that the job you are at is probably the same as the one you want to go into. You haven’t been fired there yet so you must be doing something right. If you can do your job where you are, why would it be any different at a new job? Now, let’s say things are different at your new job and for some reason you get let go. Chances are that you can find another job that is similar to the first job and they will probably keep you. So, even if you leave this job and end up basically right back where you started (albeit at another workplace) you haven’t really lost anything by leaving. Your just somewhere new.

That is unless there are other factors at play, which there very well might be. So, the question is, is it worse to stay at the job where you are and being unhappy and unable to get good insurance. Or is it better to try the new job and have things work out right? Because chances are, even if you fail, you’ll only end up right back in the same place. But, if you don’t fail, your situation has much improved by you taking a risk and trying it. You could also tell yourself that it doesn’t hurt to apply. Chances are just sending them your resume and applying isn’t going to get you fired from your current work place so just applying leaves you in no worse situation than before, instead it gives you an opportunity to improve your situation.

Confidence in your abilities is hard to come by, especially since you have a distorted view of yourself and reality. But with time it can get better. I hope that you make the choice that is right for you. Even if it’s months or years from now, working on your Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help a lot. Having access to a therapist who can provide feedback and give you some outside perspective can help.

I also find it helpful when dealing with anxiety to realize that anxiety is perfectly normal. It’s normal to feel anxious and worried. It’s something everyone does from time to time. Our problem is that we feel it more often and more intensely but there is nothing wrong with feeling it. It helps me to remind myself of this because I feel so different from most people. I often feel like an other. But knowing that other people suffer with what I suffer from makes me feel like I’m not so different. It makes me feel like it’s ok to be me. Because it is ok. We are all just people and we are all different but we can work with what we’ve got and make the best of the situation.

I hope that some of what I said was helpful. I might have rambled on a bit there. Anyway, I hope that you find strategies that work for you that can help you manage your condition. I hope that you get a new job with better insurance so you can take good care of yourself and maybe you can even afford to start taking anxiety medicine and that will help to take some of the load off your shoulders. Good luck.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by JadeFlores.
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Penny Williams.