RSD – Totally me


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    • #112876
      Jay Dubb

      I feel very torn by Dr. Dobson’s view on RSD. On the one hand – it’s not conventional, not fully researched and not fully developed.
      On the other hand – I CAN NOT get over how validated I feel by it. An intense gut feeling is telling me there is something to this. This leads me to ask;
      Has anyone tried the mentioned medications?
      What was the result?
      Please share publicly or privately –

      Thank you.

    • #112934

      What is RSD?

    • #112954

      Well, since they won’t let me post a link to it, I’ll just copy the description.
      Quote from ADDitude page about RSD

      “Rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is an intense emotional response caused by the perception that you have disappointed others in your life and that, because of that disappointment, they have withdrawn their love, approval, or respect. The same painful reaction can occur when you fail or fall short of your rather high goals and expectations. RSD commonly occurs with ADHD, and causes extreme emotional pain that plagues both children and adults — even when no actual rejection has taken place.”

    • #113056
      Penny Williams

      Here’s a link to one of the articles on RSD:

      Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and ADHD

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

    • #117076

      I read about RSD some time ago and felt exactly the same thing- it described me to a tee. When I have it bad I literally feel like I am dying inside, and the bleak feelings seem to have a never-ending quality to them. It is unbearable. And it has happened again to me recently- not quite over it yet- and I’m 52. I am on Strattera and Cymbalta which have been great for focus and organisation and general mood, but if I have an episode, and it is ALWAYS in response to a rejection of some kind, nothing can stop the onslaught of internal horror. I am about to see my shrink to talk about trying the meds mentioned in the article, as I just cannot bear the thought of going through it again.

    • #137708

      I am wondering if anybody ever got treatment for this or followed through. I have never been diagnosed with ADHD, but was diagnosed with depression 20 years ago. Since then, I have almost always been on medication for depression AND anxiety. But, OH MY GOSH!!! RSD is totally ME!!! I have been suspicious for the past 3 years or so that I probably have ADHD, but this RSD is exactly how I feel! I almost never externalize (like rage–maybe twice in my whole life), but ALWAYS internalize!! DAILY!! So…if anyone has found results, please let me know.

    • #137723
      Jay Dubb

      I tried Dr D’s medication and it didn’t work. Since then I’ve been to therapy and started taking an anti depressant called Anafranil. I’m not sure how much the meds are helping but the therapy certainly helped me accept myself and allow myself to be the person I want to be. I also increased my dose of concerta from 18 to 56 mg(!) which has been a good move.

      Good luck on your journey.

      Jay Dubb

    • #143533

      My marriage may have been saved by this article illuminating RSD. I ran across the subject in a support group for wives of ADD/ADHD spouses and all the hair stood up on my body. 33 years of “fits” in which I am the base of all evil in the world, he has no accountability, I could go on…… has been so bad, I have lived for 7+ years (and currently live) with CAMERAS in my home for the very need of replaying ACTUAL conversations or occurrences after a “fit” in which his version is NEVER what really happened. Every time Husband sees the camera replay, he hands his head and truly SEES what he thought did not actually or EVER happen.

      Just learned last week (prior to new med) that he had NO memory of what he said during his fits DESPITE it always being 1 of 15-20 “same” statements/beliefs he had. That he has NO recollection freaked me out a little. What did THAT mean?? I was mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.

      I will if I had not had 4 years now of amazing therapy – working to heal codependency, trauma, learn to put myself FIRST (heal people-pleasing disease), and move from Head brain living to HEART brain living. TRANSFORMATIVE but the most difficult thing I have ever been challenged to do. Lots of tears, hyperventilation, mental fighting, etc. Phew……I almost cannot believe how I used to “think” and what I accepted.

      The only thing that kept me still here has been husband’s willingness (when not “hating on me”) to go to therapy and heal whatever this was. Time was running thin as each RSD fit was emotionally vomited on me out of nowhere – I noticed my “tolerance” nearly 0. While proud of myself, my gut also knew something was going on and if he was willing to explore, I had a bit more time to invest. Being so out of control and attacked randomly after “nothing” was impossible to explain away once I got out of my head and FELT/honored my feelings.

      Marriage counseling has been a disaster because 1. He sits there “my wife is amazing, I don’t know why we are here” 2. They NEVER see any RSD and he did not have an ability to admit or describe as his memory was not there and 3. I would be SO urgent to be heard, someone explain PLEASE, someone help us PLEASE that I looked like the problem. PLUS, AFTER leaving the session, RSD would kick in over anything I said that he could not handle. Marriage counseling guaranteed days to weeks of RSD fits.

