Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD)

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    • #82541

      I am a 51 year old male, been dealing with ADD and making due, how I could, to make my life “manageable”. I guess, for the better part of thirty years,I knew I had problems. Being deaf in one ear has created even more if not exacerbated the problems. Started adjusting my life by making routines, having to keep things in a designated place, writing down a lot of appointments, birthdays etc. Thought I had a grip on my life, had a few trips and falls along the way, but suffered through them and soldiered on. Had the typical relationship, work, social problems associated with ADD.

      I have a job that has created so much stress that I needed to seek professional help. Doctor prescribed Wellbutrin first to start with then added Adderall. I was doing fine, felt calm, not much getting to me, focused. Like I mentioned before, I had the typical ADD relationship problems. I was confused as to why I was having problems. But figured if I can make them happy, I will be happy. My current relationship is not typical, and is the reason I am writing this.

      For the most part I “try” to keep from upsetting people because of my ADD, I know I and it can be irritating at best. I have learned to live a structured, planned, a black and white way of dealing with life, living a “somewhat” organized lifestyle, to keep my sanity. My hearing loss, makes communication even worse. Had an argument with my girlfriend, upset with me over minor issues. Usually I take the berating, “fix” the issue and carry on. For what ever reason, she was just relentless, and would nit pick everything I did and how I did it. Every time I would ask what she wanted me to do, she told me to figure it out. I started thinking, OK my ADD is the problem, lets see if I can find something online to help me figure out what the issue is.

      As I am researching ADD issues I come across an article that stopped me in my tracks.(RSD) Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. Now as I’m reading this article, my whole life was paraphrased in a paragraph. At first I was like, I found it, YEAH !, then it hit me. BOOM. I have lived my entire life never knowing or understanding why I do what I do. I am not the most up to date ADD advocate, but I had never heard of this and cried when everything came into the light and it all made sense. Some of the main issues are, people pleasers or stop trying because it is to stressful, or overachiever. All three have been the biggest factors in who I am today,along with the ADD.

      As I digest this new information and start getting more professional help and going through the process of finding a specialist that’s taking new patients. I’m sure I will be medicated, but what is the best approach? one on one with a psychologist? psychiatrists?, group therapy? all of the above?

    • #82552
      Penny Williams

      The best approach is what works best for you — there are many options. Finding a practitioner that you feel understands you and listens to you is key. Any of these practitioners can treat your ADHD:

      Doctor? Psychologist? Therapist? Someone Else? How to Find the Best ADHD Treatment Professional

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

    • #82654

      RSD is one thing, but realizing you have a problem with it, as many males do, is not going to help you with your girlfriend. First, RSD should have helped you realize, perhaps, that your feelings of rejection are mostly imagined. The main test for a woman as to whether or not she wants you or believes you’re capable are simple: She is still there. You’ll know clearly when she has lost hope, because she will simply leave. Realizing the harm RSD does to you and others may help you feel better, but it won’t help your relationship in the long run.
      This is becuase your main problem has nothing to do with RSD or ADHD, as evidenced by the familiar “fix” the issue mentality and your framing of her upset as over “minor” things. She also clearly has the same problem with you, as evidenced by her requesting you “figure it out” as if you can read her mind. You still don’t really understand “why” she does that. The issues there are very common, very basic male/female framing issues.
      Fortunately there is something you can do to fix that, and it’s easy to find the solution(though harder to implement). There is a book called “women are from venus, men are from mars.” You can buy it, or find the PDF online. There are a thousand relationship psychology books out there, out of which i’ve read over 100 and found all but a few to be garbage. This one is the one you need. The writing is far from a masterpiece, but the concepts are all there. Don’t cliffnotes it or look at the summary, read it. When you read it you will feel just as big of an AHA! moment about your relationship as you did with the RSD article, only this time you will also know what to do about it and why it keeps happening (especially the big arguments over “little” things).
      I finally found this particular book after many others to try and fix my first marriage. First I read it, then we both read it. And by following the simple suggestions in that book and one other, it did fix it, almost instantly, to the point I couldn’t believe how happy we both were. I was skeptical getting started, but once I realized that what I was doing would work reliably, I found it easy to keep going. Unfortunately, back in the days before I knew that things could be fixed some big mistakes were made, and when they were inevitably discovered that was the end. However, I married again almost immediately after, since I knew what to do for the next time, and we are still just as happy 5 years on. No big fights, no real problems except whatever life throws at us. I also used to think ADHD was the main culprit, but it isn’t. I haven’t changed, I’m still just as forgetful as always, I have less money and less stability than before, and I’ve not married an angel, but this time we both know how to deal with each other’s conflicting ideas of the opposite sex. Before the wedding, we both read the book, and I read it again every couple of years, just to check myself. I don’t even do everything it says now, (for example, I don’t do the letter thing for the most part, only once with my previous marriage, to excellent result) but even without doing every little thing, the newfound awareness still makes all the difference; you really won’t believe it.

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