My Forum Comments
January 22, 2019 at 10:54 am in reply to: Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria? This is what's ruining my life? #107314
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: http://www.activebeat.com 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.
Let’s start with helping the teacher understand that it is not a question of ambition, but of an actual physical disability. Mad parent faces, disparaging teachers, and hopeful pretense are a waste of time. Been there, done that twice for myself and my son, and we both have T-Shirts that say “What was I supposed to do?”
Daily report cards are just one more way for the system to provide negative feedback. Try positive structure. For example:
1. If your son has a friend, ask him to help your son remember his homework. If that’s not appropriate, call the teacher and ask her for the assignment as soon as you get home, or as soon as he gets home and you realize he forgot it. If the teacher doesn’t like it, too bad. That’s what they make Principals for, and School Boards, too. Remember this behavior is not being lazy, forgetful, or stupid. You have to be the advocate FOR your son so the school system doesn’t chew him up and spit him out.
2. No homework in rooms where distractions are everywhere! That includes bedrooms and TV rooms. Also plan on sitting with your son while he does his homework so you can chat every so often and take a break. Short spurts of close attention are good habits to form, with a break to relax the brain. Even getting up, having a snack or juice. That’s how I continue to work today!
4. Make a special place to put the homework in his backpack. Put it there every single day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Another good habit to form. When he’s a busy executive with his own company, he’ll have a to-do list that he puts in the same place in his desk – every single day. Or like me, he’ll have a To-Do App.
3. It’s okay for the teacher to ask him for his homework. Being able to pass in homework should not be a test. If he needs a reminder, that’s fine, too. If he turns it in a day late because it was in that one place in his backpack, that’s okay. Or, the teacher can just check the homework place in his backpack.
Your son is 9 years old. He doesn’t need tests of character or memory. He needs patience and support. It doesn’t matter if he’s ambitious, and frankly, I’d be worried if he were.
You have some awesome recommendations about exercise and color coding (which works for me to this day!). Make it a game to find things that work, and let him experience his creativity and insight. One of the great things about people with ADD is our empathy, creativity, and ability to think outside all of the boxes. Unlike, apparently, his teacher. Those are benefits, not burdens. The other stuff is just minor inconvenience that good organization fixes.
Love him first, fix him later. Or never.
Cindy Weinmann – #1 of 3 generations of awesome people with ADD
This may sound ridiculous, but I have found something that helps. I love aroma therapy, and found that putting a drop of lavender oil on my pillow helps me sleep. So when I saw the Aveda Chakra sprays in my hair salon, I started trying them one at a time. That didn’t make much difference, but when I bought them all and used them as a meditation device first thing in the AM I found myself actually more focused, less anxious, and able to work with more intention.
It’s free to read up on here: http://www.misterchakra.com/
The sprays are expensive to buy all at one time – but cheaper than meds and it’s lovely to smell so good.
In the meantime, set up your bills to either autopay or notify you by email, put everything you need in a bowl on the counter, and stop beating up on yourself.