Symptom Tests

[Self-Test] Could You Have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?

Rejection sensitive dysphoria, or the extreme emotional pain linked to feelings of rejection and shame, commonly affects children and adults with ADHD. Use this self-test to determine if your symptoms match those of RSD.

Reviewed by William Dodson, M.D., a member of ADDitude’s ADHD Specialists Panel.

What Does Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria Look Like in People with ADHD?

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by the perception that you have disappointed others in your life and that, because of that disappointment, they have withdrawn their love, approval, or respect.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.

RSD is difficult for people with ADHD to describe, but all who have it agree that it feels awful. Indeed, the term dysphoria is literally Greek for “unbearable.” Often those with RSD hide these intense emotional reactions from other people, and feel ashamed of their vulnerability. The condition often triggers a profound and wide-reaching sense of failure, as though the person with RSD hasn’t measured up to personal or external expectations.

Could RSD be the cause of your strong emotional responses? Take the results of this self-test to a trained ADHD professional to discuss your options for managing symptoms.

Adapted from the work and presentations of William Dodson, M.D. Not a diagnostic tool. If you have concerns about possible RSD, see a mental health professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. Screener for personal use only.

Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.

What To Do Next:

1. Take This Test: Do I Have ADHD?
2. Take This Test: Do I Have Symptoms of Depression?
3. Learn More About Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria
4. Download Understanding Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria
5. Watch the Free Webinar “Emotions and ADHD: What Clinicians Need to Know”
6. Read the ADDitude eBook “9 Conditions Often Diagnosed with ADHD”

6 Related Links

  1. Greetings, ADDitutde crew!
    I’d like to take these self-tests, but there seems to be some kind of a problem – I cannot see the actual tests! There’s a couple of paragraphs about the test, and what to do with your results; about 5 inches of blank space, and “Jump to Comments” – No Test!

  2. I didn’t know this was a thing. I scored 100% and as I was reading the questions I started crying because of how accurately each one described me. I never would have thought to link these oddities about myself with my ADHD.

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