      Both boys were diagnosed Aspergers and ADD/ADHD but now I wonder if it truly ADD/ADHD with RSD????? I assumed husband was ASD based on his bizarre behaviors but this 100% infuriated him.

      Husband and I see the same doctor, so at my appointment last week, I mentioned it to her and this article 3 hours prior to husband’s appt. I told her my hellish version of my life – NOTHING they see in him EVER. His public “persona” is near perfection. “What is her problem?” is what many have asked.

      Well, THIS is my life. THIS deeply affected my children, now grown and out of the house thankfully. It makes you think you are crazy – the vacillation between this demon behavior and their regular to sweet “loving” behavior, and the fact that NO ONE, not even professionals, understand or have any idea what you are talking about and that is IF they believe you. I told her I could bring he camera video of the 3 fits in 3 days in a row last week if she needed to see it. She was flabbergasted and believed me wholeheartedly.

      I asked the doc if she had heard of RSD. That was a “no”. I described the behavior and my camera evidence otherwise. She excitedly stated she sees this behavior in adolescents – their parents come in with cell phone video of what actually happened, but the child has “thought” they heard something else, freaks out, attacks, verbally or otherwise, massive stress and the parents feel CRAZY.

      3 hours later, Husband showed up, knew doc was already informed, thankfully admitted the truth of our life, and both the doc and therapist agreed to put him on Guanfacine immediately. He came home with the prescription.

      The very next day, I woke up to a NEW husband. It is now day 6 today…..I do not know who I am married to but also am hesitant. He says he feels so amazingly different. (He is also on Viibryd, Vyvanse and now Guanfacine.) In the last 2 months, his moods/thoughts/behaviors have dramatically changed. While his anxiety disappeared on Viibryd, his rigidity immediately decreased, his “thoughts” started affecting him – hence the Vyvanse. (He had full psychological testing but ADD/ADHD was not considered until I highlighted 6 places it was listed, hubs took it to therapy and came home with a script. (GeneSight DNA medication testing ensured he was only given meds that work for HIM. He has MTHFR 1298/677 and had only 4 ADD/ADHD options that he was “safe” to take, as well as only 4 antidepressant/anxiety meds recommended. Saved a LOT of time with no trial and error with side effects.

      He hasn’t had an RSD “fit” in 6 days, and I promise you have said things that WOULD have caused a massive one. I am not testing him – he just literally twisted reality it seemed.

      I am optimistic but hesitant. I hope this is not a “honeymoon” effect. 33 years of hyper vigilant behavior mixed with “super loving”, I truly considered he had multiple personalities a few times.

      I hope sharing my experience helps others. If RSD returns, I will try to come back and share what changed, if anything. I can tell you honestly – being “free” of RSD for almost a week?? Has taught me I cannot live with it another minute. I truly hope this keeps it under control. RSD is no way to live for the loved one (let alone the RSD sufferer.)

    • #143561

      My husband has RSD, perhaps not as extreme as yours periblue but same pattern. Like a split personality for sure. Arguments are often based around his perception that I’m “having a go” at him. The most benign comments he will interpret that way out of the blue. Telling him to “calm down” is enough or suggesting a solution to a problem he is venting about. The rages are so unpredictable and doesn’t matter what I say or do everything escalates it. Many times I’ve left the house either walking or driving to escape. Unfortunately he is usually still raging on my return and sometimes tries to follow me but less so now. Once years ago he disengaged the battery on my car so I couldn’t drive it!
      Once because I didn’t rush fast enough for a bus after a great night out at a show (I was organising our 3 dawdling kids while he rushed ahead through the crowd) he was so angry we missed the bus that angrily reprimanded me in public and then he threw a drink on me!! Many passers by said nothing btw. The irony was buses were every 15mins so who even cares!!
      It’s scary and challenging but then we have weeks usually months of harmony getting on fine
      I’m only just getting him to see this is a possibility in him (25 years married) We are trying to work on it…we’ll I am reminding him to work on it, read about RSD and ultimately get help
      RSD is certainly real
      If he could address his RSD Our marriage would be near perfect! (Apart from the mess and constant losing of things haha but I can deal with that)
      Jay. Being aware of it you are more than 50% on the way to controlling it. Work hard at it so it doesn’t affect your future employment and relationships. I think it’s totally manageable esp with the right therapist. If you feel the rage building leave the situation or do some exercise or write in a diary until you calm down You can do it

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