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

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RSD is also a problem for me. As a woman and a Boomer, I had ADHD and RSD symptoms before they were symptoms of a disorder and not just bad behavior. I’ve been called everything in the book – lazy, stupid, punchy, careless, underachiever – you name it, I’ve heard it!

Because of my age and gender, I was undiagnosed until my son started studying ADHD and helped us both get a diagnosis. Most physicians, however, think it’s funny if at my age I’d like some help. So, I had to learn to help myself.

For my ADHD symptoms, I learned to make lists of everything, use apps to help organize, and make places for important things like keys and glasses so I don’t lose them. BTW if you’re not feeling so bad about your ADHD, it is easier to work on RSD.

I did take the self test and scored 80%. Pretty snazzy! Yes, having RSD can turn a good day into a really sucky one and that’s part of the condition. I’m not a failure because that happens, any more than someone with cerebral palsy is a failure if they have trouble going up stairs. Are you a failure because your nose runs when you have a cold? Of course not.

So neither are you a failure because you feel gob-smacked by a careless comment or the feeling you blew yet another something that you should have done well.

Accept yourself – it’s who you are. But it doesn’t have to immobilize you and ruin your life. Here’s what I do. It might work for you, it might not. Since it doesn’t involve spending money or taking medicine, even if it doesn’t help it probably won’t hurt.

1. Limit the list of things you’re supposed to do to feel better to no more than 3, such as start the day with a positive thought, etc. You won’t remember them anyway, and then you’ll feel bad because you couldn’t remember the things that were supposed to make you feel good. I have a bunch of stupid cat memes on my cell phone from ICanHasCheezburger that are funny as hell. I look at those.

2. I only have 2 things on my how to handle RSD list:

1) Remind myself my reaction is overstated.
2) Don’t take action until my reaction is based in reality.

Sound impossible? It’s not.

3. As an aside: Become organized. Organizing things is soothing to ADHD minds. Organize your desk, clean out your silverware drawer, arrange pencils in order of length, play one of those matching games like Mahjong. The activity focuses your attention and takes your mind off your feelings.

Becoming organized is its own reward – it will help at work or school as well.

By the way, think about reading up on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While true therapy would require a counselor, there’s tons of stuff online that helps you reframe your reactions and inner voice to more positive input.

Here’s a site with a decent list: Yeah, the list is 7 items, so WAY TOO LONG!! Pick one or two and see if they help.

Also as an aside, since I don’t know any of you and so don’t know what your life is really like, my experience is that futility makes things worse. If your job is bad, get help writing a resume and go find another one. If your friends can’t hear what’s going on with you, get new friends. Pick something really easy and take action. Change your hair, get some clothes – do something you like that doesn’t involve eating 12 donuts.

Good luck!