Coping with Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria… Tips? Advice? Guidance?

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    • #176795

      I’m 36f and was diagnosed with ADHD in my mid-20’s I have been off and on medication since, although mostly on. I only recently learned about Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) and suddenly I feel that so much of my life makes sense. As a child, I was extremely shy in school because I was terrified of being wrong or misspeaking. As I got older, I grew out of my shyness but lacked confidence/motivation while searching for jobs and sought approval in romantic relationships. This led to a string of unhealthy or unsatisfying relationships. In dating, I have extreme emotions regarding rejection or perceived rejection primarily during the initial phase before anything has taken off. In the past couple of years, I have had a few extreme episodes which at the time I assumed were panic attacks.

      I have now been single for the better part of my 30’s and currently, I am attempting to date while also looking for a new job. The RSD symptoms have skyrocketed lately and I feel debilitated, paralyzed, and completely unable to think clearly or make a decision. Discovering the connection between RSD and ADHD has been so comforting. For so long I felt that something was wrong with me, I have felt isolated and unable to confide with anyone about the intensity of my fear of rejection.

      I am looking for guidance on how to cope. I do see a therapist and take medication, but would like to add to my toolkit.
      Does anyone have advice for thinking clearly?
      Grounding yourself in moments of extreme emotion?
      Any advice for staying motivated to look for a job?
      Any tips to reframe thinking when it comes to dating?
      Or any tips for dating in general?


      • This topic was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by KatieLady.
      • This topic was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #176989
      Penny Williams

      Dr. Dodson has a couple medication recommendations for RSD.

      How ADHD Ignites Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

      Putside of that, I’d recommend learning about Polyvagal therory and how your autonomic nervous system controls your responses, and how to return your nervous system to a more calm state. It’s mentioned briefly in this article:

      Can’t Get Anything Done? Why ADHD Brains Become Paralyzed in Quarantine

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #177857

      I am working on the same issues. I’m 39 and recently diagnosed. Learning about RSD has explained so many
      Of my issues. I tried the meds recommended for this but didnt have luck with them. Now I’m on pristiq. It’s an antidepressant and I hate being on it but it
      Has helped with my moodiness and sensitivity.
      I still struggle to cope. Sometimes I feel so vulnerable and I think people don’t like me — relationships have been hard.
      I’ve tried couseling and meditation and in the moment, nothing seems to help. This is the biggest challenge I have with my adhd.

    • #177941

      Wow!! You could have been describing me with just a few minor changes. I was diagnosed at 35. I did the same thing with relationships. I’m really struggling with RSD right now.

      I reconnected with someone who I dated in high school. Our chemistry was off the charts, just as it was over 30 years ago, and we talked about anything and everything. He had recently separated from his wife when we started communicating. It has subsequently turned into a difficult divorce. He couldn’t cope with the emotional overload, so he ended things with me.

      This has been loaded with land my mines for me. Thoughts of “Was it my fault?”, “Am I flawed or too much work?”, “How could he just stop caring?”, “No one will ever be able to love me.”,etc. I’m incessantly running through my head. I have been riding a huge wave of depression and anxiety over this.

      When the emotions are literally making it unable for me to do anything and I can’t stop the hamster wheel of ruminating, complete distraction by watching a movie has helped. It cuts the cycle long enough for the anxiety to drop and I can think rationally. Right now, anything that can grab my attention and focus works. Also, mindfulness and telling myself it will all work out, self kindness, help more once I’ve broken the cycle. It’s still a work in progress.

